Mental Health Awareness Week: Hamza Choudhury on the value of talking

Hamza Choudhury: "Just to tell other people about your problems is something that is so amazing and essential to you feeling better"

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As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Leicester's Hamza Choudhury reveals his coping mechanisms for when problems arise in his life

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Leicester midfielder Hamza Choudhury has revealed his coping mechanisms for when problems arise in his life.

The 22-year-old, who progressed to the Foxes' first team through their academy system, had forced his way into Brendan Rodgers' plans this term and had appeared in 16 of the club's 29 top-flight fixtures prior to the league's suspension, due to the coronavirus pandemic, in March.

Speaking to the Premier League, Choudhury revealed that he has found simply talking to others about his problems has the ability to significantly lift his mood and outlook.

"Luckily for me, me and my family are really close and there's people that I can talk to and trust," he said.

Ball boy to first-team: Choudhury's rise not over yet

Ball boy to first-team: Choudhury's rise not over yet

Hamza Choudhury tells Sky Sports about going from ball boy to Leicester midfielder, his England aims and his Foxes idol.

"Honestly, when you do talk about it, it makes you feel so much better. It's such a cliche but it's a weight lifted off your shoulders and you can try and relax and see the good things in your life, the positive things, and positive people around you.

"I feel like that's the best way to deal with it - to open up and trust other people with what you're suffering with, or dealing with at the time.

"If you try and deal with stuff yourself, you can end up going round and round in circles, procrastinating, and filling yourself with anxiety. Just to tell other people about your problems - it might not even be that you need advice - for them just to listen and be there for you is something that is so amazing and essential to you feeling better eventually."

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N'Golo Kante battles for possession with Hamza Choudhury
Image: Hamza Choudhury battles for possession with N'Golo Kante

With his last appearance coming in the 1-0 FA Cup victory over Birmingham on March 4, the former England Under-21 international has faced a particularly lengthy spell away from the pitch, but he revealed that sticking to a routine has been key over the past two months.

He said: "Keeping fit, keeping active, and having my family here has made it so easy for me. Obviously some people aren't as lucky to be in the situation that I am in but to just pick up the phone and speak to my mum or my cousins refreshes you, and gives you stuff to look forward to once these times are over.

"Halfway through [lockdown], I started playing PlayStation until silly times in the morning and it does make you feel groggy. You wake up late and your routine is all out of place and that's something that I've tried hard to get back into. Starting your day off early and in a good mood is so important to how the rest of your day goes."

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from May 18-24 2020. Find out more here.

If you're affected by issues related to mental wellbeing or want to talk, please contact the Samaritans on the free helpline 116 123, or visit the website.

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