Self-Awareness for your Mental Health

I chatted about all things ‘mental health’ with Emma Varco from The Well Being Hive, an independent psychotherapy, counselling and wellbeing practice, based in Cornwall, UK. 

Emma’s initiative is to create a space that shares and focuses on knowledge and respect that promotes self-awareness and self-care. 

Emma Varco from The Well Being Hive

Along side their therapeutic work they share a particular interest in nutrition and how this can impact your mental health. 

There is growing evidence that psychological issues can respond well to making changes to what we eat. Healthy nutrition is not about diets, its’ about consistent choices and behaviours that add up to a lifetime of optimal wellbeing. 

Insight and understanding to the emotional factors behind our food choices can help us understand and change the unhelpful patterns we may have created and ultimately, our mental health. 

An interview with Emma Varco from The Well Being Hive Cornwall

By Freyja Hanstein

Pause, Connect & Flourish. This is a beautiful overview for someone to give everyone a positive door to connect to you. Finding time is difficult, do you have any simple starting insight to create this?

Psychotherapy can benefit many. Here at the Well Being Hive we are firm believers that seeking therapy should be part of your self-care routine which can help you to check in with daily habits and keep you on a helpful path to achieving your goals and a sense of purpose. People seeking psychotherapy largely come to us in ‘in need’ or when life events and experiences have become too unmanageable. 

“…seeking therapy should be part of your self-care routine…”

We believe that regular insight into our patterns and behaviour on a psychological level can help offer balance, self-awareness and the possibility of change before it becomes too much,  Psychotherapy can be best understood as a process to help maintain positive mood and wellbeing before it becomes problematic rather than only seeking help after we have lost our way. 

There are so many people open to psychotherapy, counselling and wellbeing practice. How do you make those that are nervous to open the door realise it as a well trodden path?

Seeking psychotherapy can feel like a step outside of the comfort zone for many. It’s a true indication that although we have made great progressed as a culture, we still feel much stigma that surrounds mental health and many report that they feel burdened by myths and judgement that continues to surround the idea of seeking therapy for emotional health. 

“…we still feel much stigma that surrounds mental health…”

Here at the Well Being Hive we are passionate about utilising language that is relatable and helpful and wish to break down any possible barriers people may face. 

When seeking a therapist, we recommend that you do your research. Seeking a therapist that has BACP accreditation will ensure that the therapist you choose is governed by an ethical body. You can find practitioners at https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Therapists. Therapy and/ or a therapist may not be the right fit for you so it’s important to have the opportunity to explore this within an initial consultation where you have the space to explore your questions in order to make an informed choice about your mental health. 

I met you years ago, just after the stressful hit of losing my husband and brain cancer treatment. I found it so hard to find a consistent outlet for my unreleased life stress and was lucky to have a friend that open channel to me about ways to secure a consistent outlet. So I didn’t have to bounce and re-explain my life to whoever was available through my friends and family. 

It felt like a simple and normal step, but only after I got there. After my first interaction with realisation as to its normality. I see Self-Awareness and Self-Care as a step for finding a channel to realise and keep the door open – mentally – to what I have been through. Keep it as a benefit to things you choose in the future. But everyone is different.

What is Self-Awareness & Self-Care as a quick overview?

What a wonderful explanation of self awareness and self care. For many it’s having the space to be heard and accepted that allows the relationship with ones self to blossom. We believe here at the Well Being Hive Everyone should have the opportunity to explore and maintain a sense of wellbeing that enables them to connect with their true self purpose”. A space that offers those conditions can allow change and growth at a pace that is adapted to suit that the needs of the individual. 

Meditation is a strong step toward me clearing my headspace. But my step toward it when I have a million things going on throughout a day is a dog walk. A step within nature is so important to me to re-realise what is important in life, what I’m working towards and that I shouldn’t compare myself to others. I am me and am so simply happy walking in natures beautiful space. It simply helps me to reset.

Is this a factor that you find important?

We find the connection with nature incredibly important when exploring psychological health and wellbeing. There is lots of evidence that is emerging, which suggests a strong link to nature, can dramatically improve mood and therefore how we think and feel about ourselves, others and the world around us, when considering the impact of the last year and how Covid 19 has affected us as a human race, we can start to understand our need for a connection with the outdoors. Research into ecotherapy has shown that is can help with many mood related issues such as low mood. There is some research to suggest that we are genetically programmed to find, trees, plants, water and other nature elements soothing.

Emma has passed on some useful books that may help you find the insight your looking for…

The MentalHealth.org.uk highlight nature as the strongest force to be realised during our COVID hit. 

“Our research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health.”


Five Minutes in the Morning- A Focus Journal 

What if five minutes could change your routine and change your day? What if you checked in with how you are feeling for just those few minutes, maybe sitting down over that cup of coffee or tea, or quietly sitting by the window before you head towards the shower?

Just Wait It – Laura Thomas PhD

Just Eat It isn’t just a book. It’s part of a movement to help us take back control over our bodies. To free us from restrictive dieting, disordered eating and punishing exercise. To reject the guilt and anxiety associated with eating and, ultimately, to help us feel good about ourselves.

The Nature Fix – Florence Williams

For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; and Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams set out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain.

Head to the Well Being Hive Journal for more insight into how you can manage your mental health and follow their lovely team on Instagram.

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