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The latest Phil Evans column

Phil Evans

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The latest Phil Evans column

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy. Website – www.philevans.co.uk

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Is it all in the head?

Our media’s approach to mental illness, from OCD (Obsessive–compulsive disorder) to post-natal depression, is much more sympathetic and informative than it used to be . . .

Today, newspapers, radio and television openly discuss it, just like any other medical condition.

A decent night’s sleep is vital for our mental well-being.

Yet a recent survey revealed one thirdof Britons are so job-stressed, they check work e-mails several times during the night.

And, for 75% of the population, worries about debt, unemployment and other issues come to the fore at bedtime.

The next day they’re so tired and even morestressed that the cycle of anxiety continues.

Today, showbiz celebrities and sporting personalities have no qualms about revealing their struggles with depression, when once they’d have been reluctant to.

From the great clown Joseph Grimaldi to Spike Milligan and Paul Merton, comedians are particularly vulnerable to mental fragility as they face rejection every time they stand up in front of the public.

I always try to be supportive and encouraging to my fellow performers, despite the fact that the world of comedy can lack professional respect.

We somehow learn to cope with life’s highs and lows.

But, if we suffer a relentless run ofbad luck without respite, it takes a very strong person not to become so depressed they’re unable to see that a brighter future is possible.

Having a partner, family member or friend who is understanding, uplifting and prepared to reallylisten to your problems is incredibly important at these times.

You may not believe their positive advice at first, but, as things gradually improve, you’ll remember their words and be grateful for them.

Mental illness has no boundaries of class, age or occupation.

If I’m ever affected by it, I hope someone out there will say, “Phil. It’s okay. We understand.  This will pass, we’ll get through it together and all will be well.”

And that will be the moment I begin my recovery . . .

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Open Farm Sunday:

There are countless things we can do to make ourselves feel good.

I’m not exaggerating. Theyreally arecountless, so don’t try counting them all because by the time you’ve finished, you’ll be feeling less than good.

Here are someexamples of things we can do to feel good.

We could go for a stroll through our beautiful countryside.

We could make a donation to charity.

We could have a nice cup of tea.

“But how is this possible?” I hear you ask.

It’s called Open Farm Sunday and it’s the one day a year when hundreds of farmers open their gates to the public, allowing them a rare glimpse into the day-to-day running of a working farm.

One Carmarthenshire farm opening to the public on June 10, from 12 noon to 4 pm, is in Esgair, Llanpumsaint, near Carmarthen.

New for this year is a fantastic self-guided nature trail.

The owners, Nicky and Martin, will allow visitors in to see their cattle and pigs, and also shine a light on what they deliver and why supporting British farming matters.

When you’re worn out from all these activities, you can enjoy a cuppa and a chat.

Entry is free, but if you’d like to make a donation to Macmillan Cancer Care (and why wouldn’t you?) it would be greatly appreciated.

So on June 10,  treat yourselves to a taste of life down on the farm, just don’t forget to close the gate when you leave!

If you want to find out where the closest one is to you, just visit the website  www.openfarmsunday.org  and put in your postcode.

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You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk

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