May, the beginning of summer in the Celtic Calendar, starting on May 1st heralding Bealtaine and celebrating the end of winter with fires that are lit all over the country in Ireland starting on the hill of Uisneach, in County Meath. I live on the Celtic Island of Ireland and it can be hard to relate to summer as I sit and watch the rain outside my window and feel the change in temperature, that has dropped from 20 degrees yesterday to 12 degrees today. The mornings are bright and the days are longer and for some this can mean we have more energy to tackle the things on our list of to dos. However for others who are struggling with mental health it can be a trigger for them as the conditioned belief most of us have that longer days and better days equal more get up and go and drive to be doing more. May is Mental Health Awareness month even though those who struggle do so every day not just for the month of May. The pressure to be doing something is huge in our society so when you struggle with any kind of mental ill health and have no energy to do anything it can be particularly challenging when people expect you to feel better because the sun is shining and the evenings are brighter. “There’s a grand stretch in the evening” is something you can hear people say this time of year. That grand stretch can make it harder on those who are not feeling anything like summer and are still in the depths of Samhain (Winter in the Celtic Calendar). My offering to you is to be gentle on yourself, be kind, be compassionate and take things slowly. If you have more energy then do something nourishing for yourself, like go for a walk, run, swim or something physically active that you enjoy. If you have less energy do something nurturing for yourself, have a bath, light a candle, practice a Yoga Nidra Meditation(coming soon to my website, practice 7/11 breathing (blog post and meditation to try on here). Nothing in nature blooms all year round so do not expect yourself to either. The blossoms are slowly emerging they are not in full bloom yet. The way I tend to my needs is to have sometime everyday for writing, I practice Morning Pages (from The Artists Way by Julia Cameron), gentle stretching and kundalini yoga or Qi Gong or the 5 Tibetans (blog post on this coming soon), weather permitting I dip in the sea and I meditate daily. Try some different things and see what works for you. One practice that is available to us all is breathing. Conscious breathing or affectionate breathing can have a profound effect on our overall wellbeing. I recommend 7/11 (see separate blog post to find out more). Go gently beautiful beings and remember you are a Human Beings not Human Doings.