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‘I thrive by…’ from Nic


A person wearing a yellow jacket and purple leggings, holding their arms up with mountains in the background

I feel extremely grateful to write a short blog about what I do to feel good, keep well and thrive day to day. It is great to share these strategies so we can all learn from each other. However, what works for one person will not necessarily work for the next person. I have spent years dipping in and out of activities and strategies to support my mental wellbeing. Some have worked, some haven’t and that’s okay. But these are the ones that are good for me right now:

I thrive by going on a morning walk

I only started doing this very recently. I set my alarm for around 6.15am, get up, wrap up in my hat and scarf (it is definitely feeling a bit more like winter now) and go out and walk somewhere, wherever I fancy, for around 30-40 minutes. I absolutely love walking when the roads and streets are quiet. I feel it completely clears my head and sets me up for the hours ahead. I start the morning a happier and more alert person which has such a positive impact on the rest of my day.

I thrive by exercising

I am sure many people use this as a tool to support their mental health and I completely agree that it is great for doing so. No form of exercise is right or wrong, do what works for you. Recently I have really taken to swimming, both outdoor and indoor. After I have finished a swim I almost feel as if the water has cleared away all my negative and anxious thoughts from the day. Personally, exercise is the only activity where my mind doesn’t wander and think of other things. I am purely focussed on my breathing patterns when swimming or my reps when weightlifting. It is such a great way to just switch off from the outside and forget about life’s craziness for just a little while.

I thrive by connecting

Again, I am sure many people use this strategy to keep mentally well. However, it is the one strategy that I find really tricky to implement. I am introvert by nature, and I can quite easily shut myself off from others and want to be by myself. Sometimes talking and socialising with others feels a bit daunting to me. But when I do it…I feel FANTASTIC afterwards. After a simple coffee or a walk with a friend my mood instantly lifts, and I have a little skip in my step. So even though it can take a little nudge for me to do this …when I do it…I most definitely thrive.

I thrive by reading

Reading really helps me when my body feels tired and I know exercise is not the right strategy to use. I love getting lost in a good book. My mind does wander when reading and occasionally I need to approach it in short bursts instead of sitting down for two hours solid. I also love reading because by doing it you are constantly learning. You can fill your mind with so much other useful information that can help to quieten those intrusive and anxious thoughts.

I hope that by sharing these I can inspire someone else to give them a try and maybe even continue using them if they work. Finally, my advice to anyone when trying out different coping strategies would be to:

  • Do what works for you not what works for other people
  • Don’t compare your strategies to other peoples.
  • Review your strategies regularly and change them if necessary.

If you would like us to share your story, please email Julie at julie.huggan@health-in-mind.org.uk.


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