Mental Health Awareness Week 2022…Let’s Get Connected! – Dr Samantha Butler-Davies
Dr Samantha Butler-Davies BVSc MRCVS
Veterinary Clinical Services Manager
How did you stay connected with others over the pandemic period?
Pretty much all virtually. Be that from simple text/Whatsapp messages or video calls. Even just a one line “hello, how you doing today?” message was so important – to send and receive. I’ve tried to continue this now we’re back to “normal”. Checking in with people is so important.
Is a sense of community important to you?
Yes, but I don’t personally feel this always needs to be in person. It’s important to find your tribe – and that can be a group of people who have the same career, hobbies or just people you vibe with. I also think it’s possible (and totally ok!) to have a number of communities.
When has community helped you?
When my brother died in January 2021, my friends rallied round me in a way I never thought they would have to. My core friendship group, my community, is from University and they held me up when I needed that support.
What’s your favourite conversation starter?
Travel. Where have you been, where do you want to go?
We know connection with others is important, but what’s your favourite way wind down and reconnect with yourself?
Gardening, and by gardening I mean completely redesigning my garden. We moved to our current house in January 2020, so that lockdown summer was spent totally renovating the garden. I’m a very haphazard gardener and I really have no idea what will appear after I’ve planted something. All adds to the surprise element! I find the whole process very peaceful but also very satisfying as something I’ve created is growing and changing in front of my eyes.
With many communities now building online, can you recommend a podcast, book or show that has made you feel closer to others?
Sadly I experienced a loss during January 2021 when my brother passed away very unexpectedly. I stumbled across The Grief Gang (Amber Jeffrey) podcasts and hearing other people speak about their experiences was extremely comforting and helped me through those initial few months.
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