Mental health awareness week : Raz's Story

Raz Farcas - May.12.21

At Reflex Nutrition, we value mental health just as much as physical health. We've been chatting to our PTs, influencers, colleagues, friends and family to get some real life stories and break down the stigma attached to mental health!

We wanted to share them for Mental Health Awareness Week in the hope of starting a conversation, breaking down barriers and coming together as a community to support each other.  Here's Raz, a Reflex PT, with his story.  

Tell us a bit about yourself...

I'm Raz, a young Personal Trainer and ex-football player who has always been involved within the sports and fitness industry. Over the years I have worked with a lot of different people, from athletes and football players to people who just wanted to train for basic general health.

If the goals and styles of training were extremely different, I always made sure I prioritised their mental health, keeping them motivated and in high spirits at all times.

My goal has always been to help as many people as I could through sharing my knowledge and pushing them to be a better version of themselves each day and I am doing that through working out and being active.

What’s your personal experience with Mental Health? 

My mental health has been tested numerous times especially during my time as a football player. I was often struggling to see progression, always going out on trials and being refused, being promised a good contract with a good team that fails in the last second because of a tiny disagreement or some unknown reason.

I always had to keep strong and be confident that things will eventually improve and in the end they always did. Even after my failures as a football player and finding my love for fitness, I had a lot of job interviews that didn't go as planned. I was refused from jobs that I was passionate about, this affected my mental health once again.

My secret to having a good mental health after all these failures, was to think to myself that another opportunity is always waiting for me. The fact that I wasn't accepted in that good team or that ideal workplace was just the beginning of my journey finding the perfect place for me.

Something that has really worked for me and my mental health is looking back and being happy with what I have achieved so far.

What are some of the benefits that you feel exercising has on your personal mental health?

Energy is a really important factor for me and exercising always gives me a boost of energy. Another benefit is the self fulfilment I feel after a really good workout. When I close down the day and look back at my workout, I feel satisfied that I did something good that day. Something that will improve my health and will make me a better person than the day before.

Have you found it hard to stay motivated during lockdown?  How have you combatted this?

There were days where I wasn't bothering to do much as I was missing a lot of the things that I used to do. The social interaction, the freedom of going out and a reason to get me going.

I was working from home so there were times where I would literally do close to no activity whatsoever, something that was demotivating me even more.

I wasn't feeling healthy at one point so I said to myself that something needs to change, so I started eating healthier, looking after my diet and working out every single day. The progression I have seen has motivated me to do better and better each day. 

A few encouraging words for anyone struggling?

Always look for a brighter tomorrow and keep confident in yourselves at all times no matter how challenging a situation may be. Never let yourself down and always put yourselves on the first place prioritising your own progress! 

Thank you to Raz for sharing his story. If you'd like to hear more from Raz you can follow him on Instagram. 
Whether you're concerned about yourself, a loved one or one of your clients - There are mental health charities, organisations and support groups can offer expert advice! More information here.