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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Season of Seasons

Seasonal events can be triggering for my mental health, its fair to say its not always good in the hood.

This year I made a conscious decision to make my own festivities. I did this by looking out for and attending a few events, even some themed ones. This allowed me to have more of the fun with the colours, activities and sounds of the seasons without thinking 'fuck, here comes Christmas!'. For me, attending these events for Mike's Open Journal and or representing Pompey Bloggers, allowed me to have something to focus on. Like finding out whats going on, talking to a member of the events team, taking some cool photos, or chatting to other bloggers that have attended.

For me this removed some of the pressure I feel when around family or friends to be 'happy' or festive. I mean I still feel that, but not as much. I think having a task to focus on has definitely helped me to enjoy the events I've been to.

Halloween has become my warning that Christmas is coming. Winter is here, theres cold nights, its getting dark at 4pm. However I enjoyed my halloween experience this year.

Starting off with the Halloween Funfair of Frights at Fareham Shopping Centre. I hadn't been to Fareham Shopping Centre for a long while, so I was surprised at how big the Centre is compared to Havant's Meridian Centre (my local shopping centre). It definitely has a few pluses, being a short walk from the sea and having a Burger King attached to the Centre (Burger King, sponsor me already! Please).

There was a friendly atmosphere with lots of families taking part in the activities including circus skills, funfair games and facepainting.

The Shopping Centre experience was a fun one and very relaxed. This encrouaged me to keep an eye out for other upcoming events. I thought this could be a good way to have a bit of fun with some Christmas events, without overdoing it. So if you like me struggle with the festive stuff maybe consider these in future.

In fact I have just been to my first 'Christmas event at The Body Shop, which I will be telling you about next week!

Additionally I have had the joy of talking to a few bloggers I haven't spoken to in a while lately. Plus there has been the awesome friendships I've gained with a few new people too.

Just making time to see people and doing something small like walk around the shops or getting something to eat has made a big difference to me this October and November. I am hoping that being aware of how these activities and people are helping me (and hopefully, maybe them) means I'm more likely to continue with this approach to 'life', especially when I'm low and struggling with my mental health. Depression and elements of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) will, I know, make my December and January really hard. But for now, I'm keeping in mind these awesome things that have happened lately.

Trick or Treating with my nieces. This was lovely, spending time with them can be triggering for me because of thoughts around family and relationships. But it was so lovely to see them enjoy being dressed up and getting sweets (who doesn't like that?).

Meeting up with Sophie and Rebecca. We recently met up in London, it was lovey to met Rebecca and to see Soph again. It was just a lot of relaxed fun. We have already planned our next meet up!

Mollie was amazing! I hadn't heard her before so wasn't sure what to expect, plus it was a Sunday night. But she was great and so worth being out on a Sunday for!

Also, shout out for the drumming solo!!

Attending local events such as todays tap dancing in the Meridian Shopping Centre Havant. Find out whats going on near you. This was a free event and took up about 30 minutes of my time. Yet it helped get me up and out the house. I got to see cool tap dancing for FREE!

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