Creative Corner: ‘Mental Wellbeing & Mindfulness’ Showcase

A collection of poetry on the theme of 'Wellbeing & Mindfulness'.

This months collection of poetry focuses on the extremely important subject of mental health and wellbeing. This showcase is coming to you mid exam season – and for a good reason – to show that you’re not in this alone! So, without further ado, on with the poems… 


I like to plan things.

Lists, spreadsheets, notebooks,

My best friends.

I plan to procrastinate,

I organise to postpone the deadlines

that loom over me.

Every year I give myself a plan,

Every year I fail to stick to it.

Every year I set myself targets,

targets too difficult for any normal human being to achieve.

Work on all three courseworks in one day,

Get a draft of each done by the end of term.

Targets failed.

I make new targets.

You’d think they’d be more sensible,

they should be more sensible.

They’re not.

Okay, no draft by the holiday,

Plans by this Sunday

Drafts by Christmas day.

Christmas Day comes and goes,

The drafts still don’t exist.

Panic sets in.

Stress escalates.

Here we see the true horrors of academia,

A world which can take the content you love,

and suffocate it.

Suffocate it with deadlines, worry, stress.

‘I just want a first’ I cry,

Yet three years earlier loving the subject was enough.

Now, nothing is ever enough.

As the deadlines grow closer,

the panic grows stronger,

the worry intensifies.

And worse, it affects not only me,

but those around me.

My loved ones watch as I deteriorate,

and though they try to console me,

all they get in return is angry outbursts,

and too-late apologies.

Then they remind me to breathe.


A 1st isn’t the end of the world,

no matter how much I may crave it.

A 1st isn’t worth it if at the end,

my mentality crumbled because of it.

I know I’m not alone in this despicable mindset,

It’s not just me who sacrifices mental wellbeing

for a piece of paper which says nothing more than

‘You wrote a few good essays, congratulations’.

Though they say a strong degree opens many doors,

No doors open to someone who lacks the strength to pull the handle.

So, I beg of you, breathe.

Take a step back, make some tea.

Go for a walk, play that video game you’ve been longing for.

Put down the textbook, pick up the fantasy.

Indulge in your creativity,

your freedom,

and come back only when you’re refreshed.

When you’ve had a chance to breathe.

I know you’ll get it done,

I know you’ll succeed.

But when the stress gets too high,

please, put aside the work,

and remember to breathe.

Georgia Butcher

The Itch

Fleeting twitch grab on to stems,

Pull them from the ground.

Forget about the flowers that will grow.

Naughty fingers, teasing tips

Which grab and tug and plough

Forgetting of the hated it will sew.

These thorny rows

These tangled tresses

These loose rolls of barbed wire

Will forever sprout from me

I will forever fail to flower.

Holly Wilson

A Poem About Mental Health

How do I tell you

this straight A* student who has it all together

has to study

has to keep it together

so organised there’s even time slots

for me to cry

won’t let anyone see

I broke down between lectures

for the third time today. But clearly I’m coping

if I can turn up,

motivated solely by this weight stealing my breath

from between my collarbones

dragged into the ground by guilt, for fifty thousand grand of debt

I ought to be



Parents’ voices down the phone line

ask ‘How are you?’

Always fine, tell them you’re fine/I’m so sick

lying became default.


Anxiety robs me of the ability to speak out

against it. Instead, in bed mid-afternoon

and after a couple hours the tide leaves you

completely hollow. Nothing


to feel, loneliness the only company left

when all you know is emptiness.


Encouragement in Times of Self-Doubt

Novels and textbooks

A thousand dead-eyed looks

Relax your mind

After you feed your brain

And take a step backward

From the exam-season strain.

We’re in the flight of it all

I feel your plight for it still

When the words are swimming

But not making sense

And time is ticking

But you’re all but spent.

Escape from Hallward

George Green

Or where else

Take a bath

And deal with the day’s aftermath…

I’ll be your friendly reminder

The one to say

Don’t worry

It’ll all work out

Tomorrows another day.

Esther Kearney


To get your work featured, send your submissions to, or message Esther Kearney via Facebook.

Featured image courtesy of Georgia Butcher.

Image 1 courtesy of christiankaff, image 2 courtesy of  Sodanie Chea, image 3 courtesy of john.schultz and image 4 courtesy of seyed mostafa zamani all via Flickr. 

Image use licence here.

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