Joe Wicks perfectly put into words why the new wave of restrictions is hard on our mental health

If you've been finding the latest round of restrictions particularly difficult, Joe Wicks wants you to know you're not alone. The man who became a beacon of light earlier in the year with his upbeat daily at-home workouts  took to Instagram to share that he too is struggling right now and managed to perfectly explain why now, on the cusp of winter, everything feels that little bit worse.

Being the peppiest, most optimistic guy out there, it feels poignant, and all the more relatable, that even Joe been hit hard recently. In the video, titled “Struggling with my mental health. You are not alone,” Joe explains that the never-ending feel of the pandemic is part of what's getting him down: "I’m finding it hard to be optimistic, I’m finding it confusing, I feel like I don’t understand and I can’t comprehend where the end is.”

“That feeling of powerlessness and confusion is quite a hard feeling to deal with because normally we’re in control of things and we can change and affect things quite quickly and change the way we feel, but with [the new restrictions] the realisation that this isn’t just going to go away tomorrow is really getting me down.”

Joe went on to explain that he thrives on company, so the distance from his family, friends and colleagues is tough. What he's describing here is skin hunger , the biological need for human touch which shows itself in sleep disturbance, low energy, change in appetite, constipation, lack of libido and even anxiety.

As someone who everyone looked towards to be cheered up (over seven million people tuned into his daily PE workouts ) Joe said the collective feeling of low mood, thinking of all the people suffering at the moment was causing him to feel down too. "It's making it hard to get excited about anything. I'm finding it hard to be motivated to film workouts or do anything because it's so difficult to be optimistic," he says.

He's quick to mention the mood-boosting powers of exercise though, explaining that then he does motivate himself to workout he can feel the positive effect they have on his mental health. "[Exercise] elevates your mental state and if you go the other way and wallow and sit on your sofa and watch TV and neglect your physical health your mental health will deteriorate even quicker. You have to fight against the desire to do nothing and be sad and unhappy. You can change the way you feel though exercise so turn to fitness now more than ever. For your mental sanity do not neglect your fitness, it can change the chemical balance in your brain to make you feel more optimistic."

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Joe recently shared a letter he'd received on Instagram from a single mum who told him that doing his daily exercise videos had brought her back from suicidal feelings. "[The workouts] transformed her perspective on life and that shows the power of transformation through fitness," Joe explained to Women's Health on their podcast Going for Goal. "People don’t let [fitness] into their lives sometimes; they will do diets, they will do antidepressants, they will do bingeing but really you should step up to exercise straight away because it will change your life.”

Joe ends his video, which has been viewed over 74,000 times with a plea for people to use exercise to overcome a negative mindset, asking us to set ourselves a daily target to work towards to keep ourselves feeling optimistic. Check out our edit of the six best Joe Wicks ab workouts  to get you started.

MORE GLOSS: 7 exercises to boost your mental health