Red January Campaign with Mind Charity 2020
I thought long and hard about joining Red January as I am not a big fan of pressure being placed on people to have New Years resolutions, joining gyms and starting diets, there's so much guilt pushed on us all at this time of year, something I discussed in my recent Christmas post. Red January is a campaign that asks you to commit to being active and exercising for 30 minutes every day in January whilst raising money for charity, with the focus being on helping to improve your own mental well being at the start of the year. Red January is different, firstly because it's a campaign to help raise money for Mind Charity which does amazing work in supporting people across the country. I am sure we've all been touched or know someone that has struggled with poor mental health at some point in their life. I know too well how under funded the mental health service is in this country, making charities like Mind so much important in reaching out to those that government resources may miss. My eldest daughter struggled with acute anxiety from 11 years old, resulting in home schooling and it really was a struggle to get the right support in place due to the pressure the mental health service is now under. "Since the partnership began 3 years ago, the RED community has raised £1.7million to help continue Mind's life-changing work" which is incredible so I'm proud to be donating and taking part this year. The fact that we are starting to talk more about our mental health is a positive step forward to breaking the stigma that from our own experience was difficult to deal with.
Secondly I've been really struggling recently with anxiety and problems sleeping, brought on by the menopause, so I wanted to start the year taking control of my symptoms and have read so many posts from other women who have increased their exercise which has really helped them. A good friend of mine Jo Moseley @healthyhappy50 took part last year and her new passion for sport and being active has been a real inspiration over the last few years. I just need to find something that fits me and makes me excited to be more active, so Red January might just help.
Week one has been all about walking and exploring places we wouldn't normally walk with our dog. I've got stuck in a bit of a dog walking rut, repeating the same routes and it can become boring so it's been refreshing finding new places. Day 1 was realistically never going to be super active after a very late boozy evening! We did force ourselves for a 40 minute walk around the village in Addingham and it was just what the doctor ordered.
Day 2 was a 4 1/2 mile walk around Grimworth Reservoir where Mark and I made plans for the new year and put the world to rights.
Day 3 was closer to home. We really are blessed to have Ilkley Moors on our door step and the blue sky was very welcome start to the day. A brisk 50 minute walk really helped my anxiety as I woke feeling overwhelmed for no reason at all.
Day 4 Mark and I walked around Roundhay Park and it was so busy, full of walkers, joggers, kids on bikes, really loved being out with everyone. Seeing the beautiful swans was a definite highlight and we took time to relax and have a coffee afterwards. Mark usually works away from home Monday to Friday, which whilst it's all we've known it does take its toil so we are enjoying catching up with each other properly whilst he's at home between contracts.
Day 5 saw me stuck standing on trains for 5 hours to London, don't ask! Not your normal time or route but that's British transport for you, so when I arrived I was really tired and grumpy. I would normally check in to my hotel and not venture too far at night but instead I took myself off for an evening walk and it shifted my bad mood, walking and listening to music whilst getting my 10,000 steps in. Must remember to do this regularly on my trips.
For anyone wanting to know more about what support may be available here's a few uselful links that I found very helpful and informative. Don't be afraid to ask for help!