Today is Time To Talk day, and I although its only a few days since I last posted, I feel compelled to post something about the power of talking about our wellbeing.
Although this blog is about my allotment, my kitchen, and the food we eat, it was born out of a desire to document my mental health and the journey I am on to recover from depression and anxiety. As a teacher I was stressed, over worked and reached burn out; suffering from low mood, anxiety and weight loss. The turning point for me was when I opened up to a colleague, and rather than shying away from it, they listened, gave me a hug and told me to visit my doctor. Just talking was the first step to getting it under control, and talking about my feelings has become something which has consistently helped me; whether to my super supportive wife, to a counsellor, to friends and family, even to people who ask me why I’m now a baker. It’s a hard thing to do sometimes, but in my experience the vast majority of people are supportive and often talk about their own mental health difficulties.
Talking about mental health issues, and doing something which helps my wellbeing, has led me to completely change my career. From a teacher in a primary school, to the project lead of a social enterprise, Stoneham Bakehouse, which is using breadmaking to support the community’s wellbeing. One of the projects we have started is a baking for wellbeing project with the local junior school. Based on the NEF’s 5 Ways to Wellbeing, it focusses on using working with dough to facilitate mindfulness and talking about feelings.
So, on Time To Talk Day, I encourage you to talk to friends, family, people at the allotment. Just talk to them. Check in with them. See how they are. Talking can really help.