Mind Over Matter | How One Woman Used The Outdoors To Combat Anxiety And Depression

"There's a massive shift in perception and understanding of mental health - especially from younger people"

From a mental health perspective, there’s no doubting that this time of year can be real tough for a number of people. The long, dark, nights of winter combined with seasonal cold weather can leave many of us feeling isolated, disconnected, and cut off from our support groups. With that in mind, we thought we’d take this opportunity, in collaboration with Merrell and Mind, to shine a spotlight on how one woman used the outdoors to help manage her anxiety and depression.

When the stresses of a pressurised job and relationship difficulties boiled over, it led to Eli Bishop having a mental breakdown. Having suffered from anxiety from a young age, this moment marked a turning point in Eli’s life. It was an incident which helped her realise that only a fundamental lifestyle change could offer her a way out.

Eli chose to fully embrace the outdoors – a place where she’d always felt most at peace. She packed in her job, moved to the idyllic Wye Valley, and became an outdoors instructor. The move had a transformative impact and rebalanced her life in a way that put mental health first.

It’s no secret that spending time outside, and being in nature regularly, can benefit both your physical and mental wellbeing. By teaming up with Mind, the mental health charity, Merrell are hoping to raise awareness of ways that people can support their own mental health.

Eli has become an active mental health advocate, educating people on how the outdoors can help them manage their mental health. Watch her story in the video above.

If you have questions or would like to find out more information on mental health, phone the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393. Lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for Bank Holidays).

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