So this week, given that it is Mental health awareness month, I thought that I would check in with all of you and see if YOU are OK?! I have been so amazingly lucky with the people in my world that have been there for me, and I want you to know that I am here for you too! My door is always open. I have tea, coffee and vodka ready anytime (and I can usually put together a cheese platter at short notice). I have spare beds and willing ears if you want a chat, and pretty broad shoulders if you need to cry…. I am also happy to cry with you if it helps, but lets face it, I’ll cry with you anyway because that is what I do best!

We have been having conversations at work this week about mental health and how important it is to prioritise that…. certainly something that I have learned recently. If you need a mental health day – take it! Work will still be there when you come back! My usual go to is to take myself to the beach and walk it off – often at sunrise after a night of not sleeping very well. It always makes me feel better and it absolutely clears my head! Even the rainy or windy days help me to recharge if my feet are in the sand at the edge of the water.

The other thing that I love and works well for me is just talking. It doesn’t even need to be a conversation about whatever it is that’s bothering me, although that will usually come up – you may have noticed that I talk about pretty much anything that is happening in my world! I find that I get my energy from the people around me, and lucky for me I have some amazing people in my world. I like to be busy. I find it hard to sit at home if I am on my own…. it makes me sad because it highlights all that is missing in my world.

Music is another thing that will always change my mood. I love my playlist, and rarely listen to anything else lately. It goes for about 9 hours and has all sorts of things on it – my favourites and a whole lot of Clayties, as well as some random Spotify suggestions. I will often put a question out into the universe and depending on what song plays next I will have an answer of sorts. It is not particularly scientific, but it makes me feel better! – I have on occasion been asked to change songs by people driving with me tho, because they are ones that we played at Clayties funeral and where for me they are comforting, for others they are sad.

So whatever it is that works for you and your own anxieties I want to make sure you are OK! I am here to support you – however that looks! Without all of you in my world, helping and looking out for me, I am not sure where I would be, so it is only right that I return the favours. As I have said to my kids in the past, there is no problem so big that it doesn’t have a solution, sometimes you just have to look in odd places to find it! I am happy to be your ODD!

And a little PS: – What ever your thoughts on the Royal Family, it is certainly the end of an era with the death of Queen Elizabeth. She absolutely held true to her promise of dedicating her life to the crown, working right up until the very end. I do have an admiration for her absolute commitment to her job, although her children may well feel quite differently about it, especially Charles who has had to wait such a long time to have his turn at it. I have to confess to some surprise at being quite shaken by the news – but as someone said to me this morning ‘Death has a different feeling in our family now’. I feel for her family, regardless of what I think of them, as they grieve the loss of their Matriarch.

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