Today has been fraught with anxiety and a despair so deep I’m astonished that I managed to haul myself out of bed. My patience has been as thin as a new moon and I’ve been shaking for most of the past twelve hours. My chest has been so tight it’s as if someone has bound my heart up with twine. It’s has been an uncomfortable and difficult day, to say the least.
But there was an hour when I felt okay when I didn’t feel hounded by life. That hour was when I went with my daughter for a walk. I took my camera with me, as I wanted to capture the single foxglove that I’d seen on the bank by the country road.
Four things which help me to manage my mental health are: solitude, nature, writing, and books. When everything gets too much, and I can feel my mood slip sliding to a really horrible place, what helps me is to be alone, either in nature or in a quiet room with a book and my notebook or Microsoft Word and the project I’m working on.
Since becoming a mum, alone time has become so much more precious. But I have also had to adapt to having a little person around. I haven’t been able to go to many wild places, so I’ve had to get better acquainted with nature close by. These past weeks I’ve been passing the thistles on a daily basis, early anticipating their blooming.
But I need to give my heart and my head more space. I’ve been waiting for months to be able to get a baby hiking carrier, and this week I think I might finally be able to get one. I’ll be able to go to all the wild places my spirit needs and take little Saga with me. Even thinking about all the places we will go makes me feel lighter, freer. As John Muir once said, ‘The mountains are calling, and I must go.’