In this episode I look at the many varying ways I learnt to calm my anxiety. Some of these are small physical and practical changes, some were skills I learnt, others still were difficult relational choices I had to make. I hope this might help you if you have recognised you are struggling with anxiety and don't know what could help. Here are some other places/ resources which  you can go to for help: MIND, The Mental Health Foundation, CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably - specifically aimed at young men.) Maternal Mental Health Alliance (specifically for Mums in pregnancy or...

In this episode I discuss my mental health diagnosis (initially with Post-Natal Depression and then with Generalised Anxiety Disorder.) Being diagnosed with a strange experience, it changes nothing and everything. Here I discuss my initial reactions to the diagnosis and what I then went and did about it with my usual level of skin-off honesty. If you are struggling with your mental health, or maybe you haven't quite got to the point of describing it like this, but you know you are not in a good way, please reach out and talk to someone, a close friend, a GP, someone who...

2020 has been hard. This is news to exactly no one. We are worn out and anxious and living in a state of constant uncertainty. I don't have solutions to the big problems we are facing right now; I don't have a cure for Covid, or financial solutions to the crisis' faced by many businesses. I can't change the world, but I am realising there are ways I can help myself. 2020 has eroded our personal sense of wellbeing. Our mental health has been impacted. The consequences of home-working, lack of personal space and limits on our freedoms have left us feeling unfulfilled, despondent...

It is possible to live most of your life asleep to the things that really matter. Modern life - life as we know it - works to prevent us from thinking deeply about anything.  The pace, the activity, the busyness, the screens, the hustle, the consuming and our ever-expanding expectations conspire to shrink our attention span and distract us from spending any time pondering the important stuff. We are numbed from the big questions: why are we here? who are we? what does it all matter anyway ? And if it is not the speed of life that prevents us, we can find ourselves actively...

I love Christmas. I love the food and being together. I love decorating the house and buying gifts. I love the opportunity to celebrate. But. There is a but. All the expectations around what Christmas could or should be can make me anxious. Until a few years ago as December approached I would find myself starting to worry. Would everyone have a good time? Had I remembered everyone's presents? Did the house look festive enough? Pressure and stress built up as the list of non-negotiable (as I saw it at the time) events filled my diary. I would panic about the most bizarre things: would...

A few weeks ago at one of my 'Talking About Anxiety' events, a woman asked a question. This question gets asked in one form or another at every event I run. We were talking about negative mindsets and how they affect our mental health. About how we need to learn to accept the truth that we are enough despite our (lack of) achievements or our (low) popularity or our (too large) dress size, despite our (lack of) wealth or our (poor) health or the (bad) behaviour of our children. Mostly (although not always) these days I manage to speak to my inner...

Travelling can make me anxious. New places, new food, new routines can all trip me into an anxious state, increasing my heart rate and temperature, distracting me and leaving me unable to relax. I have found this very frustrating. The time of the year when I am most looking to unwinding, often ends up being the very time I battle to retain my peace. But this year we went to Portugal for 12 days. And I was not anxious. I was a bit nervous about going: the flight, the drive to the hotel, what the accommodation would be like. But none of these...

May is mental health awareness month. A time to share experiences and challenge stigma. And one thing you are sure to hear is someone to say: it is time to talk. Being vulnerable about your mental health can be beneficial and aid recovery, but to be brave and start a conversation often feels impossible. It did for me. My diagnosis with post-natal depression and anxiety took me by surprise. I didn't know what it meant. I felt ashamed and afraid of how others would react. Better to deal with this in private and keep my friends, than be honest and risk losing them, I thought. But...

An unexpected diagnosis. During my third session with my therapist she told me she thought I was suffering with Post-Natal Depression. Aside from the shock, the shame and the fear of what this might mean, I was also confused. I thought women with post-natal depression struggled to bond with or feel love for their baby. This was not the case for me. Also this was my third child, I loved him as I loved my daughters - unequivocally and from the get-go - if I was depressed now, was I depressed then? (me and my gorgeous boy. 2010) The answer to this un-asked question...