I’m sitting here, thinking about what keeps me well, helps me to thrive. Things like yoga, gardening and exercise come to mind; but just as important to me has been the practice of journaling and writing poetry. Putting together little collections and writing down my thoughts and feelings at various stages during the day or week, helps to motivate me. I struggle in the mornings, even though I see it as a beautiful, magical time, so I usually write in my journal during my first coffee of the day.
The best advice I have read comes from one of the other bloggers, who says not to compare yourself to others. I often think that I should be wild swimming or bagging Munros because I see posts on Facebook or a television programme about them.
In fact, what I do for myself and others is simply my own way of contributing. I am committed to volunteering in a cafe, which gives me a connection to my community and helps me to feel part of things. It has really improved my confidence with people, and I see it as my five-star dining facility. I still sometimes find socialising and dealing with the front counter hard – so I tend to work in the kitchen behind the scenes.
Music is important to me, whether listening to it or singing in the bath. I hope to get out to see some live music soon as lockdown is easing. I have sometimes written songs and sung them at my writers’ group or jam sessions with my partner.
Yoga is an integral part of my day – as is meditation and prayer. However, I still need to ask for help sometimes, and I have a support worker. I take medication to control my schizophrenia, and on occasion, I phone a helpline like Breathing Space, when the weight of world affairs or more personal worries are preying on me.
I see myself as part of nature. Even when I am cooking or writing – or doing something else that is peculiarly human – I try to ground myself within the ecosystem. This has a calming effect, and I feel at one with the animals and plants on earth and the stars and planets above.