As I mentioned in my last blog, I am going to try and enter 2021 with an air of optimism, and that means focusing on things that I can have some semblance of control over. A lot of my plans will still be pandemic allowing, but as with this year, it’s about being adaptable so that I can keep trying to move forward.
Despite all the stress and the upheaval of moving to a new house this year, I managed to set the groundwork for things that I can take into the new year, and hopefully grow and develop them.
One thing I am really excited about is The Phoenix Enterprise Program, which is being run by Helen Roberts and Ray Lavery, with the support of Richmond Council; the program runs for a year, and is helping businesses and start-ups (that are either located in, or do business in the borough of Richmond Upon Thames) to grow; and I can’t wait to be part of it.
So, here’s what I’m taking into 2021 and how I want to develop them; I’ve also added some CAN YOU HELP? sections for areas that I basically need help with…..
Adventures of An Anxious Mind.
‘Adventures of an Anxious Mind’ went virtual this year, and while I missed the actual events, I still got a lot of running done, hitting the roads and tracks around my local village. For someone who struggles with social anxiety, it was great to share my challenges on the village Facebook groups, and it was lovely to have people wave and wish me well when out on my runs.
My highlight was completing the Camino de Santiago challenge of running 480.9 miles in just under three months.
I raised more money for Mind. Since I started my challenges at the end of 2018, I’ve raised £1050! Which is awesome. I sometimes get discouraged, and feel it’s not enough, but considering my limitations and the financial pressures people are under, I think it’s a bloody good effort, so thank you to everyone who has donated.
Each year I want to try and make the challenges bigger and harder; for 2021 I will still be at the mercy of Covid-19, but I have plans, some which are confirmed and others more of a wish list at the moment.
The Milton Keynes Marathon – May
The Great Hertfordshire AONB Marathon – June
The Wish List for 2021:
The Brighton Marathon – September
The Chiltern 50k – September
The London Marathon (keeping fingers crossed for a ballot place) – October
The reason some of the challenges are on the wish list is because of a lack of funding. I can’t afford to cover the cost of entry myself at the moment, even for charity places, and so I’m going to look for some sponsorship options.
CAN YOU HELP? – I am looking for companies that are interested in supporting my efforts, ideally financially, but also with equipment (as the challenges grow bigger). I know it’s not exactly the best time to be asking for money, however the more challenges I can do, the more money we can raise for a charity who’s work is needed more than ever at the moment.
To give you an idea of where I want to take ‘Adventures of an Anxious Mind’; I have been thinking about a three-year plan, culminating in a team climbing Kilimanjaro in 2023. Unfortunately, without any support this will remain a dream, and even the smaller challenges may also have to stop, so if you know of, or run a company that would be interested, let me know.
Anxiety & The Brain.
Towards the end of the year, I created my talk, ‘Anxiety and The Brain’, where I share some of the things I have learnt in my journey living with anxiety. Basic neuroscience is at the core of the talk because it is key to helping you understand what causes anxiety, the physical responses, and most importantly how to manage it. Once you understand some of the basic science, you then see how different therapies work, and even how what we eat impacts our mental health.
My plan is to present my talk to as many organisations as I can, including Universities, Colleges, Sports Clubs, Business Networking Groups, Individual Companies, and Social Groups/Organisations.
CAN YOU HELP? – If you think a company or organisation you are part of could benefit from my talk, then let me know. At the moment I‘m presenting it on-line, via Zoom.
One key bit of feedback I received from the talks I have already done, came from parents who said that they had a child who struggled with anxiety, and the talk helped them to understand the disorder better, and alter the support they were giving. This was massive for me, and I would love to take my talk to schools, however I think it may need tailoring to the different age groups.
CAN YOU HELP? – If you’re a teacher, and you think you could help with this, then let me know.
And Breathe Blog.
Writing is still my main passion, and so I want to be more consistent with my blog. There is still so much information about anxiety and depression that I want to share, so I am determined to grow the blog next year.
You can expect blogs on how a healthy gut can help your mental health, the negative effects of alcohol, some individual therapies and how they help reduce anxiety and depression, further recommended reads, and much more.
HOW YOU CAN HELP? – I would like the blog to become a hub for all things anxiety and depression related, and that means getting other people involved with guest blogs.
If you have a story to share about your own personal struggle with anxiety or depression and feel confident enough to share it, then do get in touch. You may be caring for someone with a mental health disorder and want to share your story.
True stories are very powerful; telling them not only benefits you, but also those who read them. There is still a taboo around mental health disorders, and a lot of people think they are alone in their struggle, I would like the blog to reach out to those people and show them they are not alone.
Also, if you are a therapist or help people with anxiety and depression, I would love to hear from you. I can share what I learn from the books I read, but it would be great to hear directly from the professionals and the people who offer support to those who are struggling.
I am also planning to add lots of mini meditation videos to my Youtube channel, so you will always have a minute of calm in the palm of your hands, wherever you are; here’s a sample to start you relaxing.
That’s it! Should be enough to keep me out of trouble next year. I’ll keep you posted on how things are progressing.
In the meantime, I wish you a safe and healthy 2021, and I hope that you can find space and time to grow your dreams.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.