His Love Island days are long behind him, and Dr Alex George is a familiar face in the conversation about mental wellbeing. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have down days.
We’re catching up as part of ITV2 and CALM’s How We Move series – a new show that’s all about finding new ways to look after your mental wellbeing. Dr Alex knows a thing or two about looking after other people – he’s a proper doctor and all. But there’s always room to learn new things. That’s exactly what he’s been doing – chatting to Evanna Lynch, Yinka Bokinni, Tia O’Donnell, Riyadh Khalaf, Rob Bruce and Krystal Lake about the weird and darn-right wonderful stuff they get up to when they’re feeling low.
Alex is passionate about finding ways to get through, but he hasn’t always been in the know.
“When I was 18, I just didn’t have a clue. I was heading off to university to study medicine and I had very little understanding about taking care of myself. So by the end of med school, I was getting worried with anxiety, and really became quite burnt out. It’s only then that I learnt to actually take care of myself.”
So what does looking after himself look like for the doc? He admits that sometimes, even he can’t find the motivation to prize himself off the couch after a hard day.
“You know, it’s not easy. Sometimes you just really don’t want to do the things that are good for you. I mean, last night, I had a long, long day. And I got back, I sat on the couch and I really didn’t want to go for a swim. I couldn’t be bothered. But I knew I hadn’t really moved all day. I needed to do it because it’d be good for me. So I did. I got myself out. I said ‘Come on. Let’s go do it’ and went and did the swim. And you know what? Afterwards, I felt absolutely amazing. It’s a bit annoying really.”
Swimming’s all good. But not everyone wants to take a dip when they’re feeling shit. Especially if they’re not good at it.
“I often hear people say ‘going for a jog isn’t going to make things better,’ and they’re absolutely right. But the idea is consistency. Making consistent changes to your life that are positive and good for you. It’s not just one thing. It’s like going to the gym and doing one weight session and thinking you will suddenly be an Olympic weightlifter.