Many people I know choose a 'word for the year'.A word they hope to orient their year around. A word they hope when they look back at the end of the year they will find has been the cornerstone, the theme underpinning all they have done.I have a word for this year. It has crept up on me. I think it came back from holiday with me in my suitcase.This year is a big year for me. My goals are bigger, my hopes higher.On 1st January I wrote (on Instagram):"I am looking forward to this new year. I feel excited,...

For World Mental Health Day some truth from my head and my heart.This much I know:Mental illness does not and should not disqualify you. Do not disqualify yourself because of it. What you perceive as weakness might be the truth someone else needs to hear, or give you the perception to understand how someone else is feeling. You are not disqualified. For more: read this. You are allowed to do what you need or want to do. This is true always but especially when it comes to managing and protecting you mental health. You need to cancel an appointment,...

To start, some truth:January can be hard.And if you are finding it hard, that does not make you weak.Because it can be hard.I feel this is worth repeating, let me make sure you know before you read any further:it is okay to be finding it hard. You are okay.So, Christmas is over, the decorations have been taken down and any post-holidays fog of wine and chocolate has lifted and been replaced by the stark reality that we are in a new year. 2018 is here. Everywhere there are adverts inviting me to become a 'new me' in this new year....

When the alarm went off this morning I was already weary.I am at the worst point of my period and I feel distracted and exhausted. My body is suffering, I have not slept well, and my belly aches. My mind is unable to settle, jumping from one thing to another.I am feeling low; a combination of hormones, lack of adult conversation and the rain that has fallen steadily all week,My first response is to attend to the long list of jobs that lies ahead of me today. I have writing projects that need attention, laundry to do, and meals to...

A list for anyone overwhelmed and stressed.A list for those of us who worry too much about what we cannot control.A list for the over-thinkers and the do-gooders.(A list for me).1. Don't play it safe.Wear the bright red lippy, the yellow dress, the dungarees you think make you look like an overgrown toddler. Clothes are for fun.2. Don't compare.You are beautiful and your life is good. Count blessings, dance in the kitchen. Silence the voice of comparison, it will make your life smaller.3. Don't hide.Let somebody in. The mask will become harder to remove the longer your wear it. Allow...

Yesterday as I was chopping a pepper for tea, I cut my finger.A small but deep incision in the tip of the third finger on my left hand.I put a plaster over it but it wouldn't stop bleeding. I tried to continue with the food prep but was soon stopped by the throbbing and the blood seeping out either side of the bandage.Thankfully I had someone who could take over, and a friend nearby with the know-how to re-bandage my cut.Beth took off my hastily applied band-aid and searched through the three half-empty first-aid kits in the drawer. She took...

I was raised on testimonies of healing. I was taught about the miraculous, Jesus healing the blind man, that meeting in South America when someone was raised from the dead, the missions in Africa where people had seen limbs re-grow and hearing restored.I thought healing was the only answer to the question of illness, because illness was always a sign something was badly wrong in your soul or heart or the world, right?I spent a long time waiting for the happy ending when I would stand and say I was now better. That my mental health was inviolable.When I would proclaim the...

We have been in Anglesey for about 8 weeks now. It has been fantastic.As I write this I am outside sat at the table under the parasol. If I look up I can see the mountains of Snowdonia in the distance and the patchwork of fields, with the occasional house or farm dotted in between. The swallows that have nested in the outhouse where we keep the broken garden furniture and an impressive collection of cobwebs swoop in and out, dancing above me. All I can hear is birdsong, my fingers tapping on the the keys and a distant radio...

I find it hard to know how to relate to my body. There is a lot of conflicting information thrown at me.It should be strong and sporty because 'this girl can'. It should be thin and well-kept because why wouldn't you make the most of what you have got? I shouldn't give it a second thought because appearances don't matter.It is confusing.And I am 37. Surely I should have got this one sussed by now?I know how I look is not the be all and end all.  And most of my life I have used this as my reason for...