I love my job. I’m sure lots of people say that, but I really, truly love my job. Working for the Trust in the capacity of Expert by Experience could well be one of the best things I have ever done; I feel we’re making some real strides in terms of ongoing change, and it’s a really exciting time for Southern Health. On a personal level, my role makes me feel good about myself, it’s been beneficial for my own mental health, and I feel I’m learning a lot about myself. It’s made me value my experiences and the journey I’ve been on in a new way.

Having said all that, starting work full-time has filled up my life in a way that I’m still having to adjust to. I’m busier than I’ve ever been, and as much as taking the time to reflect and appreciate my journey is beneficial to me, I have far less time to actually do so. By the time I get home in the evening I’m usually pretty mentally exhausted! Every day I put on my ‘work persona’ like everyone else, but mine comes with a side helping of intrusive and confusing thoughts, hypervigilance and hearing voices. I have lots of strategies for handling these, like my step-by-step recovery plan which I’ll be detailing in a later post, but even on a good day it can be draining to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

I’d like to build a little more time for calm into my life. Easy to say, maybe, but definitely not so easy to fit into a busy schedule, which is why I particularly liked this 20 Day Mental Wellness Challenge I found on Twitter. All the suggestions are very simple and achievable, easy to slot into my daily routine. It’s a way of simply taking a moment to breathe, to reflect on life and on the successes and challenges of the day. I’m hoping it might be a way of improving my mental wellbeing and resilience, both at home and at work.

I’m going to do my best to complete the twenty days, starting tomorrow. I’ll be posting daily updates on Twitter to show how I’m getting on, and to share my thoughts on each day’s challenge. I’ll post again here at the end of the challenge to talk about how I found it - and if it was worth it!

I challenge anybody reading this to join me on my journey through the first twenty days of November. Watch the 4pm sunset with me on Day 9, and valiantly resist any complaints on Day 16.

  Let’s see if these simple steps give us a little slice of calm in a busy day. I look forward to seeing how we all get on - Lets support each other by using: #20DayMentalWellbeingChallenge


  1. I'll be doing this as well - looks like a great challenge and I look forward to seeing the effects! A great post as always Nathan.

  2. Love this, going to try and join in too!

    1. Fab :) Please share how you get on. I am over the moon with how many people are taking part!! #20DayMentalWellbeingChallenge


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