Im struggling on, am really low today, I wish my clouds, would go away! It just feels today, I cant raise a smile,
Not been this way, for quite a while!
Maybe I got a visit, from the black dog,
Or maybe just suffering, with a bit of brain fog?
But either way, as I go through my day,
Ill just be gentle, and feel my way, To take each single step, I find That it can challenge, both spirit and mind! But onwards and upwards, I ease myself on, Because I know, this wont last long!
By being hard on myself, I will not win,
So, I have to love me, to begin again!
To lift myself up, to face the light,
Sometimes thats hard, when you feel like shite! But deep down inside, I really do know, From the deepest shit, the best flowers grow! Life goes in cycles, it often repeats, Until we learn those lessons, and admit those defeats! But as time goes on, as history has shown, We can all look back, and see how weve grown!
It sometimes feels, were on a downward spiral And doom and gloom, are just going viral! Whats life about, what is the objective?
Its not often clear, theres little perspective!

Sometimes were up, sometimes were down,
And it feels like life, just goes round and round!
What is the meaning, what have we to learn?
From that feeling inside, thats just like heartburn! Those days when we notice, no laughter or mirth, And we feel disconnected, from heaven and earth, All we can do, is to sit down and wait, Acknowledge the darkness, till it starts to abate! The longer we sit, and welcome it in, The quicker we start, to feel light again! For its not until, we start to see,
We all have a dark side, thats how its meant to be!
We are all made up, of light and dark,
Like two ends of a magnet, it can pull us apart!
Like left and right, and up and down,
Like having a laugh, then wearing a frown!
So the sooner we see, we own a dark side too,
The sooner well recover, from feeling so blue! And to top it all, we all have a choice, To flick the switch, and use our voice! To ask for help, from our friends, For a problem shared, soon makes amends! So, if you too, feel down and alone, Get off your backside, and onto thephone!

Ric Caunce
19 th April 2018

Here are 12 proven ways you can help your mental health in these tough times

As the coronavirus pandemic sees a shift in every element of our lives, the need to protect and support our mental health has arguably never been more important. 

An ongoing study by the University of Sheffield and Ulster University

showed that on Tuesday 24 March, the day after Boris Johnson placed Britain under lockdown, 38% of study participants reported significant depression and 36% reported significant anxiety.

This compared with 16% reporting significant depression and 17% reporting significant anxiety the day before the announcement.

So what can we do? 

Research from the science of positive psychology about how to support our mental health can offer help. We are guided by the fact that we are all different – a five mile run every day may make you happy but doesn’t do it for me. This is a period in which we will really get face to face with who we are and what works for us. 

12 things you can do to help your mental health in lockdown

With that in mind, here are 12 different things we currently look after ourselves, and ideas on how to adapt them in these times of isolation.

1) Look after your physical health

In order to have good mental health, we have to take proper care of our physical needs, include:

2) Manage your thinking

Thinking patterns are habits. That negative thought  is not the truth, it’s just a perspective. Write negative thoughts down, then return to them and deconstruct their validity.

3) Maintain a human connection

We may not be able to hug the people we love until the end of this period but social media really comes into its own here, as does video conferencing. We’ve got virtual book clubs running, gigs from people’s sitting rooms, quizzes. Get involved if you’re missing the social aspect of life.

4) Manage what you read

Limit yourself to official news channels and just once a day. If you have people who are constantly catastrophising in this period, mute them for a while – they don’t need to know!

5) Learn

Perfect for the self-improvers. Learning allows us to expand ourselves and puts our situation into perspective. Enrolling in an online course could change your whole life direction post-corona.

6) Practice kindness 

We all feel good if we help the elderly lady next door by getting her milk in, it’s much easier than being kind to our partner whose very tapping on the keyboard grates on every nerve. But be kind to them too.

7) Focus on gratitude

We are here, we are alive, we have roofs over our heads.  Focusing on what to be grateful for  is the easiest route to happiness. 

8) Savour and appreciate

We have lived mad busy lives. We rarely get the chance to really take in that smell and taste of coffee, the bird singing, or even going through precious memories of previous times in our photo albums. Take a minute to stop, and savour.

9) Practice mindfulness

If you haven’t had time to try mindfulness before, now is the time. Just five minutes each day has proven health benefits. 

10) Find meaning and purpose

Often the happiest people are those who work really hard for something outside themselves and in service of others. Can you offer online support to someone, or donate funds or supplies?

Many charitable acts can be done without leaving the house. Search online for information on how you can help anyone struggling during this crisis.

11) Set goals

Isolation can induce self-reflection. Understand things in your life you would like to change, and set goals in place to do that.

12) Accept the situation

The fact that we are all in the same boat is incredibly helpful here. But, in all aspects of life, railing against things we can’t change is not only detrimental to us but also to those around us.

Concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl said: “When we can’t change our circumstances, we are challenged to change ourselves.” If you haven’t read his book Man’s Search for Meaning, then now is the time.

The most important thing to remember is that this time will pass. Almost every one of us will come out of this poorer financially, but equip yourself with the tools to come out of it stronger.

Debs Brookes Roots of Life
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