Jo's Story

Jo's Story

The ups and downs of depression and anxiety can sometimes really stop Jo in her tracks. For her, moving more isn’t as simple as just going to the gym. But finding other motivations for getting up and going, whether it’s playing with the grandkids or running after her dog Elsie, has given her a new lease on life and a meaningful reason to be active. Whether it’s a just quick walk or an hour at the park, she always finds herself lifted from where she was before.

Well I don’t look like there’s anything wrong with me, and I think you compensate with telling jokes and laughing and joking, which I do all the time. And I’m smiley, but the thing is, when you’re not feeling quite right, everybody can notice. A lot of the time it’s that feeling of ‘oh just pull yourself together.’ And it’s not that, it’s not about that. You know, when you don’t want to face the world, you don’t want to face anybody. Yes, I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety for way over 20 years and I’ve got fibromyalgia, which was diagnosed about 4 years ago. But you just learn to live with good days and bad days, and you just have to cope. If you don’t, it’s just a day or two days in bed or, and then hopefully the next day you can pick yourself up and do something. Even sometimes when I’ve got things planned with the kids, and if you’re not feeling, you know, great, I still force myself to do it. I’m so glad I do. It does lift you. Getting my little Elsie, my dog, that’s the best thing I’ve done. Taking her, it may only be a 10-minute walk or an hour walk but it’s actually getting me out and you meet people, you socialise, and its lovely, it’s a lovely community. All the old dog walkers, so that lifts you as well. You know talking to people, cause half the time you don’t want to, but it’s so friendly and it’s about your lovely little dog, you just do it. I’ve been dying my hair mad colours for years, and I started the tattoos in 2000. Just made me feel better, just covers up ugly skin (laughs). And the funny thing is I don’t like standing out, but at the same time I don’t like being the same as everybody else. The children, and Elsie, I mean they are a huge part, and Elsie just gives me that extra specialness when they’re not there, when I don’t see them. So, Elsie, she’s my little girl. When you do anything, any kind of activity, you feel so much better. I might fall after, when I come back, through the fatigue and everything, but at least I’ve done it and I’ve made myself do it. You know it’s always an achievement. The little things are achievements.

How Jo Gets Moving

Jo gets moving with the people she loves – and the animals, too! A quick walk to the park or even playing around the garden lifts her mood and also gets her on her feet. Having Elsie means she also has to walk her and keep her active, even on the days where she’s feeling a bit low. This helps keep her moving on a regular basis, and can even lift her mood just by getting out of the house.

Related Resources

Here are some resources related to Jo’s story about moving more:

Mind - Physical activity and your mental health

Rethink Mental Illness - Mental illness and being active