Ricky O’Brien says the first lockdown really impacted his mental health and then he got Covid which left him so poorly he was bedbound and needed to lie down after just walking up the stairs as it took so much out of him.
The 43-year-old said: “I lost my mojo – even when I was better I just didn’t want to do anything. I just couldn’t find the energy or the motivation and I was spiralling into a really dark place with my thoughts.
"Then I realised that this was no way to live.
"I needed to make some changes so I started researching meditation and the benefits and it changed my life.”
Ricky, a dad-of-three, says he takes time for himself everyday and sets small tasks such as making his bed so he can feel like he has achieved something early on in the day.
After he started meditating he then progressed to yoga and then tackled his physical health.
With the support of his wife, he has undertaken his level three personal trainer qualifications and level two gym assessment.
He said: “I’ve turned my life around and realised what is important again and want to help other parents who may be feeling a bit lost.
"I know how bogged down in the mundane we as parents can get but if you don’t look after yourself you can’t be the best parent you want to.”
Ricky, from Heath Grove, is now running life coaching – Your Fitness 1st – focusing on both mental and physical health.
"I might ring people up for a chat just to check in and allow them to talk about their day as well as encouraging them to be come a fitter and healthier version of themselves,” he said.
"Not only is it important for parents to be feeling on top of their game but if they have mental health issues that are not being tackled they could pass them on to their children. So it’s about breaking the cycle and making everyone happy.”
Currently Ricky is operating his physical training services in people’s homes but his long term plan is to have a dedicated space where people can work out and sort out their minds.
Ricky will be offering free mental health coaching to one person a month who he feels needs the help to turn their life around.
Anyone who is interested in his services should contact him via email on [email protected]