Duchess of Cambridge's brother on former depression: 'Some of us are just surviving'

James Middleton attends the launch of the George Charitable Dogs Committee at George Club on February 26, 2020 in London, England (Getty Images for The Birley Clubs)
James Middleton hasn't set himself new goals typical to January resolutions, but has set himself a new mantra inspired by his dogs. (Getty Images for The Birley Clubs)

James Middleton has shared his thoughts on the difficulties of January, as someone with a history of clinical depression.

The Duchess of Cambridge's younger brother wrote on Instagram that at a time "when everyone is setting new goals...some of us are just about surviving".

Middleton is an entrepreneur and founder of Ella & Co, a happiness and wellbeing company for dogs, inspired by his eldest black cocker spaniel, Ella, as well as an ambassador for Pets As Therapy UK.

He is also a mental health advocate and has previously shared his experiences with depression.

The 34-year-old credits his wife, nature and his dogs, including Ella, Zulu, Inka, Luna, Mabel and Nala, with helping him cope.

Ambassador for the Friends for Life award James Middleton poses for a photograph with his dogs Inka, Luna, Ella and Mabel at a launch event for this year's Crufts and Friends for Life in Green Park, London. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
James Middleton with Inka, Luna, Ella and Mabel at Crufts and Friends for Life in Green Park, London. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Taking to Instagram, he also shared a series of images, the first with his dogs in country fields, the second of him and his wife Alizée Thevenet, and the third of her with the dogs.

Opening up on his former depression struggle, he wrote: "My thoughts on January...I've always found January a very difficult month, especially when I was suffering with clinical depression.

"When everyone is setting new goals, laying down new ground rules and striving to become a better version of themselves, while some of us are just about surviving..."

Read more: Kate at 40: The royal's most memorable moments from two decades in the spotlight

He then explains his own more mindful version of setting goals, adding: "I have, however, set myself a new mantra which was inspired by my dogs...Don't spend every moment thinking of the one to come, or ones in the past. The past is imperfect, the future will be too, but now – we can do something about that.

"So right now...I'm going to take the dogs for a long walk hand in hand with my wife."

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 08: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Alizee Thevenet and James Middleton attend the 'Together at Christmas' community carol service at Westminster Abbey on December 8, 2021 in London, England. The carol service, hosted and spearheaded by The Duchess of Cambridge, pays tribute to the work of individuals and organisations across the UK who have supported their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Alizee Thevenet and James Middleton at the Together at Christmas community carol service at Westminster Abbey. (Getty Images)

Journalist, author, podcaster, and mental health advocate Bryony Gordon, who is also known for interviewing Prince Harry about mental health, commented: "Love this James. Now is all we have, really."

Fans have also showed their solidarity and appreciation of his post, with one writing, "I too find January the most difficult of the year...Thank you so much for your words of advice and encouragement", and another with "Excellent mantra!".

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge's 40th birthday: A celebration of her go-to fashion brands

Watch: James Middleton and Alizee Thevenet marry in France

Middleton regularly posts moments from his life, with his dogs and wife, sharing his adventures, wellbeing tips and thoughts on life.

On 12 May last year, he shared some photos from the snowy Lake District marking 1,255 days since he was diagnosed with clinical depression, saying, "that day was the first day I learnt about mental health and how it is integral to the way we live our lives".

He then went on to share why he went to the location in the picture with his dogs – because he "wanted to be in nature", known to help with psychological and emotional health.

Read more: Kate Middleton's brother James enjoys holiday to Italy with fiancee Alizee Thevenet