Escaping the everyday stresses of life can sometimes be tough, and not doing so can take a toll on our mental wellbeing. There’s no denying that we all need some time to ourselves to recover.
We asked people across the UK to share their Peaceful Moments with us, to be in with a chance to win £1,000. We asked for a photo of their favourite place to go when they need some time to themselves, and to explain what makes that place so special to them.
Claire entered Peaceful Moments with a stunning photo of her and her son at Durdle Door in Dorset, which has a particularly special meaning to her after she suffered a severe blood clot on the evening that the photo was taken.
This was Claire’s heartwarming initial entry:
“My children have spent many Sundays, both in summer and winter at this wonderful part of the Jurassic Coast. This picture means so much, as my son and I were having a quality moment, which was captured, that evening I suffered a serious clot, which I survived. So it truly does have a special meaning to me!”
Claire woke up in unbearable pain and coughing up blood. The mother of three was taken to hospital where she was told that she had suffered a near-fatal Pulmonary Embolism. She remained for 4 days, and even after being discharged, the clot left Claire house bound for 3 months; during this time she was visited by ward nurses several times a day.
Even after recovering from the initial blood clot, Claire was unable to work and left destitute – she had to give up her tough but rewarding role as a manager at a homeless drop in centre.
Despite suffering the life changing incident on the day that her entry photograph was taken, Claire regards the moment she shared with her son as a symbol of the fact that she survived the ordeal.
“I’m still now, three years on out of work, I haven’t had a career. I had another lung clot about 6 weeks ago, but not as serious. On the evening after my photo, I was fit and well and healthy in my life. I had a great job. I’m still not well now.
“I have that photo blown up, outside my son’s room and every time I see it for me it’s a positive photo because I survived. It means a lot to me.”
Congratulations to Claire from everyone at Claims.co.uk! Scroll down to see more inspiring Peaceful Moments from our shortlist
“My partner and I moved to Southsea in early 2016 to escape our increasingly stressful lives in London, and to be closer to some of our family. Although there were still aspects of London life we both enjoyed, the city’s charms had worn away for us. Along with my anxiety continuing to worsen, we knew that London wasn’t the place for us anymore.
“Since leaving London our lives have become so much better and more peaceful. Southsea Beach is a stone’s thrown away from where we now live, and it’s become a symbol of why we moved, and a calm constant in our lives, without which I never would have been able to tackle my anxiety.”
“When I am struggling with my mental health, the great outdoors gives me a sense of wonder and purpose and instantly makes me feel better. Greenfield is a place that I have spent a lot of time since being very young, it is where I learnt how to ride a bike, created wonderful memories with the people I love and practiced photography whilst capturing the beauty of the wildlife that resides there.
“When I walk through the trees, I am taken from a place where I feel down and full of darkness and transported to a much happier place full of sunshine and wonder.”
“This place is very special to me as I spend so much time here sitting on the bench looking out over my beautiful city of Londonderry. I spend time here with my mum who has terminal cancer (lymphoma).
“She has been in the cancer ward for almost 20 weeks now, when she is well enough I take her out to the wards garden and we sit on the bench and just enjoy the time we have together. It’s so peaceful and I treasure every moment we have here.”
“As I’m disabled & housebound I look on my garden as an extension of my living space, I regard it as Mother Nature’s Living Room. I am lucky enough to have a vast variety of birds & wildlife visiting each day & night including a large family of badgers, several hedgehogs, foxes & families of pheasants and many species of birds including several on the RSPB red list.
“Looking out of my window is like watching my own version of Springwatch & Autumnwatch. Being stuck in my house all day & night is very boring but my beautiful garden & all the wonderful wildlife gets me through the day & when I can’t sleep at night because of the pain I got out to chat to my hedgehogs & badgers while they’re feeding as they all trust me as they’ve been visiting for so many years.”
“It’s a beautiful Glen near to where I live, it’s my place to switch off after a very stressful year where my husband nearly lost his life. I enjoy the beauty and peace and quiet with only the tranquil sound running water to keep me company.”
“Having spent many childhood years holidaying here with my Dad showing me the cliffs he used to explore when he was a child, I introduced my partner to the South-West coast for our first holiday away together.
“This peaceful moment was preparing us for the fact that just a couple of days after returning home from this holiday we would have to spend 12 months living over 200 miles apart. I sat in this spot and felt comforted and hopeful that this would only make our (fairly new) relationship even stronger. 7 years on and we are now preparing for our wedding!”
“This is my totally favorite day out of the year, I suffer from depression and bad thoughts, when I’m here I forget everything and just take everything in for them special hours I have.
“Breathtaking, magical place, being absolutely surrounded by wildlife and the beauty of nature and letting us visit their home, I truly love it here and I have to thank my camera club friends for planning around me, they know how much I enjoy my visits.”
“Out of season, the village is quiet, and beautiful. Just a few minutes walk to Coniston Water, with views of the Old Man of Coniston – a fantastic challenging hike to really get away from it all. This is a place I took my mum after we lost Dad. We had a wonderful holiday, and my husband and I now visit regularly.
“The only important person I didn’t visit with, was my Dad, but Mum and I talked about him so much on that holiday, that I now think of him whenever I’m there. She told me things I’d never known before about when they first met, and I have nothing but happy memories, despite the sadness of that first trip.”
“Believe it or not, this place is actually a college, a residential one in fact. It is a good to place to brush up on your personal development skills as well as many others. The place is very tranquil as everyone there is friendly and easy going.
“Despite being in a city, it is very easy to forget this fact as it is so quiet in the peaceful6 acres of well cared for gardens. The gardens are a good place to wind down and relax and have a good think.”
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