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Focus On The Things You Can Do 

How a walk in the park turned into a social movement.

When you become chronically ill your life turns into a waiting game. Waiting for appointments, waiting for tests, waiting for results, waiting for the meds to work, waiting to fall asleep, waiting for a diagnosis, waiting to get your life back.

My life became consumed by my illness. All I could focus on was the things I was missing out on: going to the gym, going shopping with the girls, going out with my friends, going for a run. I even missed not being able to do housework, please, believe me, its true!

Looking back I wasn’t much fun to be around. My sister stood by me offering the support and wise words like only older sisters can do. She told me I had a choice; I could either let this illness consume me or I could look for other things that could make me feel good. Easier said than done though as I still wanted the life I had, the more I thought about changing my mindset the angrier I got.

mobilising communities

They say things happen for a reason and looking back the reason I changed my mindset was the new piece of work my sister was starting for the organisation she works for, Grapevine. I agreed to go along to her first event for support even though I didn’t understand what it was about. That night I found out their mission was to mobilise communities to become more active. I met people that I wouldn’t normally have met. I heard other people tell their story and realised they also had challenges and choices. However, the one difference was they had a call to action. This was the missing link in my story…It dawned on me I needed a purpose, I needed to belong once again I needed a call to action!

Getting my boom boom pow back 

We put a call out on Facebook briefly explaining the situation and asking if anyone wanted to join us for a Feel Good Walk in the Park

Our first Feel Good event…

On a cold wintery day in February, I stood nervously holding a placard that said ‘Feel Good this way’ so people we didn’t know would know where to go. 

Amazingly 33 folks and 3 dogs turned up on a cold wintery day in February. We walked around the park, chatting with old friends and making new ones. Someone commented that we looked like activists on a march promoting good health and friendships. I liked that.

Feel Good Walk Doodle

See You next time

As we said our goodbyes people thanked me for organising and asked when the next walk would be. I was overcome with a truly amazing feeling. Maybe getting people together was the Feel Good tonic I needed and now I had something else to focus on…the next Feel Good event!

By focusing on the things I can do rather than the things I can’t has helped me to Feel Good, it helped me to start the Feel Good movement and hopefully, over time, it will help others to Feel Good too!

Find out about how the Feel Good movement is turning into a social enterprise