Soothing hobbies

Get Out in Nature

Being in nature is known to improve general well being, from reducing stress, anxiety, and sadness, to reducing muscle tension, stress hormones, blood pressure, and heart rate. Think about the aspect of nature that makes you feel the most relaxed and at ease; find that environment for yourself and make it a part of your rhythm.

This might look like:
1. Walking each morning to enjoy the sunrise
2. Swimming in your local river or lake every weekend
3. Hiking twice a week to enjoy the trees and birds on the trail near your house
4. Taking a road trip to another part of your state each month
5. Driving out to the country and stargazing twice a month
6. Biking through your neighborhood to pick up your coffee before work
7. Planning a coast trip twice a year

However often you can make a trip out to nature, do it. Whether you’re  walking to gaze at mountains for 10 minutes each morning or jumping into ocean water once a month, try your best to move around in a natural setting.

3. Keep Houseplants or Start a Garden

There’s nothing like watching and nurturing plants to encourage optimism and mental health. Since you’ll have something to look forward to in each season, gardening can create joy and break cycles of anxiety. It can also help you clear your mind, especially after difficult days.

You don’t have to start a whole garden; not everyone has enough space to do so

Does mental illness exist?

further problem is that the so-called ‘symptoms’ are not examples of bodily dysfunction, such as pain, rashes and so on, but consist of a ragbag of social judgements about people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviour. For example, someone – usually a woman – diagnosed with ‘borderline personality disorder’ has been assessed as displaying ‘inappropriate, intense anger’ and ‘a pattern of unstable personal relationships.’ But we know that women who are so labelled very often have a history of abuse, which may make their so-called ‘symptoms’ entirely understandable.

Similarly, there is growing evidence that the hostile voices said to be a symptom of ‘schizophrenia’ may reflect earlier unprocessed traumas, such as bullying or domestic violence. And at the less severe end of the spectrum, the desperation and hopelessness that might be diagnosed as ‘depression’ is known to occur more often in personal and social contexts that give people very good reasons to be miserable.  These histories are routinely obscured and unaddressed within a system that re-interprets them as evidence of medical illness or disorder.

In essence, then, a diagnosis turns ‘people with problems’ into ‘patients with illnesses’. Reactions to receiving a diagnosis vary, and some people say that it offered welcome relief from guilt and isolation. For others, though, it constitutes the first step in a lifelong career as psychiatric patient, with everything that is implied – long-term use of psychiatric drugs, stigma, and social exclusion. Some have vividly described the profound disjunction in their sense of identity as this new version of reality is imposed on them:  ‘I walked into (the psychiatrist’s office) as Don and walked out a schizophrenic … I remember feeling afraid, demoralised, evil.’

Psychiatric diagnosis turns ‘people with problems’ into ‘patients with illnesses’.

How, then, do we proceed, if we want to accept the reality of people’s distress and yet dispute the validity of the medical explanations that are offered? This model has taken hold so strongly that it can seem bizarre to question it. And yet we have a mountain of research to confirm that all kinds of social and relationship adversities massively increase the likelihood of experiencing all varieties of mental distress. This includes poverty, unemployment, emotional neglect, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, bullying, and so on, as well as more subtle difficulties such as feeling criticised, undermined, invalidated and excluded.

At a wider level it has been demonstrated beyond dispute that we all suffer from living in societies that are unjust and economically unequal – ‘If Britain became as equal as the four most equal societies […] mental illness might be more than halved’ (Wilkinson & Pickett). Similarly, psychologists have described how whole societies may be affected by so-called ‘austerity ailments’ of humiliation and shame; fear and distrust; instability and insecurity; isolation and loneliness; and feeling trapped and powerless.

This perspective does not give us the neat explanations or the hope of simple cures that are offered by a diagnosis and a corresponding pill. It implies that we need very different solutions, at every level from individual to societal. One possible starting point is the core skill of all clinical psychologists, known as ‘formulation’ (Johnstone & Dallos). This is the process of making sense of a person’s difficulties in 

What is complex trauma?

As anyone with a sibling or more than one child knows, people will respond differently to the same situation. How much do individual traits change or mitigate the effect of ACEs?

A. If you take a population of 1,000 people or 10,000 people or 100,000 people and they all have one ACE versus two ACEs versus seven ACEs — what you’re going to see is this substantially increased risk of health problems. Are there still going to be folks who by virtue of their biology or circumstance or environment are able to be resilient in the face of adversity? There are. Just like there’s the guy who smoked two packs a day and drank whiskey every day and lived to be 100. The takeaway for me is how we’re trying to reduce the exposure on a population level.

Q. You’ve said that your work on ACEs led you to your husband. What do you mean by that?

A. I won’t comment on any of my ex-boyfriends, but I was like — whoa — the type of relationship that I have has a profound impact on my life span and my health. Not just how I feel, but this could seriously shorten my life expectancy.

My husband is a person who I feel heals me from the inside out. He’s been really instrumental in what I’ve been able to accomplish in terms of starting my organization

Little black tents the wombs of the night

The Bedouins, refugees from other times

The places were they live are still the same

But other people founded States and took

The deserts where they roamed ,ancestral nooks.

Ther little tents of black on the hillsides

Have not changed from Mediaeval times

But now they are like flies, unwanted guests

Who will know the tremor in their breasts?

Cruel is the heart of humankind,

The Commandments spat on daily by men blind.

The Bedouins of our spirit need to be

Allowed their space, allowed their deserts free

Nomads of the desert,Jesus Christ,

Nomad of the darkness in our minds

Deep in the ground the worms  drowse mixed with flowers

A day with my own self, such peaceful hours
The inner seas make music as they roll
And in the ground the worms air roots of flowers

The rain comes down in cold but gentle showers
Desiring  to  give moisture to all souls
A symbol of  the value of quiet hours

In Northern hills we looked for  Durham owls
They hunt by day to keep their bodies whole
While in the ground the worms air roots of flowers

My loved one was a native of those towers
Highcliff Nab and Hasty Bank  called home
My days with him a-wandering there for hours

As he died , deep in my heart I howled
I held his hands, remembered , paid the toll
While in the ground the worms digest  the sour

Lying in the heather  we had roamed 
May God  have mercy on his  homing soul
Now I enjoy   in reverie our hours
Deep in the ground the worms  drowse mixed with flowers




Emotional traps


Emotional claustrophobia is widespread

We fear our feelings,fear the sudden dread

We swing between attraction and dismay

Others have been seen to sink to prayer

Yet all alone at Xmas we are sad

Even our other choice was dread

People who can madden with crude noise

Feel some one else might love their voice

Silence is like music in its joy No intrusion, no strong word annoy

But if we flee intrusion at great speed

We may miss the very clues we need

Oh, to find a lover joyful in our space

When we long for touch, for wild embrace.

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Coping with loneliness if there is another lockdown

It’s a subjective feeling, but researchers have begun to find signals in the brain that put the need for social interaction on par with the need to eat. In a study published in November, scientists deprived participants of contact with other people and then scanned their brains. After just 10 hours of isolation in a lab — where they could read or draw but had no access to their phones or computers — people reported feeling lonely and craving social contact.

More ……

Research suggests you don’t even need to know the people you’re helping. Just donating money to a good cause might help, Dr. Uchino said. In a series of experiments, researchers found that people who gave money to others were happier than if they spent it on themselves.

But if you’re overwhelmed by giving, it can become detrimental. Instead, try hobbies like cooking, gardening, writing in a journal or even listening to music. Creative arts can reduce loneliness, too, and while singing in person in a choir might not be possible right now, singing from balconies or through virtual groups can be powerful.

This might also be a good time to help out your neighbors. Using the neighborhood social app NextDoor to randomly assign people to perform small acts of kindness — like delivering groceries, chatting over a fence or participating in a neighborhood cleanup event — Dr. Holt-Lunstad and her colleagues found that loneliness rates dropped from 10 percent of people to 5 percent in people who did the kind acts.

Young people to be prescribed surfing and dancing by NHS to help anxiety

Young people’s mental health is one of the greatest challenges facing the NHS,” said Dr Daisy Fancourt, the UCL mental health expert running the trial. “Currently many young people referred to child and adolescent mental health services face long waits, during which time more than three-quarters experience a deterioration in their mental health.

“Social prescribing has the potential

Getting poetry on prescription

One person who has long valued poetry as both a personal and professional aid is Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a psychiatrist in Rockville, Md., who pioneered the use of light therapy for seasonal affective disorder. A clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School, Dr. Rosenthal said he has used poems as a therapeutic assistant, ..

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