Here we are in the middle of winter and it’s still dark and cold and it can be quite gloomy outside. But does it have to be gloomy on the inside? It’s natural to have moods and emotions — and the key to leading a healthy, gloom-free life, is keeping a balance. We stand a better chance of achieving this when we become more aware of how we’re feeling and engage with others.
When you have a positive state of mind, it’s a good idea to take some simple steps to look after it. Every now and then, make time to ask yourself how you’re feeling, what’s good in your life, and what would you like to improve. This is a great way to realise how well things are going, and also gives you a moment to look objectively at those areas of life that might be holding you back. Wherever you are right now on the wellbeing scale, whether you’re high or low, engaging with others can help.
For someone who is feeling low, just being with others can be incredibly difficult but can be the first step to making positive life changes. This is where Muddy Fork, a local wellbeing and mental health charity, can help, by providing a safe and nurturing environment in their dedicated wellbeing garden based at the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Idle Valley Nature Reserve, North Road, Retford.
When Michelle joined Muddy Fork, it didn’t take her long to start making positive adjustments to her life. She said: “I think it’s very important to be part of something so positive such as the Muddy Fork project. It stops you feeling cut off or isolated from society. It gives you a sense of purpose and belonging, and it gives you something to focus on and look forward to. Personally, I suffer with PTSD and find it impossible to relax most of the time, but I am able to forget my worries when I’m there and I can breathe for a while!”
Muddy Fork’s special tip this month, to help you be gloom-free in the new year and beyond, comes from one of its volunteers:
‘Make a promise with a good friend, that you will meet regularly, once a week or once a month, and for 10 minutes or half an hour, take it in turns to tell each other about anything that is bothering you or winding you up. Just let it all out, with someone you can trust, and then return the favour by listening to them.’
Take care of yourselves as you make your way in 2018. If you’d like to find out more about Muddy Fork, please visit the website www.muddyfork.org or call Dom on 07421 356717.