Social Inclusion Week 2023

How Important Is Social Inclusion?

Humans since the dawn of time have hunted in packs. Are we considered a ‘pack animal’, quite possibly we are.

Finding ourselves outside of that pack can have devastating consequences. Have you experienced these before? I know I have.

That feeling of not belonging anywhere and constantly wondering where we fit in to our current surroundings, can cause loneliness, depression, and isolation. We need to feel part of something, we need that sense of community.

Social inclusion gives us a sense of dignity, security, belonging and stability.

I am passionate about social inclusion both in the workplace and in my community and this is why I believe is accessible wellbeing mentoring. My intention is to bring people together regardless of their situation so that they can feel the best version of themselves, whatever that looks like to them.

Your background, origins, financial status, and habitual residence shouldn’t make a single bit of difference to whether you are accepted as part of the community. If we don’t have each other, tell me, what do we have.

In 2022 we relocated back to Ireland, to a rural area that I had never lived in before. I went from city living in England, to the rural landscapes of County Donegal. Different? VERY!

Never Did I Think It To be SO Hard!

I’m a sucker for a scenery, I love wildlife, looking up at the sky and seeing the stars at night instead of night pollution. I thought that by having that, with a great house, it would be fine. I work from home, have space for a studio that is a dedicated yoga space and it’s quiet. What more could I possibly need?

The answer is simple. I need connection. I need social interaction that the world offered me before Covid came into the world. Moving to a rural local brought challenges from a community point of view. Everyone knows everyone, I am considered a ‘blow in’ as is anyone that doesn’t come from the locality and I found making meaningful connections harder than I ever had.

Was My Social Inclusion Lost On Me!?

Having always been great in a crowd it came naturally for me to network, it had been my career. Yet in 2022, I found myself entering events where there were groups of people, feeling like I didn’t fit in there. Conversation wasn’t flowing like it had previously in my life. I started to think that I had turned 40 and lost all sense of what socialising was all about. But it wasn’t the fact that I turned 40. It was the fact that my surroundings had changed dramatically, and I didn’t have a sense of social inclusion for many reasons.

The people within the community seem to gravitate to those that they have known for years.

In my experience, it is only the people that have moved into the area that form a connection to one another. I genuinely didn’t know how I was going to create a life here. My relationship went through its challenges because I became so emotionally detached, I had switched off. I lost my drive, enthusiasm, the very core of my being seemed so blurred. Who was I? My love for my yoga mat left me, I couldn’t find mental peace despite my years of experience meditating. Everything just seemed so alien to me. I being taught some sort of a lesson but what the heck was it. I felt grateful for everything that I had and have, but somehow it wasn’t enough.

I Took A Huge Deep Breath And Took Hold Of Myself.

I cried so hard; I didn’t think I was ever going to stop. But when I did, I felt such release. I took my notepad and jotted down everything I was feeling, all the emotions came spilling out onto the page. Once I had the list, I started to write next to each emotion how I could turn it around and stop feeling so isolated, low, worthless, and disconnected.

Realisation Occurred

Why do I feel lonely? Why do I feel depressed? I wrote all the questions down. The reason I felt lonely and depressed was because I was living in the past. I was so fixated on the life I had back in England and Europe, that I forgot to look at the opportunity and wonders that were at my door. Ok, so it was hard finding things to do where I could meet people. Everything was during the day, and I worked full time so couldn’t join those groups. I don’t have children so meeting mums at the school gate wasn’t an option. I live in the middle of nowhere, so things aren’t on my doorstep.

What DID I Have?

This gift of life is not to be wasted, I have an amazing partner, I have a bank account with funds, food in my cupboards, I have good health, a beautiful house to call home. I had far more than a lot of people in this world. I had my faith in the Universe that everything was going to be OK because it was the Universe that was sending me on this learning curve, to redirect me to a new journey. One that I had never been on before.  

Remember What Works Hannah

‘Just breath Hannah’ ran through my head, and started to re implement all the techniques that I believe in, but from a different angle. Mindfulness, yoga, meditation, phone calls to those back home to feel a connection of some kind. I started looking at voluntary roles within my area, fitness facilities to teach in, community groups where I could offer my wellbeing classes.

Working From Home, It’s Like Marmite

Office environments gave that sense of team community. Working remotely comes with it’s challenges both physically and mentally but overall, it has opened up the world to such opportunity. It’s a welcome change. I just needed to make sure that I stayed in contact with colleagues. Pick up the phone and speak to people, have video calls with people. The more I have done that, the more I have found that there are others feeling the exact same way that I have. We have been able to support one another and create our own community. It also has a lot to do with the company and their work culture.

New Year, New Start

In January 2023, I started to go out to networking events 2 to 3 times a week for work. People would hear my voice and come over to ask where I was from and why I was in the area. This has become normal, and I am passed caring now when someone makes comments on my surname not being a local one. No, it isn’t a local name, but I am now a local person.

There Were More People Feeling Just Like I Was

Over the past 3 months, I have met more ‘blow ins’ who have been in the area for years, all of whom say that they still find it hard to ‘fit in’. They share the exact same feelings as I have been experiencing, which in turn made me feel so much better. I wasn’t alone, I just hadn’t found my tribe. It’s down to these realisations that I started to pick myself up week on week. I started a dance class to meet people and express emotional through movement. I LOVE IT! I have found local leisure facilities were both my partner and I are joining so that we can get fitter and help our mental health. I truly think that the bleak winter with no where to walk because of the awful weather, didn’t help our mental health at all, let alone the physical.

Now I’m Considering Starting My Own Community

Diversity in a city, now that’s what I miss. The stories of how people ended up in the same locality from all over the world. As someone that loves travel, this is one of the main reason’s I do love it so much, it’s meeting all these incredible people. I’ve learnt that the only way to sometimes fit in, is to create the space in which I can fit. Social inclusion belongs to each and everyone of us. We also have a responsibility to be kind, inclusive, offer an open heart to those that need it. Blow in’s feeling like me need like minded people to connect with. If the mountain won’t come to me, I’ll build my own mountain. My own community of like minded people, outside of the yoga community so that I have variety.

I Had Asked The Universe Where It Was Sending Me

The answer became clear. The universe was showing me that I could help other people whilst helping myself. It doesn’t have to be on the mat, it can be by just having a coffee and a chat. Thank you, Universe, for always having my back. For seeing that I am struggling but not deterring from the message that you are trying to give me. I needed to be reminded that change isn’t the end, it is just the beginning. A new way of life never experienced, but one so wholesome that it was worth taking a chance on. The life I lived abroad was incredible, but right now, my place is here.

We all have blips in our life, and we are only human. Doctors, health professionals, mentors, and psychologists all experience turbulence in their own lives. Being human is having emotions and expressing them. Don’t ever feel that you cannot be your authentic self. If there are people that do not click with that authenticity then keep looking for those that do, because they are out there, we just need to find them.

This is written with thanks to those who have taken me into their circles and made me feel connected. I appreciate you.

I’d love to hear from you if you having difficulties finding your social inclusion, your community and to listen to how you have overcome challenges that have been in your path. Perhaps you need support to find the path for you. Let’s support each other more than ever as we are stronger together. Come and join my community at

My YouTube channel provides practices in yoga and breath work, to help in challenges times. Don’t forget to like and subscribe though!