January walks, January thoughts

Day Trips, Diary, Mental Health

I have joined a group on Facebook urging us to challenge ourselves to a month of taking good care of ourselves mentally. It has been quite an empowering and supportive group, it’s nice to take discussion away from close friends sometimes, for their benefit too. I am keen to be a warts and all kind of person, especially in social media, because seeing just the highlights isn’t honest. It isn’t a true me and keeping schtum is not an option if we are to challenge stigma and discrimination against mental health illness. I made the decision to be a voice for Time To Change Leeds when I began volunteering for them over 3 years ago. Without voices like mine, which I hope can inspire others to be open and accepting, we will not be able to challenge society about their perception of a common illness.

I look back and think about how much I have achieved and how far I still have to go, and I am proud of my progress. That used to be difficult to say. I think I am learning to like myself.

I have a few resolutions, since it is the New Year, and a time for reflection. The main thing is, although I am determined to stick to them, if I ‘lapse’ it’s not a huge thing and I am not to feel disappointed with myself.

  1. Reach out and catch up with the few people who have stood by me over the years, not to leave it months between communication.
  2. To take a more assertive path in securing photography jobs and commissions.
  3. To blog about my photography, wellbeing and community at least twice a month.
  4. To continue with my recovery and be a peer support for others.
  5. Walk more. Explore more. Go out and discover my world.

I bought some new walking boots, as I plan on getting out into the Yorkshire countryside more this year.

These photos were taken at Otley Chevin, Leeds, West Yorkshire

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