MHAW2021: Cormac

As an extension of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 the UCO is shining a spotlight on the importance of good mental health throughout the month of May. As part of this we're inviting our staff, students and others in the UCO community to share the ways they support and manage their own mental health.

Today UCO Clinic Reception Manager Cormac tells us a little about his love for the outdoors:

"I have always found a long walk an antidote for lifting my mood when I have felt under pressure or a bit low, whether with my dogs in the countryside or on my daily commute from the station in to work.

On the 17th March when I was walking home however, this little joy in life was temporarily put on hold, when whilst stepping off a kerb I broke my ankle in three places. From walking everywhere I found myself having to adjust to a more sedentary lifestyle for eight weeks, keeping my foot elevated.

I was determined to incorporate ways to keep as active as I could, so invested in some free weights and a dvd on chair yoga.  This has been  helpful in getting the blood flowing, but I knew I needed to spend time outside. So as well as trying to eat as many meals outside (as the weather allows!), I go for a ‘walk’ with my wife and the dogs – albeit that involves her walking and me sitting in a fold up chair by the car!  I have also managed to continue some gardening activities – a past time which I enjoy and have adapted to my current limited mobility.

Spending time in the fresh air, in particular being surrounded by plants and nature is the key to lifting my mood. With the added bonus of a daily dose of Vitamin D to help heal my bones, I hope to be back walking again very soon."

How do you support your mental health and wellbeing? Share your tips or read others using #ucomh21.

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