This week was Mental Health Awareness week (theme: body image) and perhaps we have all been thinking a little bit more about our own mental health and what it means for us.
I was involved in several activities as part of the Seabirds programme this week to raise awareness for MIND and to encourage people who may be in crisis to reap the benefits from taking the plunge, AND/OR from self-care activities such as outdoor fitness classes; mindfulness sessions; body image workshops; restorative yoga; and blue moon swims!
I have to say that as much as I enjoyed it and loved meeting so many new faces, I struggled. I found myself feeling low and quite tearful much of the week. Each day I woke, I was met with the old familiar feelings of anxiety and worry.
Each day I moved my body, did my gratitude journal and each day I swam. And I got through it. I was met daily with the wonderful warmth, unquestioning acceptance of the seabirds who guided me through the week as much as I guided my own class attendees through their fitness routines.
Only very recently have I opened up about my own issues, although for many of my closer friends it has been abundantly clear at times (you know who you are – thank you!)
I have always felt I should just be able to get over it and move on. Now I’ve realised, however, that I am not alone but for this realisation to hit home, I had to find the courage to step outside of my comfort zone, be vulnerable and open up about my experience. We need to be able to find the space to share OUR stories without fear of judgement so that we in turn can encourage others to do the same.
“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”