Why Having Something to Look Forward to is Important

I spoke before about my targets for 2013 here and one of them was paying it forward to help other people.

With that in mind I have volunteered to attend the Time To Change Stereo Hype festival taking place in 2 weeks. I have been assigned to speak to people attending about mental health and it is something I am both excited and nervous about in equal measure!

Here is what I have in store..

Volunteer at the event

Getting African and Caribbean communities talking about mental health.

Stereo-Hype will take place at London’s Stratford Circus on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 January 2013. We’re looking for volunteers with lived experience of mental health problems to help us!

This two-day festival of performance, talks and creative arts is being run with and for people from African and Caribbean communities, and aims to start conversations about mental health and wellbeing. We particularly want people from African and Caribbean communities in east London to join us.

Volunteers will help us to encourage new understanding and challenge stereotypes around mental illness by talking to people about their experiences of mental health problems. There will be a range of roles for you to choose from, including a limited number helping us manage the event. Also roles speaking about your personal experience of mental health problems.  Full training will be provided.

 

obviously I am not African-Caribbean but this is by the by, it is an opportunity for me to speak to people about mental health and this is all part of the year of the Moose in helping others.

I am fortunate in the sense that I am comfortable speaking to people in most situations (usually shutting me up is the problem), I am happy to talk about my depression around people because I hope it gives other people the courage to do the same. Imagine if I spoke to one person, they spoke to another and so on – this is my motivation.

The big thing for me though is that I have something planned for the future, I will be going out and helping others as well as myself. I find that having something to look forward to works wonders for my depression.

Knowing I HAVE to go out and attend the event because I was selected as a volunteer gives me something to look forward to. It gives me a chance for 2 days of getting out instead of staring at the same four walls everyday and the days merging into another.

Every day brings a different challenge with depression so having a date in my diary gives me the chance to stay positive and aim for something!

This is vital when battling depression, knowing that something different is happening or going to happy, breaking the monotony of each day. Speaking from my own experience I know how much my mood improves just by going out and meeting people. As hard as it is to fight the urges to cancel, pull out at the last minute or no show it really is something I recommend to anyone with depression.

I’m even meeting a good Facebook buddy of mine in February so I am working hard to get out and about! And as we know how hard it is for me with my IBS issues to leave the house if I can do it then what is stopping you?

Naturally, what works for me is not going to work for others but have you at least given it a try? Hell I’m only on the end of the central line if you want to give it a try!

Get out, even for a few hours and it has the chance to make improvements in mood. Yet even if that fails at least you can say you have got out of the house and attempted something different!

 

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Moose Kicking Ass

Has anyone seen my depression? It seems to have taken a bit of an ass kicking the past week and has (temporarily) done a runner!

My PHQ9 score has gone under 10 for the first time ever since I started doing the form to monitor my depression.

It has been as high as high twenties and today when I did the questionnaire I was at 9!!

This week started out on Sunday with my day out to meet friends in London and I have even been out visiting relatives yesterday and today, and despite a few near misses with the IBS it has been a bloody good week!

There is something to be said for actually forcing yourself out and about and looking at a different environment instead of the same four walls everyday.

I am recommending it to you all as of now! get out of the house and have a day out!

Beyond the Front Door…

Outside the flat is a big world that I often neglect for a multitude of reasons.

Today though there was a get together arranged within the elephant in the room community on facebook that I love so much!

It had been arranged for weeks and I was really looking forward to meeting up with some old friends who I have already made through ele and meeting some new folks but I woke up late this morning and almost didn’t go!

Thankfully I just went with it rather than worry about the IBS and despite now taking my meds this morning or visiting the toilet for my morning appointment I rushed out the door and headed to the British Museum.

British Museum

British Museum

After a cup of tea or two and some lunch, and the moose gatecrashing about 45 photos (giggles), 3 of us headed to Covent Garden to soak up the Christmoose (Okay it was a reindeer) lights…

reindeer

 

and Jack Daniels tree…Moose likey this tree!!

JD Tree

JD Tree

 

and after that we went for dinner with a couple more friends who joined up with us!

I had a great day and was really pleased I went despite not having any money to spend especially on this amazing calender I spotted

BEST CALENDER EVER!!!

BEST CALENDER EVER!!!

And the moral of this post is…

Until you actually get your ass out of the house and try something different you just dont know what you might be missing out on!

Thanks to Hazel for arranging this and Liz for buying me dinner!

Maybe I should arrange something similar for my wordpress and twitter buddies! assuming one of you will buy me dinner of course!