When equine veterinarian and farrier, Raul J. Bras DVM CJF, was tagged in the 25-day Push-Up Challenge, he didn’t think much of it. As a busy equine professional, husband, and father, he has little time to set aside for social media fun. However, when he noticed the name of the person who tagged him, and realized the reason behind the initiative, it took on an entirely new meaning.
Because May was Mental Health Awareness Month, there had been a challenge circulating social media channels asking participants to attempt 25 push-ups every day for 25 days. The idea was to raise awareness for mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and depression. A noble cause, indeed, but this challenge hit home particularly hard for Raul, because of his profession.
Studies have shown that veterinarians are FOUR times as likely to take their own lives than the general public.
“Doing push-ups is something that’s hard and painful, much like struggling with a mental health issue like anxiety, stress, or whatever you’re going through,” Raul says. “The whole message is that your mind is stronger than your pain. So, while you’re working out and creating a healthy body, you create a healthy mind. With a healthy mind, you can allow your body to acclimate to the pattern you choose, not allowing external factors to affect you, but focusing on the internal.”
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