Sometimes I feel like an old stray sock hanging over the back of the radiator. Like quite literally I am the epitome of a damp holey piece of material that can’t be paired up with anything else, and I’ve felt like that for quite some time on and off. But during this time of being a sad little sock, I’ve come up with some ways on my own to make me feel a little bit better.
Books and shit.
These are some books that I’ve read over the past several months, and they’ve all been very helpful in their own ways. I’ll confess: I’m a total book geek, and I love reading so this has certainly been a self help method that has come quite easily to me. Most of these books deal with mental health in some shape or form, for example The Skeleton Cupboard and Psychiatric Tales are both a collection of first person stories about working in the Mental health field and the people that the authors encountered. They’re really interesting, and quite an eye opener for anyone who might be interested in that as a field as it goes into some of the more complex and enduring conditions.
A Universe from Nothing and A Space Traveller’s Guide to the Solar System are quite clearly not about mental health, but they are about something I really enjoy: space n stuff. I totally know how geeky that is, but sometimes when I’m down or feeling sock-like it’s nice to distract myself and get immersed in something I enjoy. It’s always a positive when you realise that you do still like things when you feel like poo.
My favourite out of this selection is It’s All Absolutely Fine. I actually first came across Ruby Elliot on Tumblr and I’ve always found her writing and drawings pretty hilarious, and her honest and self-deprecating approach to her own difficulties appeals to me a lot. Her book is great – and reading it always gives me a little laugh, or sometimes a big chuckle. Actually – I’m going to be serious and say it mostly makes me NE (nose exhale) which is generally what I do when I find something amusing.
I refer to the above as “voodoo”. I’m fairly sceptical about natural remedies and whatnot, but you know – these actually aren’t half bad. Or at least they smell quite nice if nothing else. Rescue Remedy, however, tastes like what I imagine Oscar the Grouch’s bin tastes like and I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect or not but I do find it quite helpful.
I’ve remained unmedicated throughout this whole thang – apart from when I was in hospital in March and they injected me with an emergency antipsychotic which, FYI, is the most sobering experience you’ll ever have. I’ll write about that some time, it’s comedy gold… kind of like the rest of my life.
Tah-dah. My little fidget cube! Isn’t it cute? It’s so tiny. I originally bought this to help with stopping smoking but it’s really helpful for my anxiety too. It’s designed for anxiety and autism and I can understand why.
When I’m anxious, I have a few little ticks that I do subconsciously. I fidget with my fingers and wring my hands together – not sure why, can’t stop but it let’s people around me know that I’m panicking. However, using this has definitely helped my anxiety because I can put my focus into clicking or twisting etc etc. I really would recommend one to someone who gets stressed a lot or for someone who just generally enjoys fidgeting!
The Crazy Chronicles.
This fancy little notebook is where I tend to keep my therapy exercises that I do. So, I keep my gratitude list in here, my irrational/rational thoughts exercises, and my compassion exercises. I take it in my bag with me wherever I go because you never know when the crazy is going to crop up and being able to remove the thoughts from my head and put them down on paper really helps to make me make sense of things and stop before I really get myself in a pickle.
These are just a few little things that I have collected to create a little safety net for myself when I’m not feeling so good. I’m constantly looking to expand and improve my methods, and certainly if there’s anything else that you do that helps you please feel free to let me know!