We know everyone is starting their articles and emails the same way, “We’re living through pretty strange times…” But there really is no other way to put it. We are living through unprecedented events, isolated from our friends and families and living in fear of them or ourselves getting ill. It’s no surprise then that there was a serious spike in the number of people reporting significant levels of depression and anxiety after it was announced that the UK would go into lockdown. Likewise, in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advising Americans how to cope with quarantine related stress and anxiety.
For many people Tough Mudder and its community has been a lifeline when it comes to mental health. We feel honored that we’ve been able to play a part in making people happier and healthier and while we can’t help people take on an obstacle course right now, we can use our community and our values to try and help them face IRL obstacles instead. To do this we’re launching Mudder Minds, a project inspired by an existing community group that we hope will bring mental health advice and support to Mudder Nation and beyond.
As with most great Tough Mudder ideas, it started with our incredible community.
Mudder Minds began as a Facebook group created by legionnaire and volunteer Sam Hopper. Mudder Minds wasn’t just for obstacle course racing fans though, “It was for those who have found the love of exercise whilst experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and bereavement but now it’s accessible to anyone that needs a safe space to care and share,” said Sam. With 522 members from across the UK, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, Mudder Minds is a truly global group where people can share as much or as little as they like and be met with reassurance and empathy. Anyone can join the Mudder Minds Facebook group and Sam told us that, “Members are free to join, leave and rejoin whenever they want.” You can also refer a friend, “That’s been happening a lot over the last 6 months and it’s really helped them.”
Inspired by Sam’s story and the amazing support network that he’s created for so many people, Tough Mudder will be adopting the Mudder Minds name to help share advice and support for anyone who is feeling the strain of this strange new world, whether they have taken part in Tough Mudder before or not. Sam said it best when we asked him how he would like to see Mudder Minds impacting people in the future, “I’d love to see people opening up about their mental health and helping to break down the stigma surrounding it.”
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM MUDDER MINDS?
Every Monday we’ll be talking about #MudderMinds. We’ve gone out far and wide to find mental health professionals who will be providing guidance and support through blogs, videos and Q&As. We’ll also be sharing practical tools like guided meditations that you can take away to boost your every day. If you have a question about anything mental health related, we’re going to find the answer for you.
Of course we’ll also be going out into the community to find the inspirational stories and everyday heroes that will bring a smile to your face. From frontline doctors to adaptive athletes we’ll be finding out what’s keeping them going and how you can apply their experience to your own life.
To keep up with all the great information and support we’ve got coming your way make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll be using the hashtag #MudderMinds and we’d love it if you did it too, to share your stories, questions and advice with the community.