Best Self-Published Memoir in the UK!

I’m absolutely buzzing after my memoir, The Cactus Surgeon, was announced as the winner of the Selfies UK Book Awards in the memoir/autobiography category yesterday!

These national awards recognise the UK’s best indy-published books. There were just eight titles shortlisted, and winners were announced at the London Book Fair. The judges praised “the simplicity of [the] storytelling”, a cover that was “perfect for this kind of writing”, and “integrated photos enhancing the narrative and the book’s sense of renewal”.

Judges: Alan Staton (Booksellers Association), Alan Samson (ex-Weidenfeld), Ben Hughes (IngramSpark).

BookBrunch managing director Jo Henry said: “We have been thoroughly impressed by the wide range of topics covered and the professionalism of the publishing expertise shown by the 25 authors on this year’s shortlists. The powerful stories told in the memoir/autobiography category made immersive reading for our judges, while the winner is very much a book for our time.”

As a self-published author, it can be quite challenging to get recognition for your writing, so this award is just wonderful. It’s given me a confidence boost, and a desire to keep writing.

Hannah received a cash prize of £750, which she is donating to the charity FND Hope UK. She will also receive a profile in BookBrunch, a winner’s certificate and other publishing opportunities and packages from sponsors and supporters.

The Cactus Surgeon is available via this website! Also on sale at Perrywood Tiptree, Perrywood Sudbury, Red Lion Books in Colchester and the Markshall Estate shop. You can get it via any independent or chain book shop (just ask them to order it in) plus via other online retailers.

More about The Cactus Surgeon
The Cactus Surgeon outlines how, when living in London, Hannah suffered burnout and was diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder. With no information available to help her, she found her own way to get better.

Growing up living on the same site as Perrywood Garden Centre in Tiptree her childhood was full of nature and plants. This was in stark contrast to the concrete of London, where she became unwell. In searching for the answers to her illness, she wonders whether being torn from her pot and replanted in a more hostile environment was the reason her body started to malfunction.

After seeking out alternative therapies, and moving to the countryside of North Essex, her ‘green recovery’ continued. It’s a book of mindful moments, savouring the small wonders of nature.

March reads

I’ve struggled to concentrate on books this month. With dogged persistence and the help of a good fantasy novel, to get me back in the reading groove, I have managed to finish a fairly eclectic mix.

My ‘Book of the Month’ is The Book of The Tree: Trees In Art. This is a contemporary collection of art around the theme of trees. I admit I haven’t read every page but I couldn’t wait to write a review because this book is just sublime. It is a comforting, soothing book to be picked up and looked at when you need a moment of calm. Every single piece of art is wonderful. It connects me to the natural landscape and also inspires me to pick up a pen or paintbrush and capture it on paper. There is a good mix of famous artists and those who are new to me. A book to treasure.

One of the beautiful pieces of art from the book

Dare To Lead by Brene Brown. Non-fiction. A book for anyone who is a leader – in work, at home, in the community. My copy is crammed full of neon post-it notes – a very good sign that I learned a lot. In this book, Brene shares with us years of research and her vast experience in training leaders. It is also peppered with her own successes and failures. There were some absolute gems – I’m regularly going to ask my team “what does support from me look like?”, and I loved the idea of turning always knowing into always learning. Some of the conversations she recounts felt over the top for my British workplace. It would be easy to adapt the words and phrases to make them feel closer to the language my team would be more comfortable with. My idea of a good business book is one that gets me out of my echo chamber, and challenges me to behave differently. Dare To Lead has certainly done that.

Winter’s Fury by A. E. Rayne. Fantasy novel. There are times when I need to escape from real life, into a world that is unfamiliar, interesting and full of intrigue. This book certainly delivered. I love the character of Jael – strong yet not infallible. It’s a classic fantasy novel – involving journeys, love, mysteries and friction between opposing sides. Who is good and who is evil. Who will survive? I couldn’t put this book down, and having bought the trilogy on my Kindle I kept going into book two without hardly a pause. I look forward to seeing where the characters go next, and hope my favourites don’t get killed off.

Recovery by Dr Gavin Francis. Non-fiction. A short informative read, which gives a brief introduction to recovery and convalescence. As someone who has convalesced, it was interesting to hear the perspective of a GP and there were a few points to consider. He told us that many of his patients need to be granted permission to take the time to recover that they need. I certainly relate to that and know from experience that if you rush your body or mind will find a way to slow you down again. I certainly agreed with his sentiment that a patient’s attitude to their illness can have a strong bearing on the nature of their recovery. My rating would have been higher had I not been previously spoilt by reading the likes of Wintering by Katherine May, and many books around the power of nature to heal – by authors including Sue Stuart-Smith, Lucy Jones, Josie George and Isabel Hardman. Those looking to recover could perhaps learn more from the stories of other patients. As a quick read though, this book packed a lot in.

Manningtree Witches by A. K. Blakemore. Historical fiction, set in a landscape familiar to me. I am equally fascinated and appalled by the tales of witchfinders. This one ebbed and flowed for me. I loved some of the passages, such as Rebecca describing her mother and when she entered Colchester for the first time. Towards the end, the characters of both Rebecca West and Matthew Hopkins really came to life. A.K. Blakemore’s portrayal of a slice of rural life in East Anglia in the mid-1600s was at times uncomfortable, but always interesting.

On my ‘to be read’ pile for April –

Some marvellous self-published books from the Write That Book gang

More self-published titles by the fellow shortlisted titles in the Selfies Book Awards:

  • Dear Tosh by Ninette Hartley
  • War Diary: The Diary of Mike Rogers by Alan Beardsley
  • Pushing Through The Cracks by Emily J Johnson
  • Married to The Man Who Washed Himself Away by Joan Leech

And of course number two in the Furyck Saga for a dose of escapism.

And in the pile of books next to my bed, and next to my computer I have titles by Marc Hamer, James Clear and more…I’m taking some time off during the Easter holidays so I am hoping to read seven books this month. But, which ones?!

Shortlisted in the Selfie Awards!

Having friends and family buy and enjoy my book has been lovely, and when strangers buy the book and give a five-star review it’s even more rewarding!

This week, recognition for The Cactus Surgeon has gone up yet another level! I found out it is one of just eight titles shortlisted in the Selfies UK Book Awards – which reward and recognise the UK’s best indy-published books – in the memoir/autobiography category.

To say I am delighted is an understatement! I find out if I am a winner on April 5 at the London Book Fair. To top it off my friend Jill Morris, who I met through the Write That Book masterclass with Michael Heppell, is shortlisted in the fiction category for her exciting thriller The Big Fix.

Here is a look at the shortlist in the memoir/autobiography category. I’m off to check out the competition!

My February Reads

This month I have started lots of books, but not finished very many! It’s a terrible trait to have half-finished books scattered around the house.

Book of The Month – Fifty Words For Snow by Nancy Campbell *****

This was a lovely read, the kind of book which you can read in one go or dip in and out of. Each chapter started with a beautiful white snowflake on a blue page. Nancy then shared a word, the English translation and where in the world it comes from. We were then treated to beautiful words around stories & true-life events, traditions and cultures or amazing facts. All of course around the theme of snow. I was taken across the world to far-flung places and learnt new things closer to home too. A well researched, entertaining read which I would highly recommend. All the way through I couldn’t help thinking how timely this book is. The sad fact is that climate change will erase some of these cultures and annual events as temperature rise loomed large. Thanks to Adventurous Ink for including it within their subscription. 

The shortest chapter, and one of my favourites!

Snow in May: Stories by Kseniya Melnik ****

Another book with snow in the title and this time a collection of short stories. Kseniya’s tales were enthralling, interesting and unique. They all had one thing in common, characters with a connection to Magadan in the far East of Russia. I loved the individuality of the characters. Each one very quickly became real in my head even as I was only a page or two into the story. It was a window into a world I know nothing about. This book was from the Shelterbox book club and I am glad I picked it up after a few months on the shelf. My subscription has lapsed but maybe I should go back.

Suffolk Folk 2021: An Anthology of East Anglian Folk Tales for the 21st Century. By UoS MA Creative Writing students. ****

I loved the premise of the book – exploring Suffolk folk tales, and then bringing them bang up to date with contemporary versions from UoS MA Creative Writing students. They were imaginative and interesting but be warned, some were fairly dark and disturbing! I shall never again look at those sleepy Suffolk villages in quite the same way.

Walking: One Step at a Time by Erling Kagge. ***

An easy read which outlines lots of reasons that walking is good for you, and outlines some of Erling’s personal experiences which were fascinating.

During March I hope to finish some of the books I’ve started including Manningtree Witches, Brene Brown’s Dare To Lead and Atlas of The Heart and The Art of Roughhousing. I’d also like to read some uplifting fiction or maybe some fantasy. The news out of Ukraine is so heartbreaking that I definitely need an escape, something completely unconnected to real life.

My January Reads (2022)

I am an avid reader and normally have at least three or four books on the go. My desire to read non-fiction continues! Here is a round-up of my January reads. You can see all my reviews on my Good Reads page.


MY BOOK OF THE MONTH is Sixteen Days by Victoria Wilson-Crane . Victoria describes the devastating days after her 22-year-old niece suddenly dies. She is grieving but also supporting those in the epicentre of grief. She has used these experiences to create an intimate, moving and useful guide to supporting someone through grief. There are tips at the end of each chapter for how to deal with certain situations, and what to do (or not do) when someone has been recently bereaved. Despite the subject matter, I found it easy to read, and I finished it in one day.

It’s a book everyone should read, ideally before they think they might need it. For some, it may be too soon after their own bereavement to read it. I will be filing away the sage advice it contains to refer back to, and I’m sure it’s a book to dip back into. I am very grateful to Victoria for sharing her experiences, and to her sister and family for supporting her to do so.

The Farthest Shore by Alex Roddie. Alex takes us with him as he walks the Cape Wrath Trail in Scotland, in Winter, in a bid to escape a jittery feeling of being ever connected to the internet, and to be soothed by nature. He is a proficient outdoor writer, and I did feel I was on the path with him. My favourite line – “The real world is moss and bark and mud and the puff of a robin’s breath condensing in the air at dawn”. It was his exploration of connection vs connectivity, and the human encounters I enjoyed the most. Alex talks about grieving, mental health and the climate crisis, ending the book with a manifesto which really spoke to me. It echoed some of the themes in my own book about getting up close with nature and really noticing it.

What I Wish People Knew About Dementia by Wendy Mitchell. This is a book which will change your perspective about dementia and how you think about those living with dementia. Wendy is an inspirational character, who guides us through everything from the impact dementia can have on relationships to one’s senses. It’s no nonsense and I’ve no doubt it will help an awful lot of people to come to terms with a diagnosis. I liked the inclusion of thoughts from others living with dementia which allowed us to look through a wider lens. It’s a great follow up to her memoir, Somebody I Used To Know, which I also enjoyed a couple of years ago. It’s always useful to learn about health conditions which all of us are likely to come across at some point.

Struggle by Grace Marshall. This is an easy to read self-help guide, each page packed with pearls of wisdom. I marked a lot of pages to go back to, both for myself and to share with colleagues. I liked the loose structure and the sense that each short section is full of quotes or take-home messages. You can read each one by itself which means it’s a book to dip in and out of when you feel you are struggling and need to lift yourself up. My natural inclination is to help others fix things, so I particularly liked these lines which will encourage me to step away from fixing. “The fixer wants to take our burden. The witness gives us strength”. I’ll definitely be adding her other books How To Be Really Productive and 21 Ways To Manage The Stuff Which Sucks Up Your Time to my wish list.

The Green Grocer by Richard Walker. Richard is the CEO of Iceland, and this book charts his efforts to make Iceland more sustainable. This is extremely relevant to me, as I try and tackle sustainability in the two garden centres I run with my two brothers and my Dad. I ended up with many post-it notes marking things to go back to; organisations I want to look up, ways of thinking, examples of how much effort you need to put in to make high impact changes. He said business leaders should all be activists, and he also gave me confidence that there is a place for smaller businesses to lead on this. Whilst Iceland is way bigger than my businesses, he is leading one of the smaller grocery chains, and he uses this as a positive – acting as a disrupter and going where bigger chains wouldn’t, encouraging them to follow. I was disappointed to then read in Which? that Iceland was one of the worst supermarket chains for sustainability, as this didn’t fit with my impression having read the book. It was a reminder to be cautious about my reads, and not to take everything at face value.

Energy Aware by Ildiko Spinfisher. Ildiko explores ‘a hidden domain which is the vibrational database of all life. A powerful, invisible force you didn’t realise you had’. This book took me out of my echo chamber, out of my realm of understanding, and sometimes outside of what I currently believe to be true. I enjoyed being challenged and regardless of whether I fully understood it or not there were many pieces of sensible advice and guidance. For example, the section about being a guard dog and wanting to live out our own failed dreams and goals through someone else. As parents we have to be very careful not to do this. In recognise the mirror Ildiko encourages the reader to think about the emotion someone else may be triggering in them.


The Broken Wand by Denise Tyler – Denise and I grew up in the same village, so I was fascinated to read her debut novel. After her two characters Angelique and Mike meet, they find their lives rapidly changing, but will it be for the better? A contemporary tale, exploring how to stand up for yourself, find your way in the world and picking yourself up to try again. We all know a ‘Mike’ who has become a bit complacent with life and lost their mojo. We all know an ‘Angelique’ who has to fight for more than most people, in her case due to Achondroplasia. I’m not particularly a fan of magic but this really didn’t matter, as it was merely a starting point for the story and the characters were the star here.

Birds of a Lesser Paradise by Megan Mayhew-Bergman. Last year I decided to read some collections of short stories with a view to maybe writing some myself. This collection came recommended by a Twitter friend, and whilst I’m not raving about it I can see why. The stories are all based around elements of nature, particularly animals and birds, which I really enjoyed. The stories were extremely quirky, such as a trip across American states to find the parrot who mimicked the main character’s dead mother. Some of the American references passed me by and it wasn’t a book I could relate to but the way she crafts her short stories is exquisite.

The danger of a wine o’clock culture

Boris Johnson has been called out for many things in the last few years but the one I feel compelled to comment on is the drinking culture he has either personally driven, or at the very least encouraged, at number ten.

If you have read The Cactus Surgeon you will know that I used to binge drink alcohol on nights out, and didn’t have an off switch. The culture where I worked in a PR agency was very much centred around booze. Like number ten we had wine fridges filled up every Friday with wine and beer. Not from a secret squirrel wheely suitcase, but by delivery drivers from booze shops. Monday to Thursday we could drink after 6 pm and didn’t often leave the office before 7 or 8 pm. On Fridays, the fridge was available at 4 pm, when we gathered next to crisps and dips to celebrate the week’s successes. The drinking would carry on all evening, either in the office or by decamping to local pubs and bars. Team bonding was done over boozy lunches, or we’d follow a more structured event with a boozy dinner to follow. There was no well-being support unless something was very obviously wrong, and there were no warnings about the perils of drinking. And, yes, I was an adult by then but I could have done with a pep talk (although let’s be honest, would I have listened?). Maybe there were people who worked there and didn’t drink loads of alcohol, but I’m pretty sure the vast majority did.

In many ways these times were some of the best of my life. Booze filled friendships alongside intense working conditions are fun, loud, heartfelt and full of hilarious events. I absolutely loved the people I hung out with and would never wish away the comradery, the laughs, the sense of belonging. It was an extension of student life (also centred around booze).

So, why do I also wish it had been different?  Well, after living this way I went on to suffer burnout and a functional neurological disorder. Punishing my body with late nights and booze no doubt helped lead me to that place. I put myself in some dangerous situations under the influence. Alcohol can become an addiction and I thank myself lucky that I am able to stop at just one these days. Those who are struggling with drinking too much can find it hard to say no (and may not even realise there is a problem) when an alcohol culture is normalised around them. Not convinced? Read The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray.

I firmly believe there is no place for a drinking culture at work. The odd night out with drinks is great for those who want it on occasion, but this shouldn’t be the norm. The workplace should be inclusive for all, whether you want to drink lots, some or none at all.

As for Number Ten? I really don’t think it’s a good idea to mix decision making for the country with booze, do you?

I’d love to know your thoughts about this. I hesitated about posting it, as I didn’t want to be seen as a killjoy. Nor do I want to upset people I used to work with. I’m just offering a warning based on my own personal experiences.

Recommendations for The Cactus Surgeon

I’ve been extremely grateful for the wonderful reviews readers have shared with me, and here are just some of my favourites:

***** A lovely book with some important messages about living well, a cracking read. I enjoyed this book a lot and read it in a very short time as it really pulled me in. The author is very brave to have shared her story and revealed so much about herself in print. It felt a real privilege to be granted such an intimate view into another person’s life. I think she achieved her purpose of showing how the choices we make and how we live affect our wellbeing at a profound level. She shows by her example that following an authentic personal path and keeping a direct connection to nature can help us heal. I took some important messages for myself away from this book. I recommend it highly. Amazon review, 20 Oct 21

***** Brilliantly written and relatable
Hannah’s honest account of battling a little known condition, FND, is peppered with heartwarming moments of contemplating nature and its role in her recovery.
Hannah’s zest for life, coupled with her passion for nature, seeps through every page of the book. Her writing will encourage you to go outside and seek out little nature wonders in your daily life. Highly recommended! Amazon review, 18 Nov 21

***** Wonderful Read
This book was such a comforting read and resonated in so many ways with my current circumstances. Hannah’s early lifestyle echoed mine and my husband’s time spent in London working in media and ‘burning the candle at both ends’. To read her own story on dealing with FND and her quest to fix her faulty brain was so refreshingly honest and such an inspiration. My husband has been poorly with FND for nearly a year and reading Hannah’s story has given us such hope. This book is a must read for anybody looking for light at the end of the tunnel in today’s hectic world. Amazon review, 23 Nov 21.

***** Hannah’s book has encouraged me to slow down and be more observant of the beauty of nature
Hannah’s passion for nature is conveyed very strongly through her book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her life, and how she has allowed nature to influence her health. Her writing has encouraged me to slow down and be more observant of the beauty of nature. Amazon review, 18 October 21.

***** I picked up this book because I am personally going through the stages of being diagnosed with FND and have not been able to see many other perspectives of people who have this condition. Looking online, most of the posts I have read from people have been very negative and worst case scenarios and I hadn’t found many useful ways of tackling this condition. I hoped in this book I would find some comfort from someone who is successfully living with this condition and is able to live a normal, if not mildly adapted, life. I found that in Hannah’s writing. She was honest about her life leading up to first noticing symptoms and how it was hard to get a diagnosis. (I would have liked a little more information on getting the actually diagnosis and support offered but recognise this is a memoir rather than a medical advice book!) It was lovely to see some of Hannah’s life growing up at Perrywood, which is such a wonderful garden centre, and how plants and nature are part of her core and an integral part of her life. She has managed to harness that and use to help ‘fix her faulty brain’. The epilogue was important as it showed me that although Hannah is ‘well’ she is never fully recovered from FND but that hasn’t stopped her from living a fulfilling life and being able to do many of the things she loved. It gave me a little bit of hope which my faulty brain needs right now. Thank you Hannah. Good Reads review, 24 Nov 21.

***** A brilliant read. Totally captivates the reader into Hannah’s world and the adventures and obstacles she has overcome. Once I begun reading I didn’t want to put this book down! Would definitely recommend. Good Reads review, 03 Dec 21.

I’ve also received some encouraging and uplifting emails. This is just part of an email I received in October 2021. “The books arrived while we were away from home last week. We got home yesterday, I started reading it last night and couldn’t put it down, it was the last thing I read last night and the first this morning until I finished it. Such a beautifully written and readable book, and whilst my own life experiences are different there are so many parallels. We just returned from the New Forest where we had a few days of wonder at its jewels – and a break from daily life – and it was the perfect read. It is a book I will read again and again.”

You can read all the reviews for The Cactus Surgeon on Amazon and Good Reads.

You can read more about me and The Cactus Surgeon: Using Nature to Fix A Faulty Brain here.

Hannah with her published memoir

Connections, Covid and Christmas lights

I travelled to Houston, Texas with my husband and daughter for Christmas, to stay with my husband’s auntie. We booked tickets before the Omicron variant emerged. In the week before we left, we were indecisive. Should we go? Sentences starting with ‘what if..’ endlessly ran through my mind and filled me with doubt. We very nearly cancelled.

In the end, we decided that we would go, and thankfully we managed to travel there and back without taking C19 with us, and with no disruptions to our plans. The trip was a huge success and gave me time to switch off from everyday life and chill out.

Here are my New Year musings:

  • Reconnecting with family over Christmas felt more special than ever. Preventing travel can’t be the answer to combatting a pandemic. I feel for those families who spent months and years apart because of it. We have to find a way to make travel safe. Likewise in our globally connected world we need to find a way to travel the world with minimum impact on climate change. Yes, I want to have my cake and eat it too.
  • I can see why those who can, travel abroad for Winter sunshine. It’s very therapeutic. We went for a walk around the block every day. The temperatures there were unseasonably warm at around 28 degrees celcius. Not a problem for us Brits but the Texans were hoping for cooler weather. I guess we have to blame climate change and people who travel in planes…
  • The Christmas lights in Houston were spectacular, both at Houston Zoo and in the River Heights suburb on all the big houses. They really lifted the spirits and put a smile on my face.
  • I don’t have any particular resolutions for the New Year. I plan to continue on my path of trying to make marginal gains in my life – around learning, health and just doing my best to be a kind and positive person.
  • In 2021 I read 50 books, and this is my goal again for 2022. Books and podcasts on my wish list include:
    • Brene Brown – Atlas of the Heart
    • James Clear – Atomic Habits
    • The High Performance Podcast – there is always something to learn
    • Rebuild Podcast with Mary Portas – I enjoyed the book and want to see where this conversation goes
    • Anything by my favourite three fantasy authors – Jodi Taylor, Genevieve Cogman, Robin Hobb
    • Lots of books from the Write That Book bookshop, including those which are due to be published in 2022. Particularly looking forward to ‘Whatever Happened To Uncle Norman’ and ‘Disco Dollies’!

Happy New Year to you all, and may your 2022 be filled with many joyful moments. Life seems too uncertain to wish you all eternal happiness, but joy is definitely within reach!

Candy cane lights in Houston, Texas

A bad mental health day can sneak up on you

I have climbed the peaks and troughs of mental health over the years. I have had depression and beaten it. I pride myself on the proactive strategies I take to keep mentally well. Two weeks ago I felt happy, energised and well. So, imagine my surprise when on Sunday and Monday last week I felt sad, weepy and mentally fragile.

Having written a book about my ‘green recovery’, which includes my tips on how I stay mentally well I felt even more aghast that it should creep up on me like that. It reminded me that no matter how prepared I feel, no matter how great I feel, there are times when poor mental health just sneaks up on me.

In hindsight, I had missed some of the signs. A nagging feeling that I needed to deal with some underlying emotions. The safety behaviours – pushing thoughts away and keeping busy with other things. A reluctance to open up and talk.

When I realised it needed to be addressed, I booked an appointment with my counsellor. This brought all the emotions to the surface, thus the bad day. Which was much needed. No longer was I pushing things away. It all came out.

I’m sharing this in case you are having an unexpected bad day. It happens to us all, even those of us who are prepared and who know the signs.

So how did I get out of it?

  • I leaned on my husband (and should have done this much sooner!).
  • I booked some appointments with my counsellor, to get me back on track.
  • I took a sick day from work. I shut myself off from the rest of the world and focused on me. I did some gentle admin, I cooked, I read, I took a walk outside, I let the emotions all come out.

It’s a reminder that anyone can have a bad mental health day, even those who are seemingly happy and on top of things. The good news is that with a bit of sustained effort I can generally bounce back quickly these days.

If you’d like to read more about how I tackle both physical and mental health please take a look at my book The Cactus Surgeon: Using Nature to Fix A Faulty Brain.

How do you beat Autumn fatigue?

Autumn can be a difficult time of year if you are living in the Northern hemisphere. The nights draw in, temperatures drop and some days it feels like maybe the sun has disappeared forever.

I recently asked the members of my Cactus Surgeon Group how they combat seasonal affective disorder, and general low mood, in Autumn/Winter. They gave some fabulous suggestions:

  • Helen C – I like to get out with the dog and take deep breaths as the colder air wakes me up. I also like to make stews and casseroles as I like the thought of cosy meals
  • Louise – I focus on the Hygge idea. I particularly love coming into a warm cosy house and lighting candles and the fire after a cold dark dog walk, something you can only appreciate during the winter months. I also love going out first thing and seeing the frost sparkling.
  • Helen J – For me it is sticking to a daily routine of getting out for 30 minutes in the daylight, doing my affirmations, eating nice comforting but healthy food. It’s work in progress but it helps!
  • Eleanor – I love my Lumie light for getting up in the morning. I’ve noticed a massive difference reintroducing it into my routine
  • Sarah – Going outside is really important for me. It lifts my mood every time. I’m lucky to live near the sea so that helps 🤩
  • Victoria – My team can be in control of our working hours if we choose to exercise that control. So we try to block 12 ‘til 2 every day for no meetings in the winter so people can get outside in the daylight hours and exercise more safely etc. Tiny tweak that doesn’t negatively impact productivity and makes a difference to sense of work/life fit.
  • Simon – Remember that spring will be here before you know it and with it will be the longer days. Get outside as often as you can and if there’s one of those nice, bright, winter days take your coat and jumper off and soak up the sun on your arms.
  • Jens – I take a walk! I take a walk in nature. I take a walk in the sunshine, even if it is winterlow, to get some light in my eyes. There is nothing I can’t walk away. And it even fill me up with great gratitude. 🙂
  • Amanda – Cheeky answer…go somewhere sunny and hot for a holiday!
  • Leila – I have to say that’s a tough one. Our winter climate is mild but characterized by very heavy rain most of the winter! (It’s what makes our British Columbia trees grow so tall! 🌲) So we are sure to rush outside the second it stops and get some fresh air! Always a mood lifter!
  • Several people also suggested Vitamin D supplements

I’d love to hear more tips. I have already taken some of these on board, and I know others will too. Please comment on this post, or drop me an email with your top tips. I’ll add them here!