In the Herald - A chance to escape reality

Date Published 
Wed 10 Nov 2021

I recently had the opportunity to complete a Mental Health First Aider Course and the importance of hobbies was highlighted as a mechanism to help with stress, anxiety and depression. This made me reflect on my interest in photography and how important it is to me. I have always found it to be a way of switching off from my daily thought process. Most of us today have the ability to be able to take a photograph whether it is by phone or camera but taking that interest further can take you down a whole new road of discovery and challenge.

I have found that I become immersed  in setting up for an image, deciding on what settings I am going to use, taking the shot and finally viewing the image can be completely absorbing. This for me creates a distraction and in turn helps relieve the stress and anxiety of the day whether this has been caused by work, relationship issues, bereavement as well as the restraints and effects of the pandemic.

Photography has the ability to take you to places that you may not normally visit. On one specific occasion I can remember being at Eskrig Nature Reserve taking pictures of red squirrels and feeling totally immersed in the woodland surroundings, enjoying listening to the birdsong, the anticipation of whether we would actually see any squirrels and then the joy of taking the images when they appeared. The ability to just stop and let our senses take over in the environment I found to be a great distraction and a way to divert my mind. Walking away from that visit I felt relaxed and rejuvenated.

In photography you start to view everything from a different perspective, instead of just looking you start to see, the petals not just the flower, the light illuminating the hills and this starts to follow you even when you don’t have a camera to hand.

Time isn’t always our friend but taking time out to spend on an interest is extremely beneficial for our mental health, well-being and thoroughly rewarding.

Debbie Andrews



Well done Debbie