Making friends with our feelings
Both the main characters in my new books - Ekundayo the baby elephant in Beyond the Setting Sun, and Emily in Keeper of Secrets - face challenges with their feelings. Grief and loneliness are difficult things to deal with. But even without those things, we can all feel different emotions each day: anger, sadness, fear, joy, excitement, hope, worry. All of these are normal, but sometimes the negative ones like worry and fear can take over.
Luckily, there are lots of things we can do to help ourselves feel calmer and more able to deal with problems instead of letting them run away with us. Some people call this wellbeing because they're about helping ourselves in being well.
Here are some of the things that can really help you to feel happier, healthier and better about whatever is going on in your life:
creating something - a cake, a garden, a painting, a poem;
stroking a (friendly) pet;
getting out into nature - a garden, the countryside or your local park, or simply finding a tree and looking closely at it;
music - play it, sing it or listen to it, any kind you like. Dancing to it is even better!
talking to a friend or family member, human or animal;
writing things down;
And one of my personal favourites.... walking!
And after all that, it's still true that one of the best ways to relax is by escaping into the pages of a good book. Sometimes it helps you to escape; other times it helps you to realise that lots of other people in the world feel the same way as you do.
So here's to a wellbeing weekend. Now, where did I put my map and walking boots?