Few, if any people will have complete physical, mental and social wellbeing all the time. Trevor Smith, senior member of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, joins us to talk about health and wellbeing, and this week he talks about his own mental health.

This week is a little bit different; I’m going to open up and talk about how I’m feeling. This makes me feel quite uncomfortable, but if I am honest, I do feel different. I have been feeling down and a bit teary all week. I’m finding it difficult to deal with.

Now, I am clearly at the lower end of the mental health scale. I know that I will slide back along up to the better end in a little while. I’ve tried to understand why I’m feeling like this, but I can’t put my finger on exactly what’s wrong.

The Northern Echo: It is okay to feel not okayIt is okay to feel not okay

Okay it could be that local lockdown is finally getting to me, but I have felt okay up until now, so it must be more than that. Well, thinking about it my job is suffering due to the Covid restrictions and I am worried about how much longer it can go on until I am another statistic who loses his job.

I know many other people who have already lost their jobs and are finding it difficult to find another position. What do I do if that happens to me, how do I provide for my family? How can I pay the bills? What happens then?
I have a three year old and the nursery fees are stacking up, but she has to go to nursery or I cannot go out to work, but then some days, I am not going out to work anyway.

I am missing my family; I have not spent much time with either of my parents lately or wider family and friends.

I have not seen my brothers or best friend for months; they all have families of their own, so I suppose life just takes over. I hope they are all okay, I worry about them.

The car has started making a noise, it does not sound good. It must go in for the MOT soon, I hope it passes.

I have really been having trouble sleeping, so I stay up late and watch TV because I know I am not going to sleep anyway. I watched a programme on TV, it was not a particularly sad film, but I found myself sobbing – I am a military veteran for goodness sake, I can’t be blubbing like this.

This cannot be it; this is just the everyday – “the Norm”. I’ve dealt with worse than this before.

Regrettably, I am finding this easier to write than to discuss face to face with my wife, family or best friend.

There is a real feeling of “am I the only one that feels like this?”. I know I have people around me that I can talk to, that is not the problem. The problem is I just do not know what to say, I cannot explain how I’m really feeling or why I feel like this.

I am scared that they will just tell me to “stop being soft and toughen up”. I know deep down they would not do that, but just starting the conversation is difficult.

You would not know any of this to look at me or talk to me. If you just see my outer shell, I am a very happy and positive person; I have hidden it well this week. I know I should not hide it and I will talk about it to the right people, I promise.

If you have read this and it reflects how you have been feeling this week, you are allowed not to be okay.

Our stresses, anxieties and circumstances affect us in so many ways and there is a time when everyone needs that little extra help and support. Over the next few days, I am going to take the time to discuss my mental health with my wife, my family and my best friend. I am going to open up about how I am feeling and ask them how they are doing too, hopefully they will share as well.

Saturday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day. This year the theme is “Mental health for all”.
If you are feeling down for whatever reason, please talk to someone or you can contact trained professionals at organisations across the region such as the charity Mind.
They work with partners from across a variety of sectors to ensure the very best support is given and can be contacted at www.mind.org.uk or call 01325-283169 (Darlington office).

If you would like further information on activities, events, projects, research, as well as resources for schools, follow me on Twitter @TSmith_PE or you can contact me on tsmith@premier-education.com
Trevor Smith is a senior member of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).