Health in Mind: Following the signs to look after your wellbeing
TAKING time away from our busy modern lifestyles may seem impossible, but professionals say it is an 'important' way to look after our wellbeing.
With this considered local mental health charity Solent Mind is asking us to think about where we go to help us de-stress with their #OnYourDoorstep campaign this week.
Members of the public, businesses, schools and organisations in Portsmouth have been encouraged to share their own favourite 'wellness spots' by signposting them with an #OnYourDoorstep sign available from the Solent Mind website.
Director of services at Solent Mind, Sue Forber, said: 'As someone who finds exercise a good way to maintain my mental health, I’ll be posting photos of the special places in Hythe and the New Forest where I run and walk to lift my spirits.'
Signposted locations could be anything from a seat in your favourite cafe, a bench with a view to the sea or even your local gym where you go to 'sweat out your stress.'
Dr Jason Horsley, director of public health in Portsmouth, added: 'With one in four people experiencing a mental health problem each year it's really important that we can have more open conversations about mental health and support one another in finding ways to look after our mental wellbeing.'
So I challenged my colleagues at The News to think about where they like to go to unwind and the feedback was mixed.
For me the choice was clear - I love to sit on Southsea Common next to the castle and watch the ships coming in and out of harbour. It's especially relaxing on a summer's evening after the sun has set.
Our digital reporter Matt Mohan-Hickson said he feels 'safest' at home. 'When things get stressful I like to go back to my home,' he said.
'It's the place that feels the safest and where I feel like I'm fully in control and there is order, unlike the chaos of the outside world.'
Head of digital, Kieran Davey, said: 'I chose my bed because it's comfy, warm and a good place to get away from everything.'
Others also preferred the outdoors. Business editor Kimberley Barber posed alongside son Eddie with her sign. 'When things get tough or I just need some time to relax I retreat to my garden,' she said.
'I love being outdoors and there's always a project or two that needs my attention to take my mind off things.'
Fareham reporter Richard Lemmer added: 'Being outdoors, surrounded by greenery in the fresh air, helps me clear my head, and gives me a sense of perspective on anything that might be worrying me.'
And unsurprisingly our entertainment editor Chris Broom chose the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea as his 'safe haven'. He said: 'As far back as I can remember, music has represented a safe haven for me.
'It's something that I can fully lose myself in for a while without having to worry about all of those other things that 'real life' throws at you, even if it's only for the three minute duration of a single song.'
Signs and an information pack can be found at the Solent Mind website.