MAYVILLE – Mental health experts in Chautauqua County say there is a simple solution to beating the winter blues: exercise.
Coming up next month, the County’s Department of Mental Hygiene is hosting an indoor triathlon event with the goal of promoting healthy activity and spreading suicide awareness.
“It’s wintertime, there’s nothing going on, people are depressed and have anxiety with everything going on,” explained Raynor. “So, let’s get out, move our bodies, and get excited.”
As project coordinators Carri Raynor and Chrissy Breen tell us, exercise can help keep the body healthy in many ways. From keeping us physically well, to the release of different hormones that help our mental health.
“It makes us feel good when we move our bodies, it releases a bunch of endorphins. Those feel good endorphins within ourselves that makes us want to do it more,” stated Raynor. “Maybe not after we do it because we’re exhausted, but in actuality it really does help us.”
Unlike ailments like the common cold, mental health problems show themselves differently in each person.
“Anxiety and Depression can come across in a lot of different ways,” explained Raynor. “It could make us physically ill as well, whether we have an upset stomach. We have that Anxiety where our chest is clenching up a little bit.”
The best way to help address that, according to the Department of Mental Hygiene, is to reach out and make yourself known.
“It’s okay to not be okay,” stated Breen. “It’s okay to be struggling, it’s okay to look at yourself and think ‘oh man I used to be a lot more interested in things’ or ‘I haven’t always been this angry before’ so take that time and feel those emotions but, do something about it, reach out to somebody.
The Department of Mental Hygiene holds around 14 events a year to spread awareness and combat mental health issues, including the 13th annual indoor triathlon on February 5th at Chautauqua Health and Fitness in the Town of Chautauqua.
For more information on the triathlon, or about mental health in the area, visit preventsuicidechq.com.