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“Bannatyne’s became my safe place” says Carlisle health club member

Megan Cupid with with general manager, Steph Counter

A member of the Bannatyne health club in Carlisle has shared her mental health journey and demonstrated the positive effects that fitness can have on mental health.

Megan Cupid, 25, has been living with anxiety since she was 15 and starting her first job. After seeking help, Megan was advised to use medication to help her deal with the symptoms and eventually, her tablet intake increased to 14 a day.

Megan said: “I first felt I needed support when I was leaving school and entering the working world. This step was huge, and I became extremely anxious. I will always remember telling my granda that I needed help because I wasn’t normal. He always told me that I didn’t need help, I needed support and he was right. He used to say, ‘no one’s normal lass’.”

Megan, who has worked at Walby Farm Park for ten years supporting the catering department, found that everything in life was difficult and the medication made her feel numb. After realising she wasn’t healthy and was wasting her life being a ‘house mouse’, never going out, Megan decided to join the Bannatyne health club in Carlisle.

She continued: “I became a house mouse, it wasn’t healthy. Realising I was wasting my life, I knew something had to change, otherwise I wasn’t going to get any better. After trying other gyms that I wasn’t comfortable with, my friend suggested that I tried Bannatyne’s.

“Walking through that door for the first time was a massive achievement. I felt relaxed and put at ease by the staff, who are always friendly and happy to help. Bannatyne’s became my safe place!

“I would walk into the gym with a negative mindset and walk out with a positive one. Exercise became my stress release and I hadn’t even realised how much progress I had made.”

After discovering comfort in the Bannatyne health club, Megan set about improving her mental and physical health with goals of becoming stronger but also offering support to other people through their ‘grey’ days.

Megan added: “Living with mental health issues is difficult and some days are worse than others.

“You’ve got to remember, you’re not alone. Not everyone needs medical help but we can all benefit from support and reassurance from others.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to my friends, family and work family, but also to the staff at Bannatyne, in particular Steph, who have supported me and given me the courage to tell my story. I hope this will help someone through their difficult time, don’t ever feel alone.”

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