If at first you don’t succeed….. Well folks, it’s been over a year since I began my journey to improve my mental health, which to be honest, sputtered and fell at the first hurdle. I am now feeling much better and brimming with a renewed sense of hope. Hence, I thought it would be a useful to reflect on why it took so long to find my way back to mental wellbeing. Before launching in, it is important to acknowledge the complexity of mental health recovery, which is not an absolute destination. Rather it is a continual process of building
What is Ambient Wellness? It is not a phrase you hear often, but Ambient Wellness was tipped by Trendwatching.com in 2016 to be a key topic for shaping the future of the health and wellbeing sector. Whilst the phrase may not yet have caught on, they were right. Whilst we often look inwardly to improve our mental health with meditation practice, diets and physical exercise, our surrounding environment can have a huge effect on us physically, mentally and emotionally. The word ambient means surrounding, encompassing or encircling. We often think of it in terms of background noise, temperature, light or
What is Ecotherapy? Ecotherapy (Green Therapy/Nature Therapy) is a method for increasing contact with our environment and the natural world. It is a name given to treatment programs which help improve wellbeing via activities incorporating exposure to nature. Some projects may not be advertised specifically as ecotherapy programs, but benefit can be drawn from any outdoor pursuit. Many of these activities can be undertaken at any time, either on your own or as part of a group for added social benefits. For example, one could join a rambling club, gardening society, or a conservation program. Specific ecotherapy treatments are available
Why I need to improve my mental health Last year was rough. Don’t get me wrong: there were no great tragedies. I did, however, come very close to having a breakdown. My fragile mental state crept up on me throughout the year as I suffered a series of small mental injuries, most of which were work-related. Things came to a head in November when I crashed and burned at an interview for a prestigious job. I managed to limp through the remainder of the year welcoming an uncharacteristically long (for me) Christmas break. Over the festive break, Steve and I
My brother-in-law was talking with friends when one of them said: “I haven’t felt well since 1985!” After chortling over this comment, I suddenly thought: “hang on, when was the last time I actually felt 100% well?” I realised that I hadn’t been living a balanced lifestyle for some time. We live in a world of extremes, where moderation can seem dull and boring. We seem to oscillate between strict discipline and overindulgence. In my early twenties, I was overweight and constantly on a diet. Some days were more successful than others. On those “unsuccessful days” I fell into the
If like me you hibernate in the winter months then you maybe missing out. Do you: Dread winter and get more depressed as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder? Hibernate for half the year? Look forward to Christmas and then have the pangs of regret in January as you review the bank statement? Spend the rest of the year looking forward to your summer holiday? Personally, I do all of the above and suffer from trying to fit all the good times into a few short months of the year then suffer from SAD during most of
I have been perilously close to burning out on a couple of occasions. Fortunately, I have managed to avoid falling into a full downward spiral by taking time off work to gain perspective and soothe my frazzled nerves. Burnout is insidious. Before you know it, work loses all meaning and your confidence crumbles. At this point, it can go one of two ways. In the best-case scenario, you somehow feel able to put your life on hold and give yourself chance to recover. In the worst-case scenario, you feel unable to take time off work and eventually develop burnout syndrome.
Nothing helps improve your mood more than getting outdoors and back to nature. From feeling the first hot rays of spring sunshine on your face, to breathing the crisp air of a Winter’s morning. Whether it’s a sea view, a mountain top vista or just the physical exercise; a walk can have many positive benefits and can restore some of the all important life balance. A walk can be as gentle or challenging as you want to make it. It may be a sponsored hike up the nearest mountain with a set time limit. It may be just taking the