Here we go again.  My winter blues has been really strong this year. This is a post that I started writing in February, and I’ve ciome back to the post a couple of times in the months since.  I have thought long and hard about whether I want to share what’s been happening or not, but as you’re reading this, I have decided to share.  I am in a better place than I was at the start of the year, but getting there.

I’ve written about this before, back in the Lockdown in Winter 2020/21, and I always hope that I  don’t have to write about it again.  However, this year things have been less than fun for me.   

Many people struggle in January, the come down from the Christmas and New Year holidays, the fact that January is a long month and the finances can be tight.  There is the so-called Blue Monday (the third Monday in January, and 2024 had 5 Mondays!!!) which is apparently a marketing ploy for holiday companies.  I don’t actually find that Monday (or most Mondays) that difficult, and I aimed to share a more positive view by posting lots of photographs of Blue things that I’d seen that day.  See the pictures below:


I survived all of that, but then February hits.  To me, February always feels like the worse month.  Its as if I can push my way through January, but February is just a black wall that I hit. The days might be getting longer, but that doesn’t matter. Feburary being worse for me might be a result of working in Retail (still can’t go into a Next store without shuddering)  where January was just a busy hell of the Christmas Sale, followed immediately by the launch of the new season: just busy, busy, busy.  No time to stop and feel sorry for myself.  But then came February, when things stopped.

This year I thought it was all going to be ok, but then a conversation with a client started the wobble.  I am not blaming the client at all, it just hit me afterwards.  It  started with a comment from a patient that I am always so positive in my outlook.  The background was that they had come in with a painful issue that has been bothering them for about a year, they had been really unhappy that nothing was improving and their view of life was really bleak.  Their comment came after a couple of treatments, and they were seeing improvements, but struggling to remain positive in the face of the persistent pain of their condition. 

I have always had faith in the human body’s ability to look after itself.  It is resilient, adaptable and always trying to find its way back to health (homeostasis).  Sometimes it heads in a less than helpful direction, or gets stuck on the route back to balance.  Sometimes it just needs a helping pair of hands to guide it, and the entwined mind, back to where it is happier.  Since learning more about the current discussion of Pain Science, I have really tried to change the way I describe things as I realised that I was describing the body as if it was fragile.  It really isn’t; it’s very resilient.  But the language I use might make it sound like that or that it is to be blamed.  So I use slightly more upbeat/positive language: the less happy or maybe grumpy side, rather than the bad side.  It might be softer, rather than rigid.  

However, I try to avoid being toxically positive though, as things aren’t always going to be a smooth journey.  Toxic positivity is the idea that everything in life has to be sweet, happy, shiny and just wonderful with never any bad things.  Sorry, but without the dark you can’t tell that things are lighter.  I’ve discussed this with other clients, and we agreed that toxic positivity that in being put out there can do more harm than good.  If things aren’t just perfect are you really happy/healthy/working hard enough/actually a good person…? But that toxic positivity is just bull.  Things aren’t always perfect or fabulous  and many images that are shared around the “Social” media are lies (let alone the hell of filters).  This is another reason I wanted to share that I am struggling with everything that is going on.  Oh, and the images I share, are generally not passed through a filter, but I will admit to tweaking the light balance, and occasssionally trying to get the whites white, not to get rid of the wrinkles I have.   

So coming back to the conversation with that unhappy client,  I admitted t that I am upbeat with my clients because that is what they need to hear, especially if they are working with persistent pain.  But it really doesn’t mean that I am happy all of the time.  I am human. 

It was after they left that I realised that I was struggling.


At the moment there have been and are many challenges, both personally and more widely in the world.  2024 feels like the world is closer to disaster (whether environmental catastrophe, climate change, another pandemic, war, political disasters continuing) and that is wearing. Let’s not even talk about the amount of rain that is falling here in the UK and that winter feels like it is never going to end.  The cost of living crisis in the UK is constantly in the news, and whilst I limit the amount of news I’m consuming, I’m not hiding from it.  I feel it is a responsible thing to be aware of what is happening in the world and not just hiding from it.   

So this February I hit rock bottom, hope seemed to vanish.  If I’m honest,  I don’t think I’ve truly felt hopeful since the before the 2020 Pandemic hit, and each year brings seemingly worse things.  I know that I am fortunate, that things could be worse, but f**k me it’s tough.  I am grateful to those that listened to me and provided the support, I know things will improve.  This is a temporary thing.  There have also been so many times when it feels like there have been green shoots of hope, and something comes along and stamps on them. 

I told that client that the journey of well-being is like the weather, sometimes there is a dark storm and we can’t see anything other than the black clouds, the lashing rain, the thunder and lightning.  But then the clouds will break, there will be a glimpse of blue, a ray of sunshine will pierce the darkness.  The blue sky and sun is there, temporarily hidden, but it’s still there.

Those that have worked with me know that I love imagery, and one that keeps coming to me is of the Weeble.  They were a beloved toy of both my brother and myself, from the 70s (yes, I’m that old) and their catch phrase was “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down”.  I was talking to a client, who was much younger, who had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.  So, on a visit back to my parents I found them and filmed the following so people know what I’m talking about:


One of the things I have done is to increase the social media presence of not just my business, but the Islington & Clerkenwell Clinics, and April was Stress Awareness Month.  As part of that I researched the signs and symptoms of Stress and boy, with hindsight did I realise how bad I was.  Yes, I was bursting into tears at the most random time, I was snappy and angry about the smallest thing.  

But I knew some of the things that I needed to do to cope:

  • Spend time in nature.  I really pushed myself to go for a walk to the Wetlands, paying attention to the world around me.  Its not the easiest thing to do in London, I also tried to get my hands dirty by digging in the soil of my garden (yes, I am blessed to have one)
  • Develop your hobbies and interests.  I love my photography and kept taking part in the Photo a Day groups.  Making myself be interested in things.
  • Look after your physical health.  I made sure that I got MFR treatments from a fabulous therapist, as well as getting a Massage from my long time massage therapist. Going for walks and getting my 10,000 steps in.
  • Find time to relax.  Always a tricky one when you’re running your own business as there are constantly things that need doing (social media, emails, accounts, patient notes, bookings). 
  • Be nice to yourself.  This is the one that I find the hardest, always have and probably always will.  At my worst, I really hated myself and struggled to see why anyone would want to be near me.  But small things were the starting point: allowing myself to actually relax and read a book without any guilt over I should be… 

At some point I will combine the social media posts about stress into a blog post, but not just yet.  I’m still recovering and taking my time. 

As always, I go on a bit, I talk too much  and there is too much in my head that I want to share.  But this will be where I leave this for the moment. I am feeling better, most days. 

Thanks for reading this.


Tim sitting in a room, smiling, with a blue massage couch in the background, bookshelves just visible on the right

How can I help?

I can offer the following treatments and classes as ways of helping your find the balance between motion and rest.

Myofascial Release

This appoach can help you find a bit more ease with movements, especially if things are a bit sticky.  It can also be soothing and restful in its own right.

Sports & Remedial Massage

This is probably more about getting you moving and freeing up stiffness and overcoming aches and pains.


A very calming and relaxing treatment, that can help restore your equilibrium.

Scaravelli Yoga classes and Online Yoga classes

If you feel like you need gentle movements to help you find rest, then the Scaravelli yoga is a more restorative and less vigorous approach.  I offer both in-person classes and online classes