April 26, 2018 • Volume 11, Issue 17 • Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines
Motorsport Champ Justin Peck & Mental Health Month: Fueling the Connection Between Body and Mind
What do bp Magazine’s cover guy Justin Peck and Mental Health Month have in common? It’s their commitment to mental and physical health—and understanding that it is a journey—not a destination!
The journey for 44-year-old Peck, off-road racing champion, entrepreneur and author, has taken him on a rocky road of mental health challenges since childhood. But his fearlessness has been the cornerstone of navigating his full-throttle life, from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. After being diagnosed with bipolar I following a suicide attempt, (which he recounts in his recent memoir Bulletproof), Peck set out to live his best possible life.
Nowhere has this been more relevant than behind the wheel of his off-road racecar, where he’s not only notched out an enviable 27-year-career, but he’s also found “true mental peace” every time he’s puts on his helmet to race.
“I’ve always said that the helmet is my medication,” he says. “There’s something about being able to take my helmet and put it over my face right before I race that takes away the outside chaos and keeps me focused. It’s pretty amazing.”
After doing a lot of research on diet and physical fitness training, Peck competed successfully as a body builder. It was then he made the realization that his mind and his bipolar symptoms were much better.
He credits being able to master his life to understanding that what he does physically impacts him mentally. He explains that in addition to his medication regime it’s vital he take care of his “whole” self to help prevent onsets of depression and mania: watching his stress, getting the right amount of sleep, eating the right diet and adhering to a five-day a week weight and cardio program.
“Your body needs ample nutrition and fuel in order to retain focus,” he insists.
It seems Peck is the perfect advocate for May’s Mental Health Month. Launched by Mental Health America in 1949, this year’s theme is Fitness #4Mind4Body which encourages us to focus on what we can do to be fit for our futures—no matter where we are in our personal journeys to health and wellness—and, most especially, before a point of crisis.
A father and grandfather, Peck feels compelled to end the stigma and help others who are struggling: “I quickly realized that maybe if I was open, honest and raw about my past, I could change the way others thought about themselves and ultimately end the stigma of mental illness.” Read more >>
An Important Thing to Do in Spring to Sustain Stability
Self-monitoring is always crucial, but becomes even more so in spring, when the light changes. Try these tools to build a healthier, more stable lifestyle.
By Meg LeDuc
Monitoring ourselves, for those of us with bipolar disorder, is always important. But self-monitoring, for me, becomes even more important during the spring and fall, times when the changing light makes me more susceptible either to mania or depression.
Right now, in fact, is when I really need to bear down and stay on top of my game plan to prevent hypomania and mania. During spring, I need to make sure I am getting enough sleep, taking my medication regularly and at the same time every day, exercising, eating well, and getting enough down time—not, for instance, frenetically trimming trees all day long (as I did in a past spring). Read more >>