Wilbur Smith – Tips on Writing

I was hugely excited and proud to have a blog published on the Mind website this week; it was all about how writing helps my mental health.

Writing My Way Through Anxiety and Depression

Creative writing is great fun and I really enjoy letting my mind go wild, and that is what I did with my novel ‘Rotten Apples’ and it’s hero Jimmy, I just had fun with it.

I haven’t written creatively for a long time now and it is something I will go back too; I have drafts of Jimmy’s further adventures; tackling smugglers in Cornwall and coming face to face with blood diamond dealers in South Africa.  I have lots of other ideas for novels, but they will just have to wait for now.

Some of you may want to write creatively, and like me at the start, not really know how to go about it, so I thought I would share some tips from a master of adventure; best selling author Wilbur Smith. Read more

Marathon Man – My Running Journey, Part 1.

Monday 6th May 2019 will forever be marked as one of the greatest days of my life; the day I completed the Milton Keynes Marathon!

All the books and articles about mental health that I have read say that exercise is great therapy; walking the dog worked, but I wanted more, I wanted to lose the Homer Simpson gut that too much alcohol had given me; I also wanted to achieve something, anything.

I started running short distances because that’s all I could manage, the problem was that I had no idea how far I was going, so I decided to get a running app on my phone called ‘Map My Run’.  The first recorded distance I achieved was 4.75k, which was a pretty good effort.

Motivation was a big problem for me, especially when the depression got bad; it’s easy to talk yourself out of things at the best of times, but when I hit rock bottom I just couldn’t scrape myself off the sofa.  I needed a goal, something that would get me out and running. Read more

Shall I Compare Me to a Shark?

As I mentioned in my last blog I have started an introductory course in counselling; during the introductions we were asked to say which animal we were most like, and then yesterday we had to talk about that while another person listened.

I had really struggled to decide which animal I think am like, and thought that I had avoided the question until it came up again yesterday.  In a way, I am glad it did because it meant I had to come up with something and then try to explain it.

The one animal that came to my mind was a shark, which seemed quite odd to me because I am not a fearsome predator at the top of a food chain; I would probably have thought I was more like a sardine, something small and insignificant, but I kept coming back to a shark. Read more

Back to School – Introduction to Counselling, Level 2

I left school when I was 17; I had finished my A-Levels and couldn’t get out of the place quick enough.

It is safe to say that I hated school, or maybe I should say my school; it was fine if you were one of the smart ones or really good at sports, but if you were somewhere in the middle you kind of went unnoticed.

The place was also a breeding ground for anxieties which I pretty much kept to myself. Read more

A Walk in the Woods – Looking for Shinrin-yoku.

“A tree with strong roots laughs at storms” – Malay Proverb

We all know that getting out and walking is good for our mental health, but for that bit extra help in feeling better take a walk in the woods.

Walking among trees is really good for our wellbeing.  You must have felt it when you’ve been for a walk in woodland; the feelings of relaxation and grounding, of feeling more peaceful?  The Japanese call this feeling shinrin-yoku, or forest breathing.

I will be exploring more about why walking amongst trees is so good for us, but for now I want to share a couple of my experiences with you, and yes….. this is when it gets a bit woo woo, but bear with me. Read more