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Hello, my name's Holly. I live in a beautiful corner of England called Exmoor, in a small cottage between the forest and the sea. My fairly constant companions are my partner Steve and our dog Zeb, who I'm sure you'll meet.

Why am I writing this blog?

I've suffered from depression, on and off, for the around three years. At the moment it's mostly 'off', which I'm very grateful for, but it will rear its ugly head every so often, normally just for short periods. I know I'm not alone; one in four people will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime, I'd guess a large proportion of those will be depressive.

I don't want to dwell on this infliction at all, and in fact I probably won't even mention it in this blog. I just want to share my life. You see, the only relief I've ever found effective is mindfulness. There's a lot of research being done at the moment into mindfulness for depression, and it's becoming more accepted by the mainstream

For those who don't know, mindfulness at its core is simply about living in the present moment. But I'd like to take that a little further. Being mindful means living an authentic life, a life you have consciously chosen to live. Living authentically means connecting - to yourself, to your environment, to your people, to the things that make your life worth living. It means being a creator rather than a consumer, and being open to all that life throws at you. It means accepting yourself as you are.

In essence, it is the opposite of every thought process that depression brings. Now you can't wish yourself happy, but you do have some control over the choices you make. This can be difficult if you're in the throes of a depressive period, but that is why it's important to make a habit of it.

I suppose my blog tagline could be 'learning to live authentically, day by day'. I hope that will become my life tagline, and perhaps yours too.

My interests include: crafts, baking bread, walking in the hills, writing, folklore and literature, tai chi, doggy cuddles, and Vikings. I listen to an unhealthy amount of podcasts and will on occasion eat peanut butter straight from the jar. We can't all be perfect.

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