Last month, we shone a light on the importance of taking care of your mental health for World Mental Health Day. We shared some helpful advice from the Mental Health Foundation that looked at some top tips to take care of your mental health.
The tips included finding something you're good at and losing yourself in doing what you love – whether that's something creative, or sporty; it is important to spend some quality time just being 'you'.
It's also really important to stay active and get outdoors in the fresh air. Finding activities where you can meet new friends and socialise, really boosts your morale and lifts your spirits.
We were delighted to discover that Nick, a service user living in West Wycombe Road, is an inspiring example of someone who ticks many of the wellbeing boxes featured in the top tips article.
We caught up with Tracey Hill, Service Manager and Dal, Nick's support worker, to hear his story.
Nick lost his hearing when he was12 years old, he has limited use of his left arm and leg and he was also diagnosed with a mild learning disability.
Growing up, Nick didn't let this hold him back and he went on to win numerous medals for swimming, which he now proudly displays in his room at West Wycombe Road (where he has lived for the past 17 years!).
Now at 62 years old, Nick is still keeping as busy and active as ever. He has a love of the great outdoors and is a keen gardener. Every week he participates in forestry activities and helps out at a local farm, where he has helped to build a shed and a pigpen.
But Nick's first love is with his artwork. When the pandemic affected his daily routine, he threw himself into his painting.
Recently, his family members arranged for an old family-favourite photograph to be converted to a paint-by-numbers worksheet. Nick loved recreating the special memory into a fantastic piece of artwork.
His Support Worker and Service Manager told us just how much of an inspiration Nick is to everyone around him.
Tracey Hill, Service Manager, says:
"Nick is a lovely gentleman. He enjoys life and is always busy getting on with the things that he loves to do. Dal (his Support Worker) has been working with him for the past five years and she has done such a great job. Nick's artwork is just amazing. I honestly think that Dal works to bring out his strengths which has boosted his confidence and resilience because she is keeping him at the centre of his support!
Throughout the pandemic, Nick coped really well and never once complained. He threw himself into his painting and scratch art. Nick loves watching war movies and catching up with family on video calls. He has thrived, as he kept himself so busy."
Dal, Nick's Support Worker, told us:
"Nick and the other residents living at West Wycombe Road are extraordinary. I'm so proud of Nick. He is very talented and deserves for people to see his wonderful artwork."