Time Out

I was fortunate enough recently to go on a holiday to Wales with JJ, supporting our friend Jimmy, who is Deafblind. I never expected the holiday to be much other than work. It was so much more.

We had a wonderful time and made new friends who I hope will be in our lives forever. The views were breathtaking, the air clean and rich with smells of the country (yes – all of them).  I fell head over heels in love with every hill and valley and with the family that welcomed us into their home. I can’t wait to go back.

The most surprising thing we discovered when we arrived in this little patch of paradise was that there was no phone signal in the house. I didn’t know such places still existed! Our hosts generously offered to hook us up to the wifi but in what can only be described as a temporary lapse in sanity, a fleeting moment of wreckless abandon, I said “No thank you” and went off grid.

What happened next was magic.  I was present, truely present in the moments, in the room and in my head. I was no longer half listening with one eye on my social media. I was learning interesting things about the interesting people around me, I was spending time outdoors and playing wholeheartedly with the children…

I WAS BOTTLE FEEDING BABY GOATS!

BABY GOAT

All of the crap that life seems to constantly bombard us with dispersed and as the week went by the urge to check on what I was missing out on ebbed away too.

According to an offcom study, the average British Adult checks their phone every 12 minutes and is online for 24 hours a week! I’m one of them.  Phones are fab for keeping in touch but when I think about everything else I’ve been letting in with it…Brexit, War , Crime, Global Warming, Donald Trump, plus the constant media portrayal of perfect bodies, perfect lives, perfect lies… it’s no wonder I’m so overwhelmed half the time.

I realised during that week that my fear of missing out on what the world is doing can be the cause of me missing out on my own life. So I’m putting down the phone, even if it’s only for an hour a day.  I’m getting out there, for a walk, or taking time to sit and write or read a book. I’ll spend more time catching up with loved ones.  I will do something to bring myself more into the world and enjoy these moments while I can.

Thank you so much Mark, Sarah, Joe, Erin and Elliott (and a special mention to my best goat Wicket) for bringing me a bit of peace and a bit of perspective.  I can’t wait to see you all again soon.

World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day. Anyone who knows me, knows this is a subject very close to my heart and I want to take a moment to acknowledge it, and the importance of speaking out.

That’s why I’m literally speaking out. I write a lot and I know what I say resonates with people in similar situations because they tell me, but today I want to give my words a voice. My voice.

Mental Illness isn’t a dirty word.

Mental Illness isn’t something to be laughed at or ignored. It is no more a sign of weakness than having cancer or the flu or a broken bone. It is something that can affect us all at some point in our life, be it directly or indirectly.

We should not shy away from mental illness, we should talk about it before it becomes too much of a burden to carry and it crushes us beneath its weight. We should help other people by reaching out and asking them how they are and listening to the answer that is hidden behind the “I’m fine thanks” that will invariably follow.

We can recover from mental illness and we can relapse and it’s all part of the journey. It’s all okay. Just know that help is there. Be that help for someone else, reach out if you’re the person needing help yourself. Reach out when you feel yourself slipping, reach out before you fall too far.

Most of all, know this. Whether you have good mental health or whether you struggle, you are perfect, whole and complete. You are beautiful and you matter and whether you feel it or whether you don’t You make the world better by being a part of it.

There are lots of ways to help yourself heal, be it medication or meditation, talking therapies or just writing down the words to get them out keep trying until you get there and then keep trying some more. Take time to do things enjoy, if you don’t know what that is, dabble until you do. Be kind to yourself, love yourself until you start to FEEL that love again.

I want to finish by saying you never know what battle another person is fighting. Be kind because your compassion may be the catalyst that helps another person step back on the road to wellness.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me on my path, if I did it, so can you.

No matter how broken we might feel at times, we are strong, we are beautiful and we are whole.

Keep on keeping on, we’ve got this!