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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

S.A.D. Portsmouth & My Amazing Day

Today has been great, its been lovely. Like its still weird when days like today happen. I actually enjoyed my day. Not part of it, but the whole day 9am to 6pm (its 6pm now).

My day started off with breakfast at dad's. It was a bit of a family breakfast with my sister, her boyfriend and 2 little ones coming along too. After dad's cooked breakfast there was some brief chatting amongst the playing with the dog and watching Layla and Phoebe play with the water sprinkler (and the dog). It was a nice relaxed morning.

At 12pm I left and made my way to Portsmouth. I had only found out about this event about a week ago. I think it was from a poster in one of my small local shops. I'd happened to see it while queuing and thought it looked interesting. I came home and checked out the Facebook page, to look at where and when the event actually was.

I had to use my satnav today as I couldn't find it. Eventually I found it and fortunately a place to park on the other side of the road (free parking is always a win). The event was held in a social club, a fairly small venue, which was nice but potentially daunting. After talking to one of the members at the door I quickly walked in, not walking to over think about whole walking into a small event on your own thing.

There were not many stalls, I think there was about 10 or 12. It was nice to see the now familiar Samaritans stand. That made me feel kind of comfortable. I have got used to seeing the Sams at most of the mental health events I have attended, so that was a good start for me. I decided to start at their stand, having a chat about the call centres and how calls are allocated.

Moving round I then spoke to two ladies from the Portsmouth Wellbeing Team. We spoke about a lot of the support being offered in the week during the day, which I can not access while at work. They did have some good looking workshops on offer, but again, during the week between 9.30am and 3pm.

The next stall was super interesting, I was there longer than most people I think haha. Another lovely lady who's name I can't remember, talked about creative writing and craft as a way to calm anxiety and express emotion and feelings. It was great! I particularly enjoyed the writing. One activity was writing about your perfect day based on one sentence for each of the senses. I started with that but ended up with a page hahaha. Another was looking at a sheet of words, picking 3 that stand out then using them as a basis for you writing (again the idea being about 3 - 5 sentences but you could do more).

There was also a drumming stand, which I had a look at, unfortunately I missed the class / workshop they did. There were relaxation candles and therapies too, along with a life coach. I had a free life coaching session, I'm super interested in stuff like this because, I don't know about you but, I always leave thinking they haven't told you anything new or that you have not heard before. However, they have a way of talking and phrasing things that really empowers you to believe in you and whatever they are saying. Maybe its the cheap ass in me, but this is where I think free sessions are great. It gives you the insight and believe that yes I can do this, without having to think 'O, I need to have this every week or month'.

Before I left I also spoke to two people from the SAD Portsmouth group to find out a bit more. Heres the info; they meet on Thursdays at 7pm to 9pm in the same location as we were today, Broad Oak Social Club. The group is made up of people with their own lived experience of mental health illnesses. There is one professional mental health worker in the group to help keep the group on track and provide guidance if required. There is no pressure or expectation to go every week. Once every 4 to 6 weeks there is a quiz night on a Sunday to help raise money for the group. If you would like to find out more then please visit their Facebook page.

After a couple of hours I decided it was time too make a move, but with all this positivity talk I didn't want to go home. So I headed to Southsea to walk along the seafront and take some photos. It was more loveliness! Even though I had to park 4 roads from the seafront due to the shear mass of people. It was hot, but the sea breeze kept me cool. It was just lovely. So much loveliness today!

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