Finding Ways to Deal with Depression: Strictly's Susan Calman Recommends Punchbags and Kindness

Finding Ways to Deal with Depression: Strictly's Susan Calman

By Jennifer Powis

With mental health issues becoming an increasingly talked about topic in today's stress-ridden society, finding ways to deal with depression has never been more important.

One person dealing with depression is Susan Calman. Comedian and previous star of Strictly Come Dancing (hilariously besotted with her professional dancing partner Kevin), Susan is also an author and TV personality. When we heard that she keeps a punchbag in the garage as one of her ways to deal with depression, we were naturally intrigued.

Physical exercise has long been seen to benefit mental illnesses including anxiety and depression. It's not just experts who extol the benefits of exercise: many mental health sufferers emphasise the importance of regular physical exercise in helping to alleviate their symptoms, Susan included.

It's about finding the type of exercise that works for you, that you feel you can commit to. For Susan, that perfect solution has been a punchbag in her garage. When she's hitting that punchbag, her brain is taking time off from thinking negative thoughts and is instead focusing on the exercise.

"Part of the battle is looking at what's contributing to your mental health issues. Can you find things you could easily change? And for me it was surrounding myself with positivity, and boxing."

It's dealing with negative thoughts that has inspired Susan to write another book, this time entitled 'Sunny Side Up'. Her previous book 'Cheer Up Love' centred around her experience of depression, dealing with the subject in her humorous way. Sunny Side Up encourages us to focus on kindness, joy and community, whilst eradicating the persistent negativity that occupies many of our minds.

Many of us struggle with a constant flow of negative thoughts. Exercise and positivity are two of the key ways we can give our minds a break from the never-ending negativity they are subjected to.

It's the little acts of kindness that can go a long way in making people feel better about themselves. It costs nothing to be kind to others, polite and to give a helping hand to anyone in need, yet of course it's often the little things that can make a huge difference both to others around us and to our own state of mind.

If more people were to take a leaf out of Susan's book and increase their amounts of exercise whilst embodying kindness, the world may well be a much calmer and joyful place. Maybe punchbags in the garage and kindness are the ideal combination to help us deal with depression - who knew?

Featured image: BBC