mental health and travel
When I first started working for the Basingstoke Sports Centre in April 2012 in the maintenance and cleaning department there were a few things about the job that I was to benefit from. I got to work in a thriving, friendly and healthy environment where there was always something interesting happening. The Basingstoke Sports Centre is a large place with seven floors of sports and fitness activities and there is something different to do each day, in various parts of the building. I have enjoyed interacting with staff, members and other customers while going about my work and I enjoy the dynamic - whether it’s talking to older customers as they have their coffee meet ups in the cafe, the toddlers having their first swimming lessons or the gym goers pumping iron whose motivation and dedication Is impressive.
Springtime Colours (not the blues) – with photography by Alli Ross
Once again I feel privileged to be able to write about positive mental health. I know lots of people are battling demons and I know I am lucky to be on a continuing journey of happiness and recovery.
Last week was Mother’s Day and I’m lucky with that too – I couldn’t wish for a more qualified mum if I’d picked one out myself. I got her a big bunch of flowers and we went to an ‘Open Garden’ event at Bere
I wanted to do a blog post about the things I like best about my life as it is today. I’m sure it will change in the coming weeks as I have a few exciting things lined up including a trip to Edinburgh on a sleeper train, my first journey of such a kind. I love trains. I love planes – ironic as I’m shit scared of heights, but I am astounded at their beauty and engineering marvel. Every time I take my mum to Heathrow airport as I did last week, they fly directly above while we’re driving and it’s –
“Wow! Look at that. That is a Boeing 777.” (You can tell from the massive engines, one on each wing, and the absence of winglets for aerodynamic efficiency. The 777 is the only large plane that doesn’t have
Being quite a creative thinker, I have my ways of dealing with and looking after my mental health. I do all the usual stuff: occasional meditation, relaxing when I can, talking about things with friends and family etc. Today though, it was playing some golf
I haven't posted for a long time! It's easy to say "I haven't had time". But I did add another part time job to my already busy life five months ago. As well as being a cleaner/maintenance assistant at the nearby sports centre and making small carpentry projects in a workshop that are sold in a shop, I now work as a peer support worker on the local PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) ward, the very same ward where I was a patient many times 2001 - 2006.
I have not been up to my usual self for the last four days.
My small problems with anxiety have been interrupting things and building without me really noticing. My mum went on holiday to Amsterdam this morning, something that has made me anxious in the past, but that was a long time ago.
It's been over seven years since the last time her going on holiday has caused me anxiety. These days I find myself enjoying more independence, saving money on dishwasher detergent and eating as much steak as I want when she holidays. So I've been sat down, chilling, playing on my phone since getting home from work, waiting for the anxiety to pass. The whole day I've been wondering whats wrong, and thinking to myself 'I thought I was over this sort of thing'.
And then it occurred to me.
Since the hecticness of looking after my nieces for a week two weeks ago, I have neglected to remember to do things to keep well. I have found, and even written about (in an article on this website, click on the article page with the picture of Lake Como and scroll down) the importance of doing small, regular things to keep well. If you don't keep up small amounts of effort to stay well when you have had and recovered from a mental illness, you increase the risk of having a partial or more acute relapse.
Keeping well by doing small things is essential for me, it's very easy really - just remember to do it!
Aside from that things are okay. Except from tooth pain. I have sensitive teeth and recently tried switching toothpaste. I have sensitive teeth because, according to my dentist, I spent a few years constantly snacking on Satsumas without realising that the acid in them can wear away tooth enamel. Sensitive toothpaste works in one of two ways, it either deadens the nerves, relieving pain - or it fills the holes that lead to the nerves, relieving pain.
I tried switching, which hasn't worked, so I'm going to switch back and hope I feel better, if I don't I fear it might be time for some serious tooth extraction, as most of my left side is painful. I'm sure the dentist can suggest something though.
To end on a lighter note, congrats to Prince Harry and Meghan. I've always liked them.
Still all good, back at work now after a long week off looking after my nieces. At 9pm I suddenly remembered while sat networking on my phone that I needed to put on a load of laundry, so I've just done that and now of course I have to wait for that to finish before I can go to bed.
I don't really like hanging up the washing at 10.30pm when I'm half asleep, especially when it's mostly underwear as it is tonight, but I'm sharing too much.
I haven't had even a thought of anxiety today, lucky me and I hope I don't tomorrow either. Downstairs on the TV is a programme about Meghan Markle, lovely woman, and good luck to her and Harry. I've spent a lot of my free time today searching out people on social media with an interest in mental health who might like my website and writing them a quick note to advertise it.
Since doing that at 4pm I've had over two hundred hits on my humble little site, such is the power of Twitter and Facebook to reach lots of people in a flash.
I've been waiting to hear back from the mental hospital in town that I attended when I was seriously unwell 12 years ago, as I have applied to do some work as a peer support worker there. I have been told that I am a shoo-in because it's only part time and voluntary at the moment, but I hope, and have been told that it could quite likely turn into a full time paid role.
It feels like a natural career progression for me to work in mental health, and I'm quite enthusiastic to start.