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Lee's Lens

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week across the country and on that Sunday, I published a new blog post entitled ‘Battling Wasps’. My intention was to raise awareness of the role that stress plays in the daily challenges for people with poor mental health. Just like those annoying, irritating and potentially dangerous insects, it can be bad enough when one source of stress is buzzing around our heads but the more there are, the greater the impact on our wellbeing.

The blog has gone down very well, with hundreds of views after I shared it via social media and some really positive feedback from different people. I am always pleased when one of my posts relating to mental health gets attention online.

There have been so many activities and announcements over the past few weeks in relation to mental health. After a very high profile storyline on ‘Coronation Street’, the topic of male suicide in particular has been raised prominently but there are other areas which have been highlighted. It was particularly empowering to see fellow Time to Change Wales Champions doing so much phenomenal work across the country while in England, some big organisations have announced this week that they have signed up to the Time to Change Pledge, which is very exciting news.

It got me thinking more about the cross-over with the other aspects of my blogging, namely project management and creative writing. People from both professions must also experience challenges in remaining resilient in the face of poor mental health. I wonder what they feel are the big challenges? I sense a couple of new blog ideas brewing…

At home, we had good news last week as we have finally exchanged contracts on a new house which is really exciting for Mrs C and myself. We are busy pootling about with packing and preparing for a big move so busy times ahead. Personally, I love the excitement of a big life change like this because while it can be emotional, there is so much positive energy from focusing on your future plans in this way (even if it can seem daunting and draining at times).

I can tell you one source of stress in my life right now…the closing stages of writing the final instalment of the ‘abducted’ trilogy. I am reaching that point now where the final scenes are taking shape and I am putting finishing touches on tying together loose threads that have been more than ten years in the making. It is surprising how emotional it can be (not that you’ll catch me mithering about the opportunity to finally publish Novel #5). The new house will mean a new office so hopefully I can get it finalised and start the publishing process after the move.

In tackling the stresses of everyday life, Mrs C and I have been fairly busy lately with a number of fun activities. As I mentioned in last month’s Lens, we spent a weekend in Bristol but we have also taken in a number of concerts and comedians including spending this weekend in London with The Outlaws to watch…not the Royal Wedding, not the FA Cup but a special live performance by Mr Gary Barlow himself! Seeing the joy on my wife’s face as she dances along to his melodic tones is certainly an important stress-relief for myself.

Speaking of the Royal Wedding, big event of course but here’s my fun fact I learnt this month. In the last Royal Wedding, Prince William had a special “chocolate biscuit” cake made which was constructed with over 1,700 biscuits! I love fascinating yet ultimately useless facts like that. Did I mention that Mrs C and I share a wedding anniversary with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge? Small world huh…

So what’s next? A big house move sounds great, we have a few more events in the calendar and hopefully that fifth novel will edge closer to completion (then we can talk about Novel #6). I am also undertaking a few online diploma courses which I am really enjoying and as always, I have a number of blog ideas doing a turn in the back of my head. So much to do, so little time…

You might think all of this is going to increase my stress levels but putting it in perspective, I am so lucky that my greatest stress come from so many good things rather than any number of bad things. Perspective is so important in all of our lives and I am constantly striving to make sure that any little bump in the road is treated as just that. Summer will soon be here and I hope you are all looking forward to what will surely be a glorious season ahead! Bye for now, peeps!

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