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...

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...

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...

Two weeks ago I sprained my ankle. I was exercising at home and for no obvious reason, maybe I wasn't fully paying attention, maybe I was being a little gung-ho, I went over on my ankle and fell to the ground. As I fell I heard a loud snapping sound, turning my stomach and convincing me it was broken. I shouted, a lot and loudly. Then I tentatively undid my trainer, eased my foot out and removed my sock. I watched, with fascination as my ankle doubled in size before my eyes. I was in pain and I was angry. This was...

Before you can love anyone else. Before you can care for anyone else. In fact if you want to be any use to anyone long term: You have to love you first. I used to think loving myself was selfish. I thought prioritising my needs was self-indulgent. Surely it was better to sacrifice what I wanted to make others happy? I was a classic people pleaser, believing I would be loved and accepted only if I behaved and performed as others' wanted me to. So I morphed and changed according to who I was with. I tried to keep a lid on any...

Last week I was tired. A combination of over-work, broken nights and an increase in the emotional needs of the kids had worn me out. I was physically tired, but more than that I was emotionally and mentally tired. My body and brain had been operating at more than full capacity for a while and I needed a break. There are times we have to over-exert ourselves; a busy patch at work, a friend or loved one falls ill and needs caring for, a house move or other circumstantial change. There are seasons when we all have to dig deep and work...