BIG BIRD

The Medicine Ball Challenge

One in four adults experience mental illness, and many more of us know and care for people who do. Talking openly about we feel can help.

The challenge involves cuffing a 3kg Medicine Ball to my wrist for 7 days. It may not sound that heavy but being tied to the medicine ball continuously for 7 days is a significant burden. The ball becomes a physical, visual and tangible representation of the invisible burden of mental health so many of us can experience.

The challenge raises money for the following charities. Any support you can offer will be gratefully received and split evenly between the causes.

ABF The Soldiers' Charity

Combat Stress

My Updates

D7 Complete 💪💪

Woohoo!!! What a week!! I definitely have been on a roller coaster of emotions. Wearing the ball n chain has gave me an insight into what it would be like if I did have a mental health issue. Well just the tip of the ice berg. It must be truly awful to be on a downer on a daily basis. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you, who have read my blogs, liked and shared my posts, showed overwhelming support and donated to my very worthy cause the Medicine Ball Challenge. I raised a massive £523!!! Winner winner chicken dinner. Thank you 😊💓💪

D6 Complete!! 😁

Courage, Discilpine, Respect for others, Integrity, Loyalty, Selfless commitment. Lead by example. Inspire to achieve 💪

Friends 🌞❤💙

D5 Complete!! You choose your friends, not your family, and in many ways, the people we bring into our lives intentionally can mean just as much, if not more. Our friends help us live more meaningful, joyful lives in so many ways, and we should never underappreciate the value of a true friend who supports us through thick and thin. 1. Good Friends Accept You for Who You Are A truly supportive friend will love you for the person you are, flaws and all. That doesn’t mean friends have to agree with each other all of the time. In fact, different outlooks can help expand our horizons. Still, a true friend will accept you and even find beauty in your quirks and imperfections. 2. Friends Stick Around During the Good Times and the Bad Life has its ups and downs. Having supportive friends can help us get through the hard times. A true friend, because they love you, will stand by to help overcome obstacles. That could mean giving a shoulder to cry on, listening to our problems, or finding ways to cheer us up. Those small gestures can mean a lot especially when times get tough. 3. A Real Friend Celebrates Life with You In going through life, a friend’s support not only matters during the hard times. A friend means someone who genuinely wants to see you succeed. Unfortunately, disingenuous people may feel insecure and want you to fail. But a true friend celebrates your accomplishments and feels happy to see things go well. 4. True Friends Will Make the Time to See You Sometimes our hectic schedules make it difficult to see our friends as much as we would like. A best friend will treat you as a priority and set aside quality time to catch up, whether through a phone call, stopping by the house, or even hopping on a flight to see you. 5. A Real Friend Will Tell You the Truth, Even If You Don’t Like It If you choose your friends the right way, you’ll surround yourself with people who share your values. In this way, you can always rely on friends to give good advice and help guide you through life. Sometimes, we may not notice ourselves falling off track. A good friend will help us make the right choices even if that means saying something we don’t always want to hear. 6. A True Friend Encourages You to Achieve Your Goals We should all work to become the best version of ourselves, and a good friend will support you in working toward personal improvement. Whether it means cutting out unhealthy habits, pursuing a dream job, or cultivating a creative outlet, friends will give us the motivation to help follow through with the things we want to achieve. 7. A Real Friend Helps Us Feel Comfortable in Our Own Skin Sometimes we just can’t force that special connection between friends. It just happens. Two people come together and feel completely at ease being themselves. Whether it means laughing at silly jokes for hours or talking the night away, a long-lasting friendship involves an effortless connection in which two people understand each other when simply being themselves. Do you know of a special person who shows all the signs of a true friend? Don’t forget to be a good friend in return and show how much you care. Even if you haven't talked in a while, remember to reach out to the important people in your life who love and support you.

A problem shared....is a problem halved.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Clear the head 🌳🌳

D4 complete! A much better day than yesterday. To clear the mind I decided to go a dander and see the trees that I help plant. Back in February '22, local Army and Sea Cadets joined together to plant 250 trees in the Ecos Nature Park for the Platinum Jubilee ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ in celebration of the Queen’s 70 years of service to the Nation. Such a lovely project to be part of. It was just great to get out a dander, clear the head and enjoy a bit of time with nature. When you have a down day, what do you do? People suffering from mental health find it hard to even get out the front door. On a personal note if I didn't have my employment I would more than likely not leave the house. I need to be in a routine and having a place to work keeps that black cloud from hanging over my head. Ever thought of volunteering? There's loads of charities and youth organisations out there that you can volunteer at. Help make a difference in someone's life, including your own. Thank you to everyone that has supported me so far. Really does mean alot ❤💜💪

Just a wee dander 🏃‍♀️💪💜

Housekeeping 😫

D3 complete. What a day!!! Exhausted!! I couldn't even write my blog last night. Finish work, come home, hoover, put a wash on, make the dinner..... Every part of me ached this morning. It made me realise how hard it would be if I constantly had this burden. Every chore would be like walking up an escalator that was coming down. I would get nowhere. It actually got to the point I was shouting at the medicine ball, wanting to take it off. However I got on with it and it stayed on 💪

Men's Mental Health

D2 Complete 💪 Today i brought into the conversation about Men's mental health. Still, to this day is a very taboo subject. There’s a stigma surrounding mental health in Northern Ireland, with a mounting pressure on men to 'Man Up!' Men are less likely to open up to their family and friends about their struggles with mental health, which can have worrying consequences. In fact, suicide is the leading killer of men under 50 in Northern Ireland and 1 in 3 men have experienced suicidal thoughts as a result of feeling stressed. Food for thought....when was the last time u checked in on your friends? A simple phone call or a knock on the door could save someone's life. 💙 #StandUpForMen.  #ItsOkNotToBeOk #AwareNI

And my journey begins.....

D1 Complete. What a day to start. #InternationalWomensDay2022. To be given this opportunity to support this great cause of raising awareness for mental health is just fantastic. The stigma of mental health is very real and it really is a burden. Today has been very trying for me, carrying about the 3kg medicine ball. However from the support of my partner, family, FB friends, and donators I know I can do this. Tonight I went to my Slimming World group. Alot of people approached me, asking why I have a ball n chain. It's a great icebreaker. As I have been attending this class for 9 weeks now and I don't know everyone or talk to many people. By taking on this challenge I felt excited about carrying a weight about. However when the ball got cuffed to me I felt nervous and embarrassed. As I know I would have to explain myself. I am raising awareness for mental health for other people. However I'm also encouraging myself out of that hole I get myself into. Please help me through my 7 day journey of the medicine ball challenge by reading my daily posts and donating to my page. Thank you. Wish me luck 🙏❤

Thank you to my Sponsors

£30

Mum&dad

You've got this ❤💙xx

£26

Linda Macartney

Well done Joanne and a great cause. Thank you xx

£26

Mark Agnew

Good luck joanne your doing great

£26

Alex Livingston

£26

Jennifer Breen

Good for u big bird well done ✅ xx

£20.80

Rodney Asquith

Good Luck with your challenge Joanne

£20.80

Lorraine

Totally smashed it! Well done to you!

£20.80

Alan Gregg

Good luck jo

£20.80

Julie Clotworthy

£10 from me and £10 from ann mackay love u to the moon and back your doing amazing huni im glad i can call u my friend xxx

£20.80

Steph Carruthers

💕

£20

Antrim 4 Bin Crew

U can do it BIG BIRD!!

£20

Billy&ena

Well Joanne

£20

Posh, Donna & Amy

Outstanding!! Keep her lit!! 💪

£20

Shorty & Debbie

Woohoo!!! Fantastic!!

£20

Big Bro

Amazing!! Well done wee sis 💐

£20

David Hudson

£15.60

Ethel Cushnaghan

I'm on half pay love xx

£15.60

Shirley Montgomery

Absolutely outstanding to smash your target on Day 2!! Brilliant effort xx

£15.60

Andrea Steele

£15.60

Melissa

Doing absolutely amazing! Well done for all your hard work and persevering!

£15

Archie

Go go Jo Jo 👏

£10.40

John Cosgrove

£10.40

J Christie

£10.40

Neil

Sorted

£10.40

Sandra Carruthers

A very noble cause. Hopefully this will raise a lot more awareness of mental health issues.

£10.40

Joseph Foster

Good luck

£10.40

Cathy Gaston

£10.40

Lesley

Sorry it’s not more😢(I need oil soon!!) You are an absolute star for doing this🌟 Wonder Woman!! You’ve got this xx

£10.40

Paula

Ur doing brilliant xx

£10.40

Kay

Ur doing brilliant xx

£10.40

Rodney Macartney

Come on Big Bird!! ❤

£10.40

Mel

You can do this no probs wee cuz xx

£10.40

Colin Bell

£10

Keith Thompson

£10

Karen Hoey

Go girl!!

£10

James Caswell

Go a head big bird that your target hit

£10

Gerry Kelly

Well done!

£5.20

Ellyn Inshaw

Good luck Joanne

£5.20

Mc Ferran

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