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Tips to Help People in Recovery Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted on: Mar 27, 2018 - 02:04 PM

Tips to Help People in Recovery Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Michelle Peterson has written this brilliant article for us to, as she says, help people in recovery Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle.  I found it very helpful and hope you do too.

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Tips to Help People in Recovery Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
People often emerge from inpatient rehabilitation programs feeling ready to face the world clean and sober, only to find that the hard part is maintaining their sobriety despite the challenges of day-to-day living. Temptations to return to old self-destructive behaviors and relapse are a constant threat.
There’s no magic bullet— just faith, self-discipline and a belief in one’s inner resources. There are also a number of personal habits that can help you maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Balance is especially important because recovery is a non-stop process, full of ups and downs and unexpected challenges.
Positive support system
One of the keys to successful recovery is to surround yourself with positive people who lead healthy, well-balanced lives themselves. Changing your life means altering behavioral patterns, and separating from old friends who can enable bad habits. Remember, you need emotional support, not temptation. True friends are those who are willing to help you stay clean, not lead you back into dangerous patterns. If you’re looking to hang with people who are in a similar situation, consider attending a support group or 12-step meeting.
Reduce stress
When you’re under stress, it can be easy to resort to familiar ways of feeling better. Just as you need to limit your exposure to negative people, try to minimize your exposure to stressful situations and difficult people. It lies within your power to alleviate much of the stress you face each day. The first step is to identify situations that cause you stress and in need of some form of relief. Remember that you don’t have to take on too much. Trying to do more than you can handle is a surefire way to create stress for yourself. Don’t volunteer to do too much for others, at least not until you’re feeling stronger and in control of yourself. When things get to be overwhelming at work and in family settings, learn to practice a stress-relieving exercise like deep breathing or yoga.

Appreciate the small things
When we’re stressed, we tend to overlook or take for granted simple pleasures that we’d miss if they weren’t there every day. Take time to appreciate your morning espresso with a close friend, the enjoyment you get from watching your favorite TV program, or how good it feels to head home after a long, hard day at work. Try to savor these moments and appreciate them for what they are: psychological boosts that help keep you going. Pleasurable moments pass too quickly; try to make them last just a little longer. They make it easier to cope with stress and temptation.
Be grateful
Rather than focusing on your problems, center on those things in life you’re grateful for. You may be in recovery, but you can be grateful that you have an opportunity to make a fresh new start. Emphasizing gratitude is part of a holistic approach to a healthier life and achieving true mind-body balance, which can only benefit your recovery. Studies have shown that people who focus on gratitude experience improved physical health, find it easier to form relationships and enjoy better mental health.
Diet and exercise
Eating healthy and getting enough exercise every week are key to establishing a balanced lifestyle. Both make you feel better about yourself and help you maintain positive lifestyle habits. Incorporate fruit and vegetables, whole grains and protein into your diet every day. Regular exercise boosts your brain chemistry and activates neurotransmitters that make you feel better.
You can aid your recovery by taking control of the negative aspects of your life, those situations and individuals you find troubling. Substitute them with things that make you feel optimistic. And never minimize the role that exercise and healthy eating play in helping you stay balanced.
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Courtesy of

Happy New Year

Posted on: Jan 04, 2017 - 10:07 PM

A Happy New Year to you.  This is a chance for us to put 2016 behind us should we wish and look forward to another year, a better year.  I wish that for you.  Apparently 2017 is a year for manifestation which can be good or bad as it manifests what we focus on so let’s try to focus on what we want and not what we don’t want so that it can be manifested for us.  I wish that for you too.  Take care and be kind to yourself.  Best wishes for an abundant year for you.  Helen and Depression Can Be Fun.

Merry Christmas!

Posted on: Dec 26, 2016 - 10:29 AM

Merry Christmas to you.  Some people love Christmas and will be having the most wonderful time.  Some people hate it either just because they do or they are in a difficult place emotionally or have bad emotional links to Christmas. For those who love it I hope we can have empathy for those who don’t and not expect them to be the life and soul others may expect of them at this time of year.  Whatever your situation, beliefs or mood this Festive Season I wish you peace and goodwill.  The end of this year approaches already and a lot can change in a short time so try to take time to imagine if you can small changes, if any, you’d like for yourself and those close to you for the coming year.  They do say and I do believe that if you can visualise it you can make it happen.  I wish that for you too.  Best wishes for your wishes, Helen and Depression Can Be xx

Happy Solstice!

Posted on: Dec 21, 2016 - 05:19 PM

Click here for the Solstice Greeting.
Happy Solstice! In the northern hemisphere we welcome back the light and the sun!! Today is a good day to reflect on the gifts, challenges and learnings from the year that has passed and be really clear on what we intend to create, manifest, welcome in for the time ahead.  I wish you a great year ahead. Depression Can Be Fun and Helen xx

Happy New Year!

Posted on: Jan 01, 2016 - 04:10 PM

Wishing you a Happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.  Let’s look forward to a New Year and new things happening.  Sometimes it’s easy to overlook and forget what we’ve achieved in a year.  I bet if you try you can remember them or at least some of them and feel proud.  My sister and her family make a list on New Year’s Eve of three things each of them would like to do, three places they would like to visit and three things they would buy and three things they would like to change.  My little nephew said he wouldn’t like to change anything as everything is brilliant!  That made me smile.  Can you remember the age you were when you last thought that?!  Now we have a New Year in which to continue or start to try to take baby steps to do and enjoy things that we would like to do or change that will hopefully make us a bit happier and those around us happier.  I wish you everything you wish for - and more in 2016.  Love and best wishes from, Helen x

Spring is here - yay!

Posted on: Mar 09, 2015 - 01:03 PM

Welcome to Spring!  I think it might finally be here.  The flowers are convinced!  The sun is out and there’s warmth to it, lambs are being born, snowdrops and colourful crocus flowers are blossoming and things seem better with the world.  Spring seems to bring and offer new hope and new starts - let’s go for it and see where it takes us!  I hope it takes you somewhere peaceful and that Spring brings harmony for you.  Best wishes, Helen
Click here for Spring! x

Happy Easter!

Posted on: Apr 21, 2014 - 08:24 AM

I do hope that you are having a good Easter and that the Easter bunny came to you and that you are partaking in some chocolate - preferably dark as it’s proven to be good for lifting mood by boosting the feel good hormone, serotonin.  I’ve never needed an excuse to eat chocolate but feel it’s good to have some justification doesn’t it!
Easter always feels like a fresh start for me and the start of Spring.  Looking around lambs are being born and springing around the fields, flowers are growing and blooming and the sun is feeling warm.  Everything seems to be coming to life again.  I often feel like I’m coming back to life again myself with the sun making me feel more like getting out and being part of it and the sun always makes me feel better.  I hope you are feeling better too and can get out and the sun makes you feel better too and you can use this time to feel like a fresh start.
Lots of Easter wishes, Helen xx

Season’s Greetings to you

Posted on: Dec 28, 2013 - 07:05 PM

Season’s Greetings to you.  I do hope that you had a good Christmas.  We all know that Christmas can be a stressful time for anyone and everyone but it can be very hard for anyone suffering from depression.  The gaiety can make us feel worse.  We can feel guilty about not wanting to mix with family and friends.  Family and friends can misinterpret our isolation and lack of social contact and be offended and express such sentiment.  All in all in can just be a difficult time.  I do hope that you have managed to come through it and at least not feel any worse.  I wish you all much better than that but have experienced enough difficult Christmases myself to know that it’s not always a good one. 
As New Year approaches I wish you all a peaceful end to 2013 and whether 2013 was good or bad or indifferent I wish you a better New Year and 2014.
Love and best wishes, Helen xx

It’s World Mental Health Day 10th October

Posted on: Oct 10, 2013 - 07:45 AM

What better way to raise awareness for mental health than to have a world celebration and day allocated to it.  There has been lots going on so far this week and is still much more if you feel like getting more involved.  Click here to find out what’s going on.If not we can all feel reassured that although we have a long way to go we are making progress to raising awareness of mental illness

It’s World Laughter day today.

Posted on: May 05, 2013 - 10:25 AM

World Laughter Day is always the first Sunday in May so it is today.
What a wonderful idea to celebrate such an incredible gift.
Laughter is so good for you and it’s contagious hence the saying ‘Laugh and the world laughs with you’.
Not only is laughing contagious it tightens stomach muscles and lowers blood pressure too.
So it is healthy to laugh, the body’s own natural medicine!
There are many things that can make us laugh:  Watching a funny film, or “You’ve been framed” or your favourite comedian or remembering a memory that incites laughter, or getting friends round, having a glass of two and telling funny stories.  There are even laughter classes.
Click on the link below to find out more about laughter, why it’s so good for you and why it is referred to as the best medicine.
There are lots of celebrations going on around the country to celebrate World Laughter Day which you can find by clicking on the link below.
It started in 1998 by the creator of Laughter Yoga, Dr Madan Kataria. 
“When you laugh, you change and when you change the whole world changes around you.” Dr. Madan Kataria
Now laughter clubs in over 60 countries laugh at 12 o’clock on Sunday, sending a wave of laughter around the globe.  You don’t have to be in a club to laugh at midday.  Will you join me in laughing at midday on Sunday and I wish you the all the wonderful benefits of it.
Best wishes, Helen

Pursuit of Happiness Week

Posted on: Apr 12, 2013 - 07:55 AM

The theme of the coming week seems to be all about mood!  It’s pursuit of Happiness Week in the US and Depression Awareness Week in the UK.
Pursuit always sounds like hard work to me and I’d like to think of happiness as not being hard work.  We all deserve it and I hope it finds you.  I read this quote this morning and thought how poignant it was and wanted to share it with you.
“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
I like the idea of raising awareness of happiness and at the same time depression.  After all if we are aware of depression at one end of the scale we can hopefully get to happiness at the other.  Being aware of depression in ourselves and others is helping to raise awareness of depression and hopefully will get more people to seek help for themselves and others and find happiness.
I wish that for you.
Helen x

The most Depressing Day of the year has been and gone

Posted on: Jan 16, 2013 - 07:14 PM

So let’s look forward to what the rest of the year can bring.
The third Monday in January has been calculated because of cold, dark nights, post-Christmas blues and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills.  We know that after the extravagance of Christmas the bills come in this month as does the tax demand. 
Watch this baby’s reaction to her father ripping up the bills.  It will make you laugh and certainly make you feel better.
If we can look at it as getting all the bad out of the way at the beginning of the year it can only get better.  I wish that for you.  Here’s to the year getting better and better!  Helen


10 easy tips to conquer January Blues

Posted on: Jan 07, 2013 - 04:22 PM

For most of us, even if we’ve been back at it for a 3 day week after New Year, the end of the school holidays and children going back to school signifies the end of our holiday spirit and it’s back to serious life and work in earnest which in itself can be depressing.  Here are 10 experts tips to make us feel better straight away:
1. Eat a banana a day(if you like them and aren’t allergic to them)- they contain mood boosting hormones.  Not only shaped like a smile, they give you energy, are full of potassium, and tryptophan which turns into serotonin to boost our mood.
2. Breakfast can make you happy - Eat a healthy breakfast of porridge or muesli to avoid picking and snacking on sugary snacks and drinking coffee that depress us.
3. Exercise makes happy chemicals.  Dancing, football, whatever you enjoy. Even walking up and down the stairs counts.
4. See the WOW in life - have a look around.  What we take for granted is often worth a WOW. Put on your WOW glasses.
5. Music cheers us up so why suffer in silence.  Play your favourite music and send happy stuff to your brain.  Not sad songs that remind you of unhappy times.  Keep it upbeat.
6. Do a small kindness for someone else and you’ll feel even better than they do.  A letter of thanks to a friend for being your friend, saying thank you to the checkout person at the checkout. They’ll feel good and you’ll feel even better.
7.  Avoid fast food or ready meals - If you feel you have too many, take one away.
8.  Get out of breath and feel better - exercise works properly when it makes you breathe heavily so do it faster
9. Buy or make vegetable and fruit smoothies to help get your 5 a day - add that banana!
10. Get your memory to make you happy.  Remember good times that make you happy. Make a happy list.  Write down 3 things every day that make you feel better. What you think about affects how you feel.  Try it now.

Happy New Year.

Posted on: Jan 02, 2013 - 08:54 PM

The New year is here; a New Year, a new start. I'm not naive enough to think that life can always be perfect but we can all make some changes on the way, celebrate the good a bit more, look at the bad differently and look forward and think more positively. Let's try it. Sending you all best wishes and good things for 2013. Best wishes, Helen

Merry Christmas!

Posted on: Dec 18, 2012 - 06:10 PM

Well, we have all survived another year. Did we think we were going to? Of course we did, because every year is a huge milestone that we have accomplished another year of our complicated, stressful lives and wish for more great things in the next. Life is full of surprises, emotions, ups and downs and to experience these we have to experience these we have to live it, love it, hate it and sometimes endure it but life is special. You are special, we all are special. So to all you special people out there. Happy New Year. ALways here, to care, to share. xx Helen Click here for tips for Christmas.

Ruby Wax breaking down stigma in the workplace with Ruby Wax Mad Confessions

Posted on: Jul 24, 2012 - 11:51 AM

Click here for Mad Confessions with Ruby Wax. Ruby Wax and her helpers, restauranter, Johnnie Mountain, entrepeneur, Charlotte Fantelli and industrial designer, Derek Muir help break down stigma in the workplace. They talk openly about their mental illness to employers, employees and peers and MPs Sarah Woollaston and Kevan Jones talk in Parliament. Ruby said 'it' all started with Time To Change asking her to be their 'poster gir'l for mental illness. It's thanks to people like Ruby, Johnnie, Charlotte and Derek and organisations like Time To Change that stigma may soon become a thing of the past in the workplace. Thank you to all.

Grab it and feel better while you can…

Posted on: Jul 23, 2012 - 06:02 AM

Grab that sunshine! Summer's here. Better late than never! Are you taking every opportunity you can to get out in it and soak up some vitamin D from the sun to boost your mood. Serotonin and feel good/happy hormones are boosted in the sun? 10-15 minutes a day can make the difference. I'm out there every chance I get, even if it's to take a phone call, eat my lunch or put the rubbish out. Try it and see how much better you feel. Here's to the sunshine and long may it last. Best wishes, Helen

It’s Carer’s Week this week

Posted on: Jun 17, 2012 - 06:14 PM

Carers do so much for so very little. Depression and mental illness can be very selfish illnesses and carers often don't get a lot of thanks from the person they are caring for or from anyone else for that matter. This week is about saying thank you to all carers for all they do and raising awareness about all they do. A big thank you from me and Depression Can Be Fun to carers. I hate to think where we would be without them. This year's theme is 'In sickness and In health' and asking carers 'how much does your caring role impact on your health and wellbeing?' Click here for the carers website and lots of information about the week and caring. Click here for information on being a carer from the experts by experience and to find out what's going on this week for carer's week.

Doing Good Does you Good for Mental Health Awareness Week

Posted on: May 23, 2012 - 06:37 AM

The theme of the Mental Health Foundation's Mental Awareness Week this year is 'Doing Good Does you Good'. Click here for the full story.They are challenging us to do good and carry out an act of kindness every day this week. What will you be doing? Don't feel limited to one a day! Like your fruit and veg you may prefer 5 or more a day! Do share with us if you would like to and we'll post it on the site. Click here to share your good deed with us. I have to say I think that you can't help another person without helping yourself. I certainly feel better when I help someone else. That's what this website is all about. I wanted to help others get the help my husband and I felt that we would have wanted when I was ill. And the sun's shining which always makes us feel better and more like smiling and giving so have a good week everyone. Best wishes, Helen

It’s Depression Awareness Week this week.  Thank you to our members

Posted on: Apr 15, 2012 - 05:13 PM

This week is a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of depression. Depression Can Be Fun is doing its bit with our sponsor,, to help raise awareness of depression and try to end stigma with radio and press interviews. We're doing over 28 interviews, including Hallam FM, Magic FM, East Midlands Radio and LBC, to over 3 million listeners to spread the word. Vegepa is kindly donating monies raised this week to Depression Can Be Fun. As a not-for-profit organisation and site, Depression Can Be Fun is very grateful for this donation and it will help the site continue to support it's members. Thank you Vegepa. Thank you to our members for taking part in our survey for Depression Awareness Week. It established that 83% people would like more information on alternative remedies to help with depression and 44% of us experience bad side effects from antidepressants. We will publish the other information for our members very soon. See what's going on in your area or organise something yourself through Depression Alliance network that is responsible for Depression Awareness Week. Click here for the Depression Alliance site to find out about and what's going on for Depression Awareness week. Best, Helen

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 - 05:34 PM

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and affection. If you have a partner you'll hopefully be sharing it with them but we also have love and can show that love to friends, family and even your pets who love you unconditionally and whom you love. We all have someone or something special to us that warrants a celebration. What about giving 'love' to a stranger and brightening their day with a smile or a wave for Valentine's Day. Celebrating our affections for people we care about doesn’t have to be limited to one day a year either but February 14th is a good excuse to get us into the swing of it for the rest of the year. So why not: Call and tell someone that you care. Cuddle up with your dog or cat (or someone else’s). Have supper with a friend. Go to a movie or watch a movie. Make someone’s day by smiling at them. Happy Valentine’s Day, Helen

It’s ‘Time To Talk’

Posted on: Jan 12, 2012 - 03:23 PM

You may have seen the Time To Change 'Time To Talk' adverts on the TV or heard them on the Radio this month. If not, they are going on through January and February. It's all about getting people to speak up about mental health and not be afraid to talk about it and ask for help. Too many people are suffering in silence. The more we talk about it the more normal it will be for everyone to talk about how they feel without feeling, experiencing or fearing stigma and the consequences. Click here for the nationwide TV and Radio Time to Talk Campaign. Click here to listen to one of the 'Time to Talk' adverts on Facebook. Hopefully they will help more people feel able to speak up and talk about their situation and seek help from family, friends and professionally from a GP. Depression can be Fun is involved too. Click here for our Time To Change feature about stigma. Here's to talking about it! Helen

Wishing you a Happy New Year

Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 - 05:43 PM

2011 has not been an easy year for many people for many reasons but 2012 is the start of a New Year with new hope and great possibilities. Whether you're making resolutions (do make them achievable if you are) or not, let's enter 2012 the best we can and know that we are always here to support you. Wishing you all a Happy Healthy and Prosperous 2012, from Helen and Depression Can Be Fun.

Merry christmas!

Posted on: Dec 22, 2011 - 04:38 PM

"A little smile, a word of cheer, a bit of love from someone near, a little gift from one held dear, best wishes for the coming year" John Greenleaf Whittier. This summed up for me what Christmas is all about. We don't need 'stuff' to make Christmas. We just need goodwill and that costs nothing but gives so much. Click here for tips for a happy, stress free Christmas. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and a good 2012 for you and your family. Best wishes from, Helen

We’re not just 1 in 4

Posted on: Oct 18, 2011 - 06:06 AM

I attended lots of events across the country for World Mental Health Week, met some amazing people and learned a lot about a lot which I will and am very excited to be sharing with you on the site over the next few weeks including: EFT and how we can tap our way out of depression; Mindfulness Meditation; help and information and discounts for carers, getting back to work and much more. I learned some interesting statistics from World Mental Health Week that I wanted to share with you: 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year In 2011 around 52,168,105 people live in England Approximately 13 million people will experience mental health difficulties every year! National Statistics In 2009/2010: 1.25 million people used NHS specialist mental health services This was a 4% increase on the previous year 107,765 –people required inpatient stays in mental health wards and units Over 90% of people had no inpatient stays (There were 12.5 million contacts with community services) ANTIDEPRESSANTS Earlier this year it was announced that prescriptions for antidepressants have risen by 43% in the past four years to nearly 23 million a year Common mental health problems: Depression Psychosis & Schizophrenia Bi-Polar Disorder Personality Disorder Most of us know the 1 in 4 statstic but the other statistics surprised me. Hopefully this shows that we really aren't alone in suffering from mental illness and will encourage people to come forward and get help if we are feeling depressed. Click here to ask our resident experts a question confidentially or on the site. We are here to help. Take care. Best wishes, Helen

World Mental Health Day is coming up again on 10th October and there are lots of things going on

Posted on: Sep 28, 2011 - 04:47 PM

The aim of the World Mental Health Day and the events going on that week is to reduce stigma and ignorance, and promote greater understanding.  This year’s title is ‘The Great Push:  Investing in Mental Health’.
Click here for the World Mental Health Federation website for what’s going on worldwide.

There’s lots going on locally too.  Do let us know what’s going on in your area and we’ll post it on the site.

You can download the Nottinghamshire World Mental Health Day events poster by clicking on the following links: Page1 Page2

Download the Mental Health Awareness Week Poster by clicking download Poster here.

Welcome Autumn!

Posted on: Sep 20, 2011 - 10:43 PM

As the Seasons change, so do we. Our energies and spirits change. There’s a feeling of transition and that “back to school” energy we never outgrow. A new school year keeps families busy. The harvest of fruit and vegetables is in full swing. Don't be afraid or resist it. Enjoy it. Autumn is a beautiful season. Enjoy the changes, the golden rich colours, the crisp, cool air. Kick through the fallen leaves. Watch the squirrels in the park collecting their nuts preparing for winter. Smile at children collecting conkers or join in. Appreciate the simple things in life. They're free! Have a wonderful Autumn. Helen

Happy Bank Holiday!

Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 - 11:32 AM

It’s the final bank holiday of the year. Let’s hope the sun shines but let’s make the most of it whatever the weather! To many this bank holiday marks the end of the summer but as we’ve not had much of one anyway, I’m holding out for an Indian one for us all. Call me optimistic or stupid! Either way the hope of an Indian Summer will keep me going. Enjoy everyone. Best wishes from, Helen and Depression Can Be Fun

Happy Bank Holiday!

Posted on: Apr 29, 2011 - 06:58 PM

Wow the second bank holiday in 2 weeks! For some that is heaven as they have lots of plans or plans to relax but for some people who are alone at this time it's a period of time to get through before they can get back to their routine or work. It looks like we've been blessed with great weather again for our 4 day holiday. We don't need company to enjoy that. How about sitting in the sun with a cup of tea or coffee with a book, a magazine, the paper or just sit and soak up the rays. Walking is a good mood lifter and good exercise at whatever pace. Take it easy or quicken your pace as you please. Come and chat on the forum to others. Take yourself off to the cinema or watch the Royal Wedding. Whatever you do, take care of yourselves. Best wishes, Helen

Happy Easter!

Posted on: Apr 24, 2011 - 11:18 AM

Eat Chocolate this Easter! Yes I am going to tell you that you can eat chocolate to lift your mood as it boosts your serotonin but it has to be high cocoa content dark chocolate so ask for (or buy for yourself!) dark chocolate Easter eggs and have yourself a Happy Easter. Easter wishes from, Helen

Hurrah!  It’s officially Spring and it’s in the air!

Posted on: Mar 28, 2011 - 11:31 AM

Spring is in the air! We can’t be fooled by the stop start weather pattern. We’ve seen the snowdrops, the daffodils, the longer days, the birds. I hope you have seen it? Start looking around and you’ll see it too. Spring is a wonderful time to start looking around. Everything looks brighter and better. Let’s translate that into our lives too. Click here for our new look Spring Home Page.

depression spring logo

Why Monday was the happiest day of the year ...

Posted on: Feb 01, 2011 - 03:02 PM

According to the experts, here’s why yesterday was the happiest day of the year. Click here.

Most Depressing Day of the Year

Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 - 04:50 PM

Here are the facts:

Click here.

And here’s what we can do about it.
Apparently the top three things that makes us feel better are:

1. Helping someone in need
2. Getting a compliment out of the blue
3. Listening to the sound of the sea

So why don’t we try helping someone today; giving a compliment (that could also be seen as helping someone in need as we all need complimenting) and remember the last time we were by the sea and what it sounded like (that’s probably going to make us happy anyway as we’re usually on holiday when we’re by the sea unless we are lucky enough to live by it).

I was filling up with petrol today when a lorry pulled along side me and nearly took the roof off the petrol station with the JCB on the back of it.  The driver got out of his cab with his head in his hands saying ‘They’ve just said on the radio it’s Blue Monday and it bl**dy is!’  I felt so sorry for him and complimented him by saying ‘Good job!’ (not your conventional compliment but it made him smile as did the Mars Bar I bought for him).

He left saying, ‘Looking on the bright side, TOMORROW WILL BE BETTER’.

Here here!

If you have had a ‘Blue Monday’, here’s to a better day tomorrow and if you’ve had a great day, here’s to an even better day tomorrow! 

Best wishes, Helen

Happy New Year

Posted on: Jan 01, 2011 - 07:58 PM

Well that’s 2011 upon us. 
I hope that you’ve had a good Christmas and New Year how ever you spent it and with whomever you spent it. 
Whether you had a bad, better or good year last year, let’s look forward to what 2011 brings us and try to find something good in every day (even if it seems like a really bad day).  Share them with us if you wish on the Positive Suggestions on the interact page.
Click here to share.
For the first time ever I haven’t made any resolutions this year after reading a post by Chloe that suggests that making resolutions could invite tests and challenges for us to prove these achievements to ourselves.  Instead I am choosing to follow its advice and focus on my end goals and trust my instinct and gut to guide me and just do it rather than dwelling and procrastinating on the planning.  I’ll let you know how I get on and recommend it to you next year if it works for me!
Wishing 2011 brings you whatever you wish for, dream of and more.
Best wishes, Helen

Merry Christmas!

Posted on: Dec 16, 2010 - 04:07 PM

Merry Christmas from Depression Can Be FunChristmas is a time of year that some of us look forward to and some of us dread depending on what’s going on in our lives at this time of year.
Whether you’re alone or with friends, family or loved ones let’s remember that today is about giving and not just of material gifts.  Gifts come in the many truly wonderful forms of love, time, support and laughter.  You don’t need someone close to give these.  You can give them to the postman, the butcher or anyone else who should cross your path.  It makes us feel better when we give.
If you’re on your own and don’t want to be, how about checking in on an elderly neighbour, helping out at an old people’s home, a shelter for the homeless or going to Church.
TV at Christmastime is good for not feeling alone.  You can lose yourself in a traditional Christmas film and laugh at the Christmas special of your favourite comedy.
Many people’s Christmas will be very different this year due to money worries but that doesn’t mean Christmas has to be any less fun or enjoyable.  It may give us a chance to get back to and understand and appreciate the true meaning of Christmas.
Let’s say goodbye to 2010 and welcome a 2011 that I hope will be a good one for everyone.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and New Year.

NB. Click on the image for a better look at the Christmas card!

2nd World Hearing Voices Congress and INTERVOICE

Posted on: Nov 14, 2010 - 06:42 AM

I was lucky enough to be invited to the World Hearing Voices Congress and INTERVOICE meeting 2nd – 4th November, 2010, Sherwood Forest Center Parcs, Nottinghamshire, England.

Over 350 people attended this years 2 day Congress and 170 to the one day INTERVOICE meeting. Delegates came from around the world including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, USA and from all over the UK. Many voice hearers were present, alongside psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, academics, social workers and family members.

We were all inspired by listening to, speaking to and meeting such amazing people.  I left feeling like I could take on the world.  Hopefully you will feel some of that inspiration by looking at their amazing new website that they launched at the Congress.  Click here for website.

Depression Can Be Fun launch with NHS at World Mental Health Day

Posted on: Oct 12, 2010 - 12:59 PM

Helen McNallen Depression Can Be Fun book Launch NHS World Mental Health Day
We had a fabulous day celebrating World Mental Health Day in Nottinghamshire at Rosewood.  Thank you to everyone for their support and making it such an interesting and fun day. Best wishes, Helen

It’s World Mental Health Day 10th October

Posted on: Oct 04, 2010 - 08:10 PM

World Mental Health Day was started by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992.
It is a unified effort to promote greater public awareness and understanding of mental health and mental illness. Every year, thousands of people across the world raise awareness and funds for mental health causes.
Each year, on 10 October, the Mental Health Foundation celebrates the day by raising awareness about mental health and wellbeing and provides an annual opportunity to promote and raise awareness of mental health. National campaigns such as Time to Change, including its Get Moving week, are also celebrated during this week of October.  Across the country organisations come together to raise awareness of mental health, promote local services and challenge the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health.  Check your local libraries, doctors surgeries and press for details of what’s going on in your area. 
The Mental Health Foundation is encouraging people to get together this year over a cuppa to help change lives.  Click here for details.
Anything that raises the awareness of mental health and mental illness can only be a good thing.
I have been invited by the NHS to launch my book at their Nottinghamshire event. Click here for details.  Hope to see you there!  Best wishes, Helen

21st may be the last day of summer in the nothern hemisphere but…

Posted on: Sep 20, 2010 - 08:02 AM

... there’s lots to look forward to with the new seasons, colours, events - Halloween and Bonfire Night for starters - and cosy nights in front of the fire (log/gas or imaginary!).  We can still go out and enjoy the sun (in the Indian summer we’ve all been promised) with extra layers on.  We’ll soon be able to kick around in the autumn leaves.  Depression Can Be Fun will see you through the Winter.  Stay with us and share the seasons and what they have to bring.  Best wishes, Helen

World Hearing Voices Day

Posted on: Sep 13, 2010 - 10:12 AM

Today is World Hearing Voices Day to raise awareness of the experience of hearing voices.  There are lots of events going on around the country to celebrate it.  See the article on our site. Click here for article.

Statistics out today:- 4 million shopaholics in UK. Estimated debt £13bn

Posted on: Aug 25, 2010 - 12:02 PM

That suggests a lot of unhappy people to me.  Having been there myself, I found that for me it wasn’t so much about the shopping as a symptom of something else going on in my life.  For me that was losing my career and having a breakdown.  I felt total lack of self-esteem and tried to fill that void in my life with ‘stuff’ and shopping.  That void was very big though and no amount of shopping was ever going to fill it so either it would carry on until the money ran out - or the credit - or until I got help.  Unfortunately the more depressed I was the more money I spent. In today’s materialistic 21st century we tend to measure ourselves and seek recognition through what we have and so we try to buy lots of material things to try to get the recognition and respect of others. We start spending to get the recognition, and then keep trying to earn the money (although we often can’t keep up) and then we are trapped desperately trying to maintain the same level of lifestyle or perceived lifestyle and get locked into a perpetual vicious circle.  Hopefully these statistics released today will help people to realise that they are not alone in their addiction and ask for help.  Debt just adds another dimension to the depression that is often fuelling the spending in the first instance. 
How I overcame my shopping addiction:
1. I now measure my success against my own criteria and ignore others.
2. I believe that ‘I am enough’.  I often repeat this to myself even out loud!
3. I aim for a healthy life balance.  In the past I put everything into my work which isn’t healthy. I identified myself through my work. Others identify themselves through their relationship or their children.This makes us especially vulnerable to depression if we lose or are forced to give up that one aspect for some reason.
4. I take the herbal remedy, Filisa, when I feel particularly stressed or low.
5. I take Vegepa omegas every day to keep me thinking straight and focused.
6. I feel grateful every day.
7. I try to be kind to myself and not beat myself up.
Please do let us know what worked for you either on the forum or on the postive suggestions or email.
Take care,

Today is the happiest day of the year, says psychologist

Posted on: Jun 18, 2010 - 07:01 PM

According to Dr Cliff Arnall, the third Friday in June came out with the highest happiness rating due to peaking happiness factors such as warm summer evenings outdoors, seeing friends more frequently, and excitement about holidays.  I hope you’re feeling it!  Best wishes, Helen

It’s Mental Health Action Week

Posted on: Apr 06, 2010 - 11:52 AM

It’s Mental Health Action Week this week, 4th – 10th April.
This year’s Mental Health Action Week is about promoting wellbeing in a way that everyone can do.
See the 10 steps to wellbeing here:
Click here for Mental Health Foundation’s 10 steps.
Listen to the new mindfulness podcast from the Mental Health Foundation.
Click here for podcast download.

Happy Easter!

Posted on: Apr 01, 2010 - 04:20 AM

If you don’t get given an Easter Egg, why not buy yourself one.  Good quality dark chocolate is good for boosting the happy hormone serotonin.  I started yesterday!  I hope you can enjoy a lovely long bank holiday weekend and if not, try some chocolate to make you feel better.  Best wishes, Helen

It’s Mental Wellbeing Week

Posted on: Mar 09, 2010 - 11:14 AM

Did you know that 6 out of 10 Britons ‘find it difficult to cope mentally’.  That’s according to and online YouGov poll by mental health charity Together.

Hopefully statistics like these show how ‘common’ mental illness and depression are and encouraging people to seek help or talk about what they are going through.

Mental Wellbeing Week (8th-14th March) is a week organised annually by Together that promotes better mental health for all.

This year Together is highlighting how common it is for many people, regardless of their mental health ‘status’ or diagnosis, to have times in their life when they have difficulty coping mentally, whether that’s through stress, depression, anxiety or because of an upsetting life experience.

Take a look here to find out what’s going on this week in your area.  Click here.

How about giving up Depression for Lent?

Posted on: Feb 16, 2010 - 02:44 PM

Whilst not forgetting the religious meaning of Lent, if Lent is about giving up what is bad for us and what is hard for us to give up, how about giving up depression for Lent?  It’s bad for us and who wouldn’t welcome 47 days without it!? 
My doctor used to ask me to try to ‘Take a limited number of days in which you will not dwell upon nor mention your Depression or the cause of your Depression for the briefest moment.’  47 days is a long time but maybe along to way to Easter try that and see how you feel. 
Best wishes, Helen

Happy Valentine’s Day

Posted on: Feb 11, 2010 - 11:37 AM

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and affection.  I don’t see why that shouldn’t be extended to friends, family and even your pets who love you unconditionally.  We all have someone or something special to us that warrants a celebration.  Celebrating our affections for people we care about doesn’t have to be limited to one day a year but February 14th is a good excuse to get us into the swing of it for the rest of the year.
So why not:
Call and tell someone that you care.
Cuddle up with your dog or cat (or someone else’s).
Have supper with a friend.
Go to a movie or watch a movie.
Make someone’s day by smiling at them.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

The most depressing day of the year is behind us!

Posted on: Jan 15, 2010 - 08:53 AM

According to psychologists, Tuesday 19th Jan was apparently the most depressing day of the year.
I hope that fact didn't spoil your day if you heard it. Hearing depressing news can almost bring on an inevitable downturn in your day and your mood.


Try not to let it pull you down or give into it. Very simple things can help.

Do something fun like watching a funny DVD.
Invite friends over.
Call someone you've been meaning to get in touch with.
Give yourself something to look forward to. It could be meeting up with a friend you haven't seen for a long time or a holiday or learning a new skill you've been wanting to start. With a goal to aim for it's always easier to see the brighter side of life. When you visualise yourself doing something you enjoy you will feel more positive, feel more motivated and start feeling optimistic again.

We would love to hear any positive suggestions that have helped you.

The days are getting longer, the weather can only get better and spring will soon be peeking through. Snow drops are already popping up. The promise of better days is ahead. It's a new year, full of new hope, new beginnings, new friends to be made, new fun to be had, new problems with new solutions and let's see how much trouble we can cause this year.

Thinking of you and wishing you the best most depressing day of the year yet. Helen

The worst of winter is over honestly!

Posted on: Dec 23, 2009 - 12:23 AM

With the shortest day on 22nd December behind us we are over the worst of winter.  It may not feel like it yet but the days are getting longer and spring will be here before we know it!  Let’s look forward and start visualising the first days of spring.  Start looking around you for the new shoots and looking up to see the light rather than down on the ground.  Often we have to look down in winter to avoid slipping on the snow and ice or to avoid treading in something worse that is covered by a mass of leaves!  But spring is a wonderful time to start looking up.  It’s harder to feel down when you’re looking up too. There will be some beautiful changes around us so that’s an incentive to look up isn’t it.  You don’t want to miss out!  Helen

Merry Christmas!

Posted on: Dec 16, 2009 - 04:27 PM

I hope that you’re keeping up with the countdown to Christmas.  If it seems to be approaching too quickly and there’s still so much to be done, take the pressure off by giving yourself permission to take the time to sit back and count your blessings.  Read our tips for a stress free, debt free, Merry Christmas. After all, let’s remember ‘Tis the season to be jolly’, not to be stressed out, fraught, exhausted and overwhelmed.  Let’s take time to reflect on and celebrate 2009 and look forward to 2010.  You never know what’s round the corner in 2010.  I hope it’s a good year for you with lots of good things.  Start it as you mean to go on.  Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from, Helen

It’s National Stress Awareness Day today!

Posted on: Nov 04, 2009 - 05:54 PM

I do hope that you aren’t stressed.  Just because it’s National Stress Day doesn’t mean we have to celebrate it by being stressed does it?  Mind you it would be good if all our stress could be limited to one day a year wouldn’t it?  Imagine if we could save up all our stress and deal with it and get it out of the way in ONE day.  A very good therapist once gave me a very good piece of advice about stress which I would like to share with you.  He told me “to put aside a period in which to problem-solve of one or two hours a day, rather than worry around and about whenever thoughts come into your head”.  He also told me to “become a mistress/master of your own emotions, rather than be at the beck and call of the circumstances and other people”.  I have found that piece of advice very helpful over the years and hope it can help you too.  I’m sure you’ll find more suggestions on the National Stress Awareness Day site. Or share how you feel on our forum.
Wishing you all a stress free National Stress Day.  Helen

We are 1!

Posted on: Oct 22, 2009 - 06:15 PM

Dear All,
If I could blow out the candle and make a wish, it would obviously be that no-one suffered from Depression.  Unfortunately I am not a magician so my 2nd wish is that this site can reach more people and hopefully help more people affected by depression.  We now have over 10,000 unique visits to the site every month.

It’s been a busy year for the site and we’ve been lucky enough to have some great publicity and exposure including:

  • Website of the Week in the You supplement of the Mail on Sunday
  • Stella supplement in the Sunday Telegraph
  • Easy Living Magazine feature on Helpful Websites
  • Martin Lewis’s website
  • National and local TV and Radio
  • International radio and press
  • NHS World Mental Health Day

The unswerving support from our Experts on the site is tremendous.  I want to say a huge thank you to them.  Look out for Marisa’s live chat coming soon on the forum.

We have also joined forces with two great companies whose products have a fantastic reputation for helping depression:

This has been a great year and if we carry on this way hopefully the site can continue to reach and help more people which is what it’s all about.

My hope is that people can share their experiences both positive and negative and gain from other people’s experiences.  There are such amazing and inciteful words of wisdom and support from fellow sufferers and carers on the site.  I want to thank all the members for sharing them and look forward to welcoming more visitors and sharing more. 

Best wishes, Helen

Celebrating World Mental Health Week

Posted on: Oct 09, 2009 - 03:57 PM

I’ve been celebrating World Mental Health Week with the NHS this week.  Today I was in Nottinghamshire at the Rosewood Centre in Ollerton.  It has been an amazing day and there’s more tomorrow so do come along and join us!  There are lots of activities like Ribbon Dancing, Henna Painting, Belly Dancing with ‘The Rosehips’ (I managed to escape that one today much to my relief and probably everyone else’s).  There is also relaxation, reflexology and massage taster sessions.  Plus there is lots of information about the many services available to people suffering from all kinds of mental health problems and their carers. Oh and there are lots of yummy refereshments to keep everyone going.  What a fantastic day.  Thank you to everyone for an amazing day and for raising the awareness of mental illness in such a positve way.  Helen

The last day of summer…

Posted on: Sep 20, 2009 - 09:46 AM

I know that I can’t put it off any longer. I don’t know about you but I’ve been putting off the last day of summer until the last possible official date on the calendar.  Depending on which reference point you take, summer can end anywhere from mid August to September.  Astronomy says that mid August is the end of summer.  Meteorology says it’s the end of August.  If your reference is schools going back after summer vacation, it’s late August to September.  I prefer to wait until the day before the first day of the fall which is officially 21st September which means that today is the last day of summer.  I’m still holding out very naively for an Indian summer though which could happen in October/November.  I hope that you’re all taking advantage of the sunshine to tide you over the winter months.  If not, I hope that you’ve got a good imagination or a light box or a holiday booked!  I’m sure it won’t be that bad.  Each season is indeed beautiful.  Autumn is full of colour and brisk walks in the fresh air through piles of fallen leaves are great for lifting your mood too.  Please do share any other ideas for autumn on the Positive Suggestions and I’ll post them to the site for others to try.  Have a great autumn.  Helen

‘Static happiness’

Posted on: Sep 01, 2009 - 08:10 AM

According to psychologists, we are experiencing ‘static happiness’ -  living faster but not better.  In 1957, 52% of people in Britain described themselves as happy.  In 2006 it was 36%.  If you are on this site you may not be that happy right now but I hope that that is everyone’s aim to be happy as everyone deserves to be happy.  No-one should feel guilty about feeling happy.  You deserve to be happy in your life as much as anything else like energy and health.  It doesn’t have to be deserved.  Happiness is our original state.  It is how we feel when we accept ourselves and are true to ourselves.  It can get blurred along the path of life if we let it and sometimes it seems impossible to be happy.  Dr Robert Holden, psychologist, author and director of the Happiness Project, says that most of our blocks to happiness are in the past and that to be happy we have to be willing to give up all hopes for a better past; then we can move on with our life.  Happiness is about self-acceptance.  If you want to know how happy you are, ask, ‘How happy am I today?’  Then score it out of ten.  Say you score seven; you can then tune into that and say, ‘OK, what would have to happen for me to be at eight?’  I found that quite interesting.  I hope you do too.  Helen

Emotional Support is just a click away

Posted on: Aug 01, 2009 - 07:20 PM

The website is our lifeline for pretty much everything these days from knowledge to shopping and dating but now it can help with our emotional problems too.  We can have emotional support 24/7 like we expect of anything else these days at the click of a button.  I feel honoured that the site features in a fantastic article in Easy Living Magazine this month in their Emotional Intelligence section about websites that can offer help and support for a whole host of emotional problems from depression and relationship problems to addiction and alcoholism.  It is a fact of life that we all feel down sometimes or have a problem and need someone to talk to or to get it off our chests.  Sometimes we don’t feel able to tell family and friends for fear of shocking or upsetting them or bothering them. It’s reassuring to know that we can find support online from the comfort of our own homes.  You don’t even have to use your real name which makes it even easier to say what you are really feeling.  It sometimes helps just to know that you are not alone.  So if you’re feeling down or are struggling with a problem, try it. Help really could be just a click away.  Helen

Summer therapy

Posted on: Jun 23, 2009 - 12:43 PM

Welcome to Summer.  Here comes the sun, that powerful remedy and excellent therapy.  Soak it up when you can and enjoy!  Best wishes, Helen

Acknowledgment and recognition for carers in Carers Week

Posted on: Jun 09, 2009 - 01:40 PM

Carers unpaid contribution is £87 bn each year which is the same as the NHS costs each year.  So it’s a pretty big job! In fact, the role of a carer is invaluable.  1 in 8 adults in the UK is a carer.  There are 6 million carers in the UK.  Carers often assume their role with no warning, training, support, or financial security.  They often have to give up their jobs, income, future employment and rights to a pension and their social lives to dedicate themselves to the role of carer.  Caring is more often than not a full time job.  The role of a carer seems to be synonymous with that of a ‘fighter’.  They fight for care for their patient; they fight for financial support; they fight for knowledge; they fight for recognition by GPs and social workers and support staff and family and friends.  Many are pushed to the point of stress and depression as a result of caring and cannot get support themselves.  Carers Week is about raising recognition of carers and awareness of services.  Here, here!  Click here to find out more.

Here comes the sun.  Soak it up and store it for winter!

Posted on: Jun 03, 2009 - 06:42 PM

Looks like summer’s here.  Although summer doesn’t officially start until 21st June, it looks like it’s eager to get started!  Most of us know that the sun boosts serotonin and lifts our mood but did you know that soaking up more sunlight in the summer could increase your chances of preventing or reducing depression in the winter?  Light stimulates the production of cholecalciferol which the body turns into vitamin D.  Vitamin D helps the body to maintain higher levels of serotonin and keeps your mood and energy levels higher.  So getting more light in the summer months may help you build a store of cholecalciferol and spur your body to produce more vitamin D and keep you going through the winter.  Don’t forget your suncream!

Mind Week 9-16th May is telling men to get it off their chests

Posted on: May 11, 2009 - 07:57 AM

Depression is not discriminatory.  It doesn’t care who is sweeps up in its path.  Men, women and children of all ages, nationalities and social status can and are victims of depression.  Then Mental Health Charity Mind is devoting this week to focusing on Men and Mental Health. 
We have no problem going to see our doctor if we have a sore throat but how long does it take us if we think that we are suffering from depression or a mental illness?  It is often hard for women and men to seek help and admit to seeking help for a mental illness.  Fear of appearing weak; fear of losing jobs; fear of losing friends and partners are just some of the reasons that make it hard.  We all know that men find it harder to talk about their feelings than women, and with recession hitting hard and many losing jobs, this can add to the pressure men (and women) feel.  There are details of lots of events going on this week and helpful information and downloads on their site in aid of Mind raising awareness of Mental Health in Men.
I worked in a male dominated environment and felt weak when I suffered from a breakdown and depression.  If I had sought help sooner, I might have avoided years of depression.  Since then many of my male friends have felt able to talk to me about feeling low.  If you are feeling depressed, please go to see your doctor.  Depression is an illness like any other illness and as such can be treated and cured.  The first step to getting and feeling better is seeking help and talking. 

Happy Easter

Posted on: Apr 10, 2009 - 02:13 PM

There’s never a better time than Easter to use the valid excuse that chocolate boosts your serotonin levels to eat your Easter Eggs without feeling guilty!  Best wishes for a lovely Easter from Helen.

British Summertime’s here at last

Posted on: Mar 29, 2009 - 06:50 PM

Did you all remember to put your clocks forward?  For most of us it wouldn’t have been so important today but here’s a friendly reminder before Monday morning just in case!  I’m sure you’ll all agree that the hour less in bed was almost worth it for the beautiful sunny day and the longer evening.  Blue skies are here to brighten our days and hopefully boost our mood and lift our spirits.  I know that depression is much more complex and tortuous than being affected by bad weather and it will take more than a sunny day to feel better but hopefully it will help.  Here’s hoping the sun keeps shining.  From Helen

Spring’s Here…

Posted on: Mar 20, 2009 - 02:38 PM

And the weather knows it!  I hope the sun is shining where you are and that you manage to find a few minutes out in it to recharge depleted batteries after a long and depressing winter.  Most of us feel brighter when we fling back our curtains to rays of sunshine but Vitamin D that we get from the sun is also known to boost our immune system and lift our mood so let’s make the most of it and long may it last!  Wishing you all a lovely sunny Mother’s Day weekend. Helen

Love Makes The World Go Round

Posted on: Feb 12, 2009 - 11:35 AM

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the pressure is on to show publically how much we love our nearest and dearest.  That extends beyond boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, husbands and wives to anyone and everyone in our lives we love, including friends and family and even pets.  We don’t want to upset them by not getting them what they are expecting from us on the 14th February so we all feel obliged to ‘join the queue’ and spend lots of money on cards and flowers and surprises.  Many people I know are even as organized as to have ‘A Plan B’ for the Big Day! 
Even if we show our love every day we get ‘bullied’ into paying for it on Valentine’s day which is the day that commercialism decided we should tell people we love them.  Martin Lewis has some great ideas for avoiding the price of Commercialism on Valentine’s Day!
We all like to feel loved and that someone cares. Who could say truthfully that they don’t like to get a card that says ‘I love you’.  I remember sitting eagerly by the letterbox every Valentine’s Day as a teenager (in as cool a fashion as possible) to see how many people - if any - loved me.  Even if we don’t get lots of cards on Valentine’s day, it doesn’t mean we’re not loved.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe or know if and how much someone cares or loves us but someone always does.  Love comes in many forms and from many sources.  Often loved ones don’t show love as we would like to be shown it or as we show it.  We are all wonderfully different and unique and do things differently.  We all have our own way of telling or showing someone we love them.  Many people find it hard to say how much they love someone and prefer to show it.  They do say that actions speak louder than words. Look out for those signs!  Happy Valentine’s weekend.  Love to you all from, Helen

Today is officially the most depressing day of the year

Posted on: Jan 19, 2009 - 12:20 PM

The weather seems to think so!  So hopefully it’s uphill from here!  If any of you have any positive suggestions of how to get through today or any day actually and would like to share them on the site, please use the ‘Feedback’ or ‘Post your Stories’ option within the Interactive page and we will post them to the site.  We are setting up a permanent facility to do this through a ‘Positive Suggestions’ tab but don’t let that stop you in the meantime. People who have been through depression or are going through it are experts in knowing what helps and works and their suggestions and methods are tried and tested!  I very much look forward to reading them. My contribution today is this very funny version of ‘My Favourite Things’from the legendary movie ‘Sound of Music’.  On her Birthday, Julie Andrews changed the lyrics:
(My suggestion is to Sing It!) - If you sing it, its especially hysterical!!!

Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don ’ t feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin ’ ,
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin ’ ,
And we won ’ t mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I ’ ve had,
And then I don ’ t feel so bad.

Life is something that happens when you’ve got something else planned

Posted on: Jan 15, 2009 - 11:17 AM

We are two weeks into the New Year with the whole of 2009 in front of us.  I wonder what it will hold?  No doubt there will be challenges as no one’s life is without challenges.  The word itself suggests hard work.  We often cannot change the challenges we face or our fate but we can decide what attitude to take towards the circumstances and challenges in our lives and that attitude affects the quality of our life. If we find that the way that we react to our circumstances and challenges isn’t helping us, we can change how we react to and deal with them in a way that is more helpful to us. It is a fact that life is a series of adjustments.  It could be far easier and life could be much more enjoyable if we just adjust with the adjustments instead of fighting against them or getting depresssed or frustrated about them.  I often find that it is much more how I react to something than the thing itself that determines the outcome and the quality of my life.  Often, our immediate reaction is defensive, aggressive and not very helpful to us.  If we can take a step back, take a deep breath, put the kettle on and have a cuppa, get some fresh air, count to 10 or even have a good scream (or whatever works for you) and go back to the challenge, our solution is much more helpful to us and maybe we can even turn it to our advantage (maybe that’s too optimistic but you know where I’m coming from).  Whatever this year holds for us all, I hope that it is a good one and that we can embrace our challenges and enjoy trying to turn them to our advantage.  Lots of love,Helen x

Happy New Year Everyone

Posted on: Jan 02, 2009 - 06:13 PM

Welcome back to normality after a whirlwind week of family, friends, children, Santa, presents, travelling, shopping and copious amounts of food and drink and whatever else Christmas and New Year celebrations have meant to you.  It’s exhausting just listing what we’ve all been doing.  Christmas holidays are rarely a break for people and we all seem to go back to work and school and every day life after our ‘holidays’ with colds, flu and viruses and spend most of January in a hangover like state.  I decided to drive to the coast at the last minute on New Year’s Day to blow away the cobwebs and make some resolutions. By the time I got there it was very dark, I couldn’t see the sea and the tide was in so I couldn’t walk on the beach.  It wasn’t quite what I had in mind but it certainly cleared away the cobwebs and hopefully any germs as it was about -3 degrees and I enjoyed it nevertheless.  I made my resolutions in record time and quickly sought refuge in a cosy pub by the fire.  Most of my Christmas and New Year plans were last minute this year actually.  In fact, despite very little planning and much worrying about so little planning for Christmas and New Year, I enjoyed both very much and it has taught me a valuable lesson.  My usual rushing and planning at Christmas isn’t really necessary.  It’s a pressure I put on myself.  No one enjoyed themselves any less for less planning.  We all rush at life 100% and put so much in and are sorely disappointed when we don’t seem to get as much out of life as we put in.  We put pressure on ourselves to do this and take things so personally when they don’t go as we expect.  Life isn’t being waged against us personally although it can feel like it a lot of the time so here’s wishing you all a gentle, peaceful and hopeful 2009. Helen

Seasons Greetings

Posted on: Dec 27, 2008 - 08:25 PM

Whether it has been watching childrens’ excitement or carol singing or beautiful Christmas lights or Christmas trees lighting up the bay windows in peoples’ homes or the giving or receiving of gifts that has been your most vivid memory of this Christmas, I hope that the Christmas spirit has touched you in some way or other this year.  I wish you all a very Happy New Year. See you in 2009!  Best wishes from Helen

You can catch happiness

Posted on: Dec 13, 2008 - 02:05 PM

The good news from the British Medical Journal last week was that happiness is catching.  When someone gets happy, that person’s friend experiences a 10% chance of becoming happy.  A friend of that friend experiences nearly a 10% chance of increased happiness, and a friend of that friend has a 5.6% chance of increased chance of happiness.  This means that even a stranger’s mood can do more to lift your mood more than a $5000 salary raise which only increases happiness by 2% according to the study.  Take a look at for more happy data. So my advice is to spend time with happy friends.  Hopefully you’ll be able to find even more of them happy at the moment given the Christmas Spirit that is in the air!
Several studies have linked happiness and health that found buoyant personality types catch fewer colds than people who are down.
All good reasons to do something that makes us happy, whether it be spending time with happy friends, turning on a happy tune or watching a funny film or TV programme!  So go on and spread a little happiness!  Love to you all, Helen

White Christmas

Posted on: Dec 05, 2008 - 06:04 PM

Right now it’s certainly cold enough to give us a White Christmas but given the principle of ‘Sod’s law’, if it can get warm for Christmas Day to give us a Grey Christmas, it probably will!  However, not to be too negative and in the words of my father. ‘You never know what’s round the corner’!  So I will reserve judgment and Wait and See.  I do hope that none of you have fallen victim to the snow and ice that seems to typify every day at the moment.  My brother slipped and fell over in the car park at work much to his colleagues amusement.  What’s happened to sympathy these days?  If you have suffered a similar fate, you have my sympathy.  Wrap up warm and keep smiling.
Much love, Helen

Time flies…..

Posted on: Nov 27, 2008 - 04:02 PM

I cannot believe that this is the last November blog that I will write and that we are on that slippery slope to Christmas much quicker than I and I am sure many of you would like.  I used to hear my grandparents; then I used to hear my parents, and now I hear myself saying: ‘The older you get, the faster time flies’. They also say that ‘Time flies when you’re having fun’.  Does that mean that we have more fun as we get older?  I think that a more realistic reason for time flying as we get older is that with age seems to come more responsibility and hard work and juggling and people running around like idiots wishing that they had more hours in a day. Maybe that saying should be brought update for adults to: ’ Time flies when you’re running around like a headless chicken!’  That means stress for most people but if you can have fun along the way too, so much the better.  Whatever your diary looks like on that slippery slope to Christmas, I hope that you manage to have fun while you are running around.
Best wishes from Helen

Winter Sunshine

Posted on: Nov 18, 2008 - 01:51 PM

Hello everyone.  The sun is shining here.  I hope it is with you too.  It’s days like today that make us appreciate the seasons rather than moan about them!  I hope that some of you have managed to get outside to get the full benefit of the suns’ rays and that the rest of you are enjoying the warm rays through the glass while you are inside.  If you are inside you can almost imagine yourself on the continent somewhere as we are sheltered from the cool winter air and just see and feel the wonderful light and heat on our faces and bodies.  There is something wonderful about the sun on your face.
It reminds me of family holidays as a child and my mum always saying to me: ‘Get your face to the sun!’
We always seemed to take holidays when I had exams to revise for so I spent most of my holiday with my head in a book.  Wish I’d listened to her then as it is only as a child that we don’t seem to be worried about ageing and wrinkles these days!
So, get your faces to the sun everyone and absorb that vitamin D that is very good for lifting our mood. A study by the mental health charity, Mind, showed that a single walk in the park improved tension and depression in 90% of people surveyed.  Just remember to look down and watch where you are walking as I would hate to be responsible for you tripping!
Best wishes,

Welcome to my new blog

Posted on: Nov 05, 2008 - 10:10 PM

First Blog Entry
Hello everyone.  Well, I have to say that the weather won’t be helping anyone feel much better today. Even if a walk in the park does improve tension and depression, not many people will want to walk in the dank, drizzle and mud that I see outside today or expect to feel much better after it. We all begin to feel like moles at this time of year as we go to work in the dark and come home in the dark.  Why do we have to put the clocks back again!?  All in all, if you weren’t feeling too bad this summer, it may well be catching up with you now.  Try and spend some time in some natural light and if you have a good imagination, even go as far as imagining yourself to be somewhere where the sun is shining.
The seasons are wonderful but adjusting to short days of grey doesn’t help us when we are feeling low especially as a lot of viruses seem to be floating around and people are feeling generally below par and sorry for themselves feeling that there is little in life to smile about.
I hope that something has made you smile today.  If not, I would like to share with you what my nephew said to me today that made me smile.
I had to pick my nephew up from school today.  I was wearing pink cord trousers and jumper.  He came running out of school to greet me in his usual fashion that always makes me feel so special and happy even when I am feeling miserable and then asked why I had come out in my pyjamas?
Only a 4 year old could get away with that but at least I know now and I won’t be wearing that combination again!
Thinking of you all and sending you best and bright wishes on this miserable winter’s day,

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