January Blues - in conversation with blink Mental Health
Ah, behold Blue Monday, the heavyweight champion of gloom, often dubbed as the 'most depressing day of the year.’ The new year strolls in, tossing challenges, expectations, and the relentless pressure to outshine last year's version of ourselves on to the pile of ‘things we have to do’. After the festive fiesta with friends and family, January slyly pulls the rug from under us, plunging us back into the nine-to-five.
Feeling a bit like a deflated balloon this month? It’s totally normal to be running on fumes. But let's not forget that the blues extend way beyond Blue Monday. Some argue that term downplays the gravity of mental health issues, insinuating that our spirits will miraculously lift once the day is over.
Mike, the founder of blink Mental Health, who joined us at Wilderness 2023, shared his wisdom on this matter:
Any conversation around mental health, that may raise awareness, validate people’s experiences, or invite people to think about their own mental health and / or seek support is definitely worthwhile. However, I’ve seen first-hand how much shame or difficulty there can be in reaching out, and we want people to feel supported all year around.
At Wilderness, your wellbeing is our bread and butter. For those glorious 4 days, Cornbury Park is your refuge, and your joy is our top priority. From our vast landscape offering escape from the hustle, even in the heart of the main arena, to the smorgasbord of experiences at The Sanctuary, we've got your mental wellbeing covered.
In 2023, we partnered with blink Mental Health. Nestled in the lush greenery of The Sanctuary, blink's tranquil haven offered a place of comfort and mental health assistance. With a dedicated team of volunteers and mental health experts ready to lend a helping hand, they welcome anyone seeking a breather from Wilderness' buzz or just needing a friendly chat. Mental health, after all, is a 24/7 affair.
blink Mental Health is a registered charity in England and Wales, founded by Mike and Nicole, two individuals who desperately needed mental health support. Like thousands of others, they battled barriers, assessments, uncertainty, and those dreaded waiting times – if they got any help at all. Their mission? To create safe havens for mental health support, places where people can spill their thoughts, connect with others, and rediscover themselves.
At Wilderness 2023, blink’s wellbeing tents offered everything from mindfulness activities to one-on-one therapy. Simple yet potent activities like colouring engage focus and amp up mental wellbeing. Adding a splash of creativity fosters accomplishment, pride, and self-worth.
Now, let's hear from some Wild Ones who attended last year:
“I have to admit, this was my first therapy session, and I never experienced anything like this. I have been a different person since and, fundamentally, I feel stronger, like I haven't felt before in years.”
“A short wander through the woods and I find these guys offering free therapy and breaking down barriers for those who simply couldn't have the privilege. Phenomenal. Did I take it? Absolutely. Did it help? 100%”
A massive thanks to Mike and the blink crew. If you fancy diving deeper into Mike's tale, check out their website here.
On this Blue Monday and every day, we urge you to reach out to your pals, work buddies, and have a heart-to-heart. Dive into creative pursuits, like drawing or picking up a new hobby. Put your physical wellbeing first with outdoor escapades, walks, an exercise class, and, above all, get that sleep!