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If ever there was a time to come together and take a moment, this is it

For the last 10 years, photographer Ray Burmiston has been asking his famous subjects to pause during their shoot, close their eyes and take a moment. The idea was to help them gather themselves, imagine that they were somewhere calm and refresh their connection to the camera. The result was a poignant moment captured.

Curating over 250 of these moments, Ray has created a dynamic online gallery filled with faces you’ll no doubt recognise including friends of Happiful Katie Piper, Kem Cetinay, Joe Wicks and Frankie Bridge. With a passion for charity work (Ray has worked with UNICEF, Save The Children, Children In Need, Variety and Comic Relief), Ray decided now was the time to do some good with his collection.

Recognising that we need to come together as a collective to take a moment right now, Ray is inviting us to upload our own portraits to join the gallery, while raising money for mental health charity Mind.

There are three ways you can take part in the ‘Take a Moment’ movement:

  1. Pay £3 to upload your own ‘take a moment’ portrait to the virtual gallery.
  2. Pay £30 for an authenticated print, a 3×3 grid of randomly generated portraits from the exhibition, with your selfie in the centre (print size: 10” x 8”).
  3. Pay £300 for a custom, authenticated and signed print so you can choose your favourite portraits (print size: 20” x 16”).

A minimum of 90% profit of each sale will be donated to mind. Visit takeamoment.uk to take part.

Take a moment – some tips

After you’ve uploaded your ‘take a moment’ portrait, try to think about how you can make time to do this more regularly. We’re in the midst of a mental health emergency, with the coronavirus having a huge impact. As we head into the colder months and are seeing restrictions tighten again, it can be easy to feel down.

Self-care has never been more important in helping us manage the many emotions we may be experiencing. It may sound simple, but taking a moment can be part of your self-care routine. Here are some tips to help you take a moment more often:

1. Recognise what stress and anxiety feel like for you. What are some red flags that you need to take a moment? Perhaps you notice a tightness in your chest or a nervous energy. Whatever it is, make a note. When you feel these sensations, this is your cue to take a moment.

2. Decide what ‘take a moment’ means for you. Does it mean simply closing your eyes and imagining yourself somewhere calm? Could it involve stepping out for a walk or breathing in a calming essential oil? Maybe it means doing a breathing exercise of meditation. Experiment with different types of moments and see what feels good to you.

3. Make space for at least one moment to yourself each day – even if you feel OK. There’s a lot going on right now, taking a little pocket of time to check in with yourself and slow down can help you feel calmer and more in control.

Self-care is a wonderful thing and is vitally important, but it isn’t always enough. If you think you would benefit from professional support, don’t hesitate to reach out. Visit Counselling Directory to find a counsellor today.

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