Mental illness is one of the hardest problems to deal with, no matter who you are or at what point you are in your life at the moment. The big issue with mental health is that people normally realize – or get treated – way later than they should. It is important to act as soon as possible if you or someone close to you is suffering from mental illnesses.

Technically defined, a mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines. There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders.

Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and social withdrawal.

Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events. As with cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, mental illnesses are often physical as well as emotional and psychological. If you find yourself or someone close to you with early warning signs of a mental illness, it’s best to get professional help as soon as possible.

Mental illness may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these factors. With proper care and treatment, many individuals learn to cope and recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder. Here are some early warning signs of mental illness so that you can look out for them and focus your attention on recovery as soon as possible.

Early Warning Signs

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In Younger Children:

  • Changes in school performance
  • Poor grades despite strong efforts
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Excessive worry or anxiety (i.e. refusing to go to bed or school)
  • Hyperactivity
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums

In Older Children and Pre-Adolescents:

  • Substance use
  • Inability to cope with problems and daily activities
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Excessive complaints of physical ailments
  • Changes in ability to manage responsibilities – at home and/or at school
  • Defiance of authority, truancy, theft, and/or vandalism
  • Intense fear
  • Prolonged negative mood, often accompanied by poor appetite or thoughts of death
  • Frequent outbursts of anger

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In Adults, Young Adults and Adolescents:

  • Confused thinking
  • Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows
  • Excessive fears, worries, and anxieties
  • Social withdrawal
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Strong feelings of anger
  • Strange thoughts (delusions)
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
  • Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Numerous unexplained physical ailments
  • Substance use

Ways to Cope With Mental Condition

Get Professional Help

This is the first thing you need to do, and in fact, it is also the most important one. Surely, you or someone close to you can muster the strength to face mental illnesses especially in its early stages. You can also be the catalyst for someone’s ability to cope with mental illnesses by being a good friend and supporter throughout his or her battles. However, the best thing and the first thing that you should always do is to seek professional help.

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Go and contact a psychologist at the first sign of trouble because any issue where mental health is involved is a very serious matter.  A slight misstep in handling a mental health issue can be totally detrimental and even destructive to one’s mental health.

Acceptance

Accepting your mental health issue is one of the best things to do, but totally the hardest one. When you first hear about your mental illness, you could be completely devastated. That feeling is normal. Take your time, but in the long run, there has to be a certain degree of acceptance. It can really go a long way.

Despite the different symptoms and types of mental illnesses, many families who have a loved one with mental illness share similar experiences. You may find yourself denying the warning signs, worrying what other people might think because of the stigma, or wondering what caused your loved one to become ill.

Accept that these feelings are normal and common among families going through similar situations. Find out all you can about your loved one’s illness by reading and talking with mental health professionals. Share what you have learned with others.

Eat Healthy

A few simple dietary changes may boost cognitive function and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. As it turns out, one of the best ways to improve your mental health is through your gut.

Like your brain, the gut has its own nervous system, which sends information to the brain via the vagus nerve. This helps explain why you might feel queasy when you’re nervous or stressed. Just as the brain impacts the gut, what you put in your gut can impact the function of your brain.

Look for good eats on the internet that can help improve your brain power, like fatty fish, whole grains, lean protein, leafy greens, and yogurt.

Meanwhile, there are also types of food that can help boost your mood. Your emotions are instrumental to overall mental health, so elevating your mood in times of loneliness can help. Certain foods can be the thing that gives you that mental boost in those dark times. Even pets such as dogs eat cbd infused treats to help against their own anxiety.

Just allow yourself to eat your comfort food in times of mental turmoil. Dark chocolate, mushrooms, green tea are just few of the many healthy and yummy foods that can help elevate your mood and make you generally happier.

Educate Yourself About the Illness

Educating yourself about you or your loved one’s illness is really the foundation of support. Research shows that education works. A huge body of evidence has shown that if you provide families with education and involve them in the treatment process, patients experience a reduction in symptoms, hospitalization days, and relapse. Plus, the family environment is generally improved through this method.

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Misconceptions about mental illnesses are definitely detrimental to someone with it. More importantly, the closest people to someone with a mental illness can be destructive if they are misinformed about such illness. Not knowing how the illness functions can create misconceptions and prevent families from giving their loved ones effective help.

For instance, without the necessary education, it’s hard for people to grasp and appreciate the severity of the symptoms, such as the terrifying thoughts associated with schizophrenia or the suicidal ideation associated with a deep depression. It’s not uncommon for families to wonder why their loved ones just can’t snap out of it. Families must understand that the individual’s thoughts and actions are not under their control. Any antagonistic or bizarre behaviors are a manifestation of the illness, not willful, purposeful actions.

Seeking Support

No one with a mental illness should fight the battle alone. Whenever possible, seek support from friends and family members. If you feel you cannot discuss your situation with friends or other family members, find a support group. These groups provide an opportunity for you to talk to other people who are experiencing the same types of problems.  They can listen and offer valuable advice.

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Of course, never forget to get professional counsel and support, as it should be the most effective approach.

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6 Most Important Considerations for Starting a Fitness Business

Starting a new business can be thrilling and challenging. It could be terrifying when you think about all the details and every resource you need to get up and running. If you’ve done your research right, it will be easier to know what you are getting into and exactly what you need to succeed.

Most people choose to start their own businesses because they are ready to share their ideas with the public. And want to do what they love in their own way.

Others want to create a work-life balance that works for them. Ultimately there can be great opportunity to make money if everything goes as planned. The risk is worth it, most of the time for people who are entrepreneurial.

According to The Guardian, consumer spending on UK gym membership soared by 44% in 2014, driven by the growth in popularity of new, budget gyms.

The demand for affordable, high quality, no-contract or flexible contracts fitness centres is continuing to grow. People are now interested in staying fit more than ever. The popularity of budget gyms, including Pure Gym, EasyGym, Anytime Fitness and DW Sports, are most likely driving the increase even further.

If you are thinking about going out on your own and starting a fitness business this year, this will help you get started.

Find your niche

1. Decide on your niche market right from the beginning 

Which market do you want to serve and why? This should be very clear to you. Do your research and find out a profitable niche that can scale. Weight loss is popular. There are other less popular ones like injury management and even endurance athletes. You could also choose powerlifting, crossfit, yoga, or whatever you prefer that works for you.

But remember, going after a popular niche means more competition. It should be a niche you are genuinely interested in. That way making it a business won’t be difficult.

The planning process

Launching a brick and mortar fitness business can be overwhelming but once you get your planning right, you will be off to a great start. Put everything on paper. It pays to keep records.

2. Cost

Consider your fix costs (business registration, legal fees, rent, premise renovations, utilities, hiring and educating trainers, wages, décor items and furniture, initial marketing) and monthly expenditures.

What will be your monthly protected costs? How will you fund the business before you attract paying customers? How many active clients will you need to break-even or generate your desired level of profit? Think of every little thing that you will need to spend money on to before your business opens and plan a contingency.

Getting started right

3. Purchase appropriate equipment

Make a list of all the equipment you’ll need to get started. JLL Fitness have a great range of commercial gym equipments you can check out. Things like dumbbell sets, bars, exercise mats, weight benches, treadmills etc. cannot be compromised. They are the most important things you need for a fitness business.

4. Make it insanely easy to register

Set up a a great and easy to use website to educate and inform prospective clients of your offering and packages. And most importantly give new users the opportunity to register and book fitness packages right at the comfort of their homes. Make it flexible. Your prices should be competitive.

Getting a website up and running is no longer a difficult or expensive. There are great DIY websites available, such as Wix and Squarespace. This is one of the first things you should do once you are ready to kickstart your fitness business.

5. On discounts and special offers

Attracting customers or users is one of the hardest part of starting a business. It’s no different for fitness businesses. Give people a reason to become members. Why should people choose you over your competitor next door?

Special deals and launch offers can be a great idea and really draw people in. You can offer a few days or even weeks for free and start charging once users establish fitness habits. When you are getting started, make it big, exciting and tempting. Set and stick to your urgent end date to get people signing up as soon as possible.

6. Focus on amazing service to leverage worth of mouth marketing.

The first few people who register for sessions at your fitness business can make or break your new startup. Give them the results they crave and make your sessions the best part of their week.

The aim is to get them talking about your fitness sessions to their friends. Word-of-mouth advertising is crucial for every service-based business, and in the case of a fitness business, it’s key.

Final words

Building a successful business takes time, focus, persistence. Starting a fitness business is probably going to end up costing more than you thought. But that’s not a reason to give up or abandon your dream career.

Do everything in your power to sustain the business once you get started. You probably won’t see profits for months. Plan for setbacks.

Focus on attracting and retaining clients and your business will grow as planned. And build a team of trainers who share your same passion and want to see your business succeed.

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