There is always a sunshine behind every cloud is just one of the positive messages that well-being coach Aimee Browes tells her Happiness Bootcamp followers.
Aimee, a 19-year-old student from Hillsborough, first started her social enterprise business, The Happiness Bootcamp, to try and raise awareness of mental health - and bring happiness to people after battling her own demons
She said: “From a young age I have suffered with my mental health, I have felt alone, scared and not good enough.
“With the growing pressure of social media and peers around me I developed an unhealthy obsession with how I looked.
“Over time I forced myself into loosing weight and quickly developed body dysmorphic disorder and anxiety.
“In February 2015 this caused me to drop out of A-levels because I was so weak and had no energy.
“I felt like I was completely a lost cause. When it all became just too much I reached out for help, but all I got was a waiting list.
“I know what it feels like to be turned away in a doctors chair and then feel like there is no hope. But its not true and I wanted to do something to prove this.”
Supported by her family and boyfriend Adam Chambers, Aimee found her love of fitness and worked hard to achieve a fitness instructor qualification.
She said: “I then started college while my friends were all off to university and studied Level 3 BTEC extended diploma in Sport and Exercise Science.
“This began my own healing process and I decided to turn my life around and prove that I could be just as successful mentally and physically.
“Throughout those two years I set up The Happiness Bootcamp, and secured my university place for psychology at Sheffield Hallam.
“I set up the bootcamp to try and raise more awareness for mental health and for the young people who feel like I did.
“I began by creating a Facebook page and a blog in April 2016, and creating posts about dealing with panic attacks and stressful situations.
“I realised how much people needed this, they needed someone who understood in a comfortable setting rather than four medical walls. I like to say to people that they’re not alone.”
Aimee now organises fitness workshops and events to help teach people about mental health issues.
She added: “I want to provide others with a community that they can rely on - again to let people know that they are not alone.
“I decided to lead fitness sessions and begin working on plans and ways to link mental health with exercise. I posted these on my blog and had such a huge response so I realised this was the path I wanted to go forward with.
“For a long time I wasn’t able to do workshops like I wanted because many venues required funding, however I maintained my online presence and tried to spread as much love and happiness as I could.
“I did meet ups in local cafes and tried to help people. I also began going in to schools to talk about my experiences with anxiety and body dysmorphic disorder, which I love because it’s amazing seeing their faces light up when they realise their not alone.”
Since Aimee launched the bootcamp, her fan base on Facebook has grown and she has received lots of positive feedback.
She said: “From day one The Happiness Bootcamp has brought me so much love, happiness and hope.
“Seeing someone come to me feeling scared and shy and then leaving with the biggest smile on their face because they realise they are not alone makes me so happy.
“In such a dark world, if I can spread positivity and make one person smile then I’m successful. I hope to one day create The Happiness Bootcamp with it’s own premises and do this full time as this is my passion.”
Aimee will be holding a body confidence workshop on Tuesday October 24 at Union Street, city centre, between 7pm and 9pm.
Aimee said: “Join the Happiness Bootcamp in an evening of learning to love who you are.
“This packed session will be filled with confidence tips and advice on dealing with pressure and awful thoughts. The session will be followed with fun mindful mediation exercise.”
She added: “I’m lucky enough that I have been able to relaunch the workshops at Union Street in Sheffield. I’m running the body confidence workshop to help both females and males to love who they are.
“I want to put an end to body shaming and help people to be confident and love themselves.
“During the workshop I use mindful meditation and fitness to help people mentally.
“I always want to include fitness in my workshops as for me this helped so much with healing. Be this yoga, HIIT sessions, running or even just a walk, I always aim to include one.
“Fitness and exercise is a huge starting point in becoming positive and reconnecting with who you are.
“You can be any size, gender, race, religion - fitness doesn’t discriminate and is open for anyone to fall in love with.
“Through doing this, I realised how people really do need support from someone who’s passionate about making a difference I love what I do and feel so passionate about it.”
Praising partner Adam, Amiee added that he was her ‘rock’.
She said: “Adam has been a huge support for me and has been there through thick and thin, he’s like my Bootcamp assistant.”
The Happiness Bootcamp is open to people of all ages, but people under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Sessions are charged on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis. Although Aimee does ask for a contribution of £5 per person where possible, she is happy for people to but pay what they feel they can. For more information, visit www.thehappybootcamp.wordpress.com site.
Also, visit Aimee’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thehappinessbootcamp site.
You can also see her Instagram page at www.instagram.com/aimeebrowes site.
Get in touch with Aimee by e-mailing TheHappinessBootcamp@hotmail.com.