Fresh air does wonders for ya soul. (Though, admittedly I’m not one to buy into the whole ‘fresh air cures depression’ belief – depression sucks, and it can’t be cured by a simple walk outside.) However, I do believe that fresh air and exercise can help ease depression, even if just for a brief moment. I certainly proved this to myself yesterday.
It’s hard for me to believe that depression and anxiety had gripped me to the point of utter despair on Thursday. I didn’t want to, and didn’t feel able to move forward; suicidal thoughts were clouding my mind – and confusing me at the same time – I didn’t want to listen to my mind, but I certainly felt trapped by my own mental health. I hadn’t eaten much all week, after two trips to my community mental health team, and endless attempts to try and ‘restart’ my mind and my daily routine, I’d reached an awful point of exhaustion and my mind was in overload.
After seventeen hours of sleep (wow) and a huge bowl of cereal Friday morning, my house-mates and I decided to go check out a local country park. (My mind did try and talk me out of leaving the house quite a lot). But thankfully I managed to convince myself to go (which was a lot harder than it seems – I’ve been wanting to check out this park for quite some time!) Ella, 1 – anxiety, 1 billion.
Luckily I managed to ignore the anxiety, and finally, after some time, I actually allowed the part of my mind that likes to explore and be adventurous win. It’s tricky when you feel trapped by your own mind, I think the feeling of not being able to do things becomes very familiar, and simple things such as driving somewhere new, and exploring places seems all too much.
To be fair, the drive to the country park was in itself fun – I love driving when it’s sunny, in fact I just love driving, so driving in the sun, knowing I was about to go on an adventure instantly boosted my mood. I drove us to Lickey Hills country park – to those familiar with Birmingham (or Lord of the Rings), the Lickey Hills (country park) is thought to be the inspiration behind the Shire (middle-earth). Whether you choose to believe this is or not (or whether you even know what the Shire is…) the Lickey Hills is a really really lovely place to go to clear your mind. The weather was beautiful, and thanks to the recent rain the previous day there was plenty of mud to squelch around in.
I’m a fan of trees, and just being outside in the woods. The smell of trees and woodland is pretty much my favourite smell in the world, and the sound of wind blowing through trees is something that I love. I love walking through woods, it makes me smile like there’s no tomorrow. I’m trying to not get cheesy here, but I love forests and fields, and nature and all that jazz. Yesterday was just really lovely, and the view of the city from the top of the hills was incredible to say the least. I left feeling really content, and really refreshed (and a little tired… there was a lot of hill walking!)
For me, being outside and exploring places really boosts my mood, though I appreciate that this may just be something that works for me, I’d definitely recommend going and exploring places. I’m annoyed that I’ve only just explored this wonderful country park, it’s taken me years to convince myself to go (I think I pick things to dwell on).
Yesterday really freed my mind, it allowed me to do something I love, and the setting was stunning. Even if it only allowed me to escape my mind for a few hours it was most certainly worth it. I needed to take some time to do something which I would enjoy – really enjoy. Although there was some anxiety about going I really did enjoy myself, and it’s reminded me of the importance of scheduling some time to do things you enjoy – it’s an act of self-care, one which I think is very important.
For information and support on suicidal thoughts please check out this page by Mind: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/suicidal-feelings/help-and-support/#.Vvb_heKLTIU