By Katy Pearson

“I felt like any joy had been sucked out of me and really didn't see the point of living. I knew this was wrong, but really didn't know what to do with myself or see a way out.”

It was having battled feelings like this, that inspired Vicki Hornsby to set up her Bliss Mindfulness business.

The Chelmsford mum-of-two started suffering from depression after the birth of her first daughter, Matilda, now ten.

But only when her midwife sought to help her, after the birth of her second daughter, Masie, now nine, did Vicki realise she had been living with anxiety since she was a child.

“My anxiety started around the age of seven years old when I had to travel long distances in a car,” explains Vicki.

“This lead to anxiety in all travelling, whether in a car, train, or bus. My anxiety came in the forms of panic before travelling and I would have the common symptoms, however it looked like I was being naughty. My depression started after the birth of my first child, I found it hard being a new mum and my mood was low. When you are depressed and can't see a way out, you struggle to regain any sort of joy and the more I worried about it the worse my depression got.

“I knew I was depressed from the way I had been feeling, no matter what I did I just felt gloomy and sad all the time. My midwife at the time recognised the depression and sought to help me with my second baby.

“I found when investigating anxiety and depression that all my panic attacks around travelling were anxiety. It was hard knowing that I had been suffering all these years with anxiety and never really had any help to support the way I had felt.”

Was there a moment when did it all came to a head?

“When I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. I found it hard to cope and feeling unwell lead to all my thoughts turned dark,” recalls Vicki.

So how did she start to turn things around?

“I wanted to try a way of looking after myself without using drugs and I was ashamed to go to the doctors,” says Vicki.

“I started to see a homeopath and a nutritionist to support my journey to wellness. I was at the library and saw a book on Mindfulness by Jon Kabit-Zinn and thought I would borrow it. It seemed like the answer to my prayers.”

Mindfulness made such a difference to Vicki’s life, that she decided to share it with others. And after completing a mindfulness diploma in 2016 and running some mindfulness classes, Vicki realised there was a real need in her community.

“The number of people I meet who are under great stress and in need of a relief was apparent when my classes started to fill up,” recalls Vicki. “I started Bliss Mindfulness to help my community to reduce stress and mental conditions and I know that mindfulness is for everyone.

“My aim is to bring mindfulness to anyone at any age who needs support. The classes I run are for understanding the principles of mindfulness and how this can support our way of living.

“The relaxation classes deliver a sanctuary of calm in an ever-present stressful way of life we all seems to be living. I have coached a number of people in all areas of depression, anxiety, and mental stress.”

Now at any one time, Vicki is supporting about 15 people with their mindfulness journey.

Does she think there is a stigma attached to seeking help for anything relating to mental health?

“Yes, I know I felt too ashamed to go and see a doctor about my depression. Especially with a young baby, I thought someone might come and take her away if I said I needed help,” says Vicki.

So, what is her one top tip for self-care?

“Include something you enjoy in your day, each and every day. It is often the simple things that make a huge difference like a bath, a walk in nature, enjoying your coffee first thing in the morning. A little treat each day and really lift our spirits and feel a little happier.”



F: BlissMindfulnessCoaching

T: BLMindfulness

I: bliss_mindfulness