Whole Lotty Love

When I’m too low to sweat out The Blues, it’s time to get up to the allotment 

An allotment in bloom

THOSE OF US who admit to problems with our mental health are encouraged to come up with so-called ‘coping strategies’ for when things don’t go well. 

And because I’ve been struggling for years, I’ve developed quite a few, different, ways of caring for myself. 

Eating and drinking the right things helps, of course, as does getting a decent amount of sleep.

I’ve also written recently about how laying off the booze – hard as it is to do – unquestionably helps to start the next morning happily. 

On truly bad days, just putting on some shorts and big trainers and jogging up and down the hills that surround my house was my favourite form of mental alchemy – reliably turning panic into contentment and black thoughts towards silver linings. 

Now, as I continue to nurse busted knee ligaments, I’ve found that I can achieve a similar effect to running by getting on a bike and pointing it up the nearest big hill, Lifting weights, meanwhile, brings a quiet calmness, a greater happiness with myself. 

But most of those things are hard work and there are days when I really don’t have the strength for exercise that involves burning off hundreds of calories. 

It’s then that I like to put on some old, sturdy, clothes, get on my bike and pedal gently up to Lotty – the name we have given to our vegetable allotment a mile or so away. 

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