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Don't forget to look after your black dog

I was going to write an article about how the latest cloud advances could help your business, but with January and February being the most difficult time of the year for mental health in people, I thought I would share some of my experiences in the hope that it may help one or two people out there.

In fact managing your mental health can benefit your business in more ways than you could possibly imagine


It was 1996 was when I reached the bottom and my black dog came to stay with me. I was not able to get out of the door, having to remember to breathe, not able to focus or think etc. (fellow suffers will be able to add several others to the list).

I find it helps to call it my black dog (I got the idea from Winston Churchill) as it means I can visualise my mental state. For example if I am in a good place then he is curled up under my desk asleep.

The trouble starts when he is full of beans and jumping up at me!! I find it is best to take him for a lovely enjoyable walk that we can both enjoy

Looking back, my "episode" (or whatever the technical term is these days) was the best thing that ever happened to me. Very strange to say but has made me a better person. I now find that I am kinder, more caring and appreciative of what others are going through.


So what advice would I give based on my experiences?

Talk about it.

This is the most important thing I can say.

I have yet to meet anyone that thinks less of you for being open and honest. In fact you will be amazed at how many people are fellow suffers.

Don't be hard on yourself

Determination is one thing but realise that, unless you are super human, there are some things you simply cannot do. These will vary from person to person.


Don't worry about taking a pill to help you. If you had a bad leg you would use a crutch wouldn't you? So why not use a crutch for your mind?

Take a break

Take that lunch hour, coffee break etc. Make the most of it. Go for a walk, sit in the park and read, anything to escape from the daily routine.


Sounds obvious doesn't it? It's not though. You will find that when you are struggling you will be taking short shallow breaths.

What I do is take a deep breath in through my nose, hold for a count of one and exhale fully. Not scientifically proven but works for me. Try experimenting until you find what works for you.

Keep a diary of how you feel

Simply write down what you did and how you felt. I started at the basics like get up, eat etc.

This helps reinforce how far you have progressed

I hope that some of this helps you, if nothing else, makes you realise that you are not alone and there is light at the tunnel.

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