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Sandra Dean – Registered Member

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Days out, learning, using the senses (mindfulness), eating and sun can be great for the mind, body, soul, stress and depression – be mindful

I am feeling really good today! OK, I have body aches etc but my mind is pretty clear and I am not feeling depressed at all.

Now, there could be lots of reasons for this, and I will not go into them all because I feel that one of the most prevalent reasons is because I have been outside enjoying myself all weekend. Sometimes, I can be out and about, granted, and still feel miserable, but most times it is an antidote to stress and depression for me.

I am very lucky that I have Chris around, as he is a great planner and has more ‘get up and go’ than me, despite his being much older than me. He comes up with great ideas of things to do and where I would be happy to stay in and get stuck on my computer all day, he wants to get out and about in his car or aeroplane, on the train or walking.

So, this weekend… We went to Gosport on Saturday to the Submarine Museum, where we explored the inside and out of the ‘Alliance’ a 1947 British submarine, which was on service until 1973. Wow, I strongly recommend a visit there, as a half day, as you also get to speak to ex-submariners who are willing to talk about their experiences at sea and tell you about the conditions aboard the Alliance for its crew. We had planned to go last Monday, but got there to find that Price William was there for the ‘re-dedication’ of the ‘Alliance’ so it was shut!

Sunday… Another early start and a drive to Milton Keynes for a full day at ‘Bletchley Park’ where WW2 code breaking took place. Oh my, my brain felt a little fried by the end of the day, as there is so much to take in there, especially the running of the ‘Bombes’ machines which were set up to speed up the process of cracking the daily settings for the Enigma machines, so they could read the intercepted messages of our WW2 enemies between each other.

I was especially pleased to see plenty of information on Alan Turing, who was treated appallingly for being gay, despite his magnificent efforts during the war. He was offered prison or chemical castration and he chose the latter then committed suicide within about two years.

We then stayed in a hotel last night, and today (Monday) we visited ZSL Whipsnade Zoo (on our way home now). I am not keen on zoos now, as too many animals are not kept in areas big enough for their needs, and especially dislike zoos since the killing of the baby giraffe (Marius) at Copenhagen zoo and the killing of multiple lions at Longleat. However, since seeing the conservation work of Whipsnade, I thought it could be worth a view to find out for myself. And, although I still think animals should be free, unfortunately far too many are endangered in the wild and the only way to keep them going is zoo breeding, so this can be of benefit and I was pleasantly surprised at how large the zoo area is and how big the enclosures were, especially for the big cats.

Now this was a particularly action packed long weekend, but I feel so mentally refreshed, having concentrated on my five senses, (sight, sound, taste, touch and smell, known to help ‘keep you in the moment’) whilst taking in the environments and people around me, eaten nice food and taken much needed exercise. I feel tired, but it’s a nice tired.

Getting out and about doesn’t cure depression and stress, but it sure can help to make some plans, even if it’s just a walk in the woods or a visit to a seafront, especially when the sun is shining. It may just make you feel better too if you are feeling low, and even if it is only temporary happiness and relief it’s got to be better than none at all! 🙂

I even finished my counselling level 2 skills on Friday and dealt with the ending fine. I am a bit sad but two years ago it would have been hard as I found change and endings very difficult. I am awaiting my results now and an interview in July to find out if I am able to start level 4 counselling skills in September!

Sometimes mental illness is ingrained in us and we cannot eradicate it, but what we can always do is to learn how to cope with our minds, thoughts and behaviours to make life easier to deal with.

Take care,

Amanda 🙂

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3 comments to Days out, learning, using the senses (mindfulness), eating and sun can be great for the mind, body, soul, stress and depression – be mindful

  • emma p

    As you know I have gez as my planner,and motivation.he’s also ex submariner.we went to Portsmouth a while back and spoke to service was a great day’s true a afternoon out can really lift your spirits.

  • David P

    So glad to hear you have someone who ensures you don’t remin indoors and become too insular. The longer you do that , the harder it becomes to break the habit. It great to know you had a wonderful weekend too, your senses have obviously taken a good pounding.
    It’s brilliant to know you’re doing so well.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • amandagreenauthor

      Aw thanks David! He asked me if I wanted him to plan this weekend too, and I said ‘Yes please!’. All I know so far is that we are doing a boat trip Sunday to see wild seals, then lunch, then a walk in a nature reserve. I’m excited! And I have had to go out every day this week for dad and myself 🙂 x

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