Are you feeling S.A.D.? Mental health awareness week

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What 3 things make you feel good?

Firstly, please don’t be put off by the title!  It’s not my intention for this to be a sad or depressing post, but merely a case of dropping in to talk about mental health, a topic very close to my heart. We’ll also come back to those 3 things later…

I’m currently on a walk as this post pops into my head for mental health awareness week.

I had a rough idea of what I wanted to write about, but it’s only now that I realise how moods can really change during a week, even over the course of a few hours.

When I originally wanted to write this, I was feeling okay. Now even on my walk, I’m realising the positive impact just a simple stroll can have on a depleting mood.

I’d been in a sour mood for most of the day or the week up to that point – even moving my body at the gym didn’t make me feel too great, but getting outside for a short time did.

If you’re like me, you might feel that you forget how good it feels just to get out for a few moments, whether that be on your own or with someone else (I normally take my lovely pup Harry), where I feel so much better afterwards.

Every year, time flies so quickly that I seem to forget there is a common theme, particularly at this time of year where the seasons change in the UK. Being treated to boiling hot, stuffy summers, to then a mild and wet, or windy and cold autumn (welcome to the UK where we love to talk/moan about the weather!). This in fact relates to S.A.D. No, it’s not that I’m really SAD, but dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (or Winter Blues), something that affects more than 2 million people in the UK.

It’s funny how small bits of news can bring you up and down across the week, only for you to look back and see the current of emotions splashing behind you.

But as it is an important week for reflecting on our mental health – although every day it’s important to do so – I’m so glad I’ve documented my journey with mental health, where you can see in just over 2.5 years how my situation and mindset has changed! I mentioned in that post that my mental health journey was ongoing; it still is now.

Finding things that make you want to get up each day besides paying for a roof over your head and food in belly are great drivers. For me, it’s the small things like walking my dog, reading amazing books, and writing – I want to be a writer! I love creating!

Back to those 3 things that make you feel good. If you’re feeling down whilst reading this, firstly I’m sorry to hear that, you are not alone.

Take a few moments and think about your favourite things, or small pleasures that you enjoy and spend some time doing that to feel a bit better.

I’ve got better at remembering I’ve a few, so I’ll start:

  • Long walks – it’s gentle exercise and great thinking time. Sometimes if I’m really overwhelmed, it helps to calm me down or I just space out completely. I also value this time away from screens and embracing nature
  • Books – I love reading and even blogged about every single book I was reading for a time (until it got very time consuming!). I thoroughly enjoy listening to Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun and The Instant, both written and read by her, where she describes her life dealing with alcoholism, loneliness, mental health, living in the Scottish Highlands, and then the impact of the internet, both titles giving some hope that there is a way out of such deep matters.
  • Podcast – My favourites for a long time include Hattie Crissell’s In Writing, and Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete podcasts. Both creators also have Substack newsletters under the same name which I highly recommended subscribing to

I hope this has helped you somewhat. I try to make everyone’s day a little better with these posts and on my YouTube video.

And remember, it’s always better in the morning – it’s a new day and a fresh start for you.

Still feeling down?

You are not alone. Please, if ever you feel in a dark or sad place there is help available.

-Samaritans: 24/7, Phone: 116 123
-Speak to your GP. Book sooner rather than later. Your feelings can change by the time you have an appointment, but it is important to seek help before it gets worse

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