Tag Archives: Humour

My Mental Health Survival Kit

We all have things that impact our mental health, whether these be good or bad. I’ve been thinking about all the things that help me get through when my mental health isn’t great or just day to day and I thought I’d share them in case there was something you may like to try, to add to your own mental health survival kit. I have not included pets and people in this list but it goes without saying they are definitely something that helps me.

Music

Music is a big part of my life. It’s great for all kinds of situations and I find great meaning in the lyrics. It also allows me to block out the voice I hear at times. I can also use it when I’m feeling anxious in a public place, especially if it’s noisy. Some of my favourites are Simple Plan, Linkin Park, George Ezra, Panic! At The Disco and Busted.

Earphones

Leading on from music is earphones. Obviously I use them to listen to music but I’ve also been known to put them in to block the outside world out with no music playing. They also can make people not talk to you so when I am feeling overwhelmed they are useful.

Reading/Books

Reading is my escape. I love it. I read a huge variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction. I enjoy learning new things as well which reading helps with. I particularly love books as they just feel good to hold. I have a kindle but haven’t used it in a while, though its useful to reread Harry Potter. It isn’t always easy to concentrate though which frustrates me.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter is a big part of my life. I love the books and the films. I’m a proud Hufflepuff. The world is an escape to me. I know it so well that it is comforting. It was also there for me as I grew up and made me feel less isolated. Its something I can talk to people about and makes me feel connected to them.

American Sitcoms

These are my go to when I feel bad but can’t concentrate for long. I say American sitcoms as I just find them better than others. My favourites are The Big Bang Theory, Friends, Speechless, How I Met Your Mother and Young Sheldon. They also tend to only be about 20 minutes which is perfect concentration time. Also I tend to watch them over and over so I know most of what to expect so I don’t have to concentrate too hard. Another reason I like rewatching them is that programmes obviously make us feel emotions. When I see programmes I feel the emotions incredibly intensely and I can’t bear the feelings they create. With sitcoms this is reduced as its normally positive emotions, plus if I’ve seen them already I don’t tend to get the extreme reaction.

Stand Up Comedy

Another coping strategy is to watch stand up comedy. It’s generally light and doesn’t cause the extreme emotions. I tend to be able to enjoy it, not all the time but mostly. I have a love for British comedians with Jon Richardson, Josh Widdecombe, Joe Lycett, Adam Hills and Nina Conti being my favourites.

Fidget Toys

I have a couple of fidget toys that I use out and about when I am anxious. I’ve always needed to fidget since I was small. I used to use bits of blu tac a lot to fidget with, making little animals out of it. I’ve also used lego minifigures in the past. Now I’ve invested in a couple of fidget toys. Not only is it good to move the pieces, I also find comfort in feeling the smooth textures. I’m quite a tactile person in this sense. They are well worth the investment.

Writing

Writing is my outlet. If I can do it then it helps me get things out of my head. It’s not always easy though and I do have to judge whether I’m in the right place to do it. I was always told I was no good at writing when I was younger. My ideas were said to be good but my construction of sentences was classed as poor as I tended to miss words out because my brain worked faster than my hand. I’ve kind of conquered this though and, while I still have doubts, I feel good that I can write and prove people wrong.

My Phone

Yes I know its modern and people will say its sad that I feel I need it but I would be lost without it. It allows me to stay connected even when I physically can’t connect. It is my camera for another hobby I enjoy, photography. It has my photo album so I can reflect on good times. I write my blog on it. It also has a game on it that helps me distract when things are bad. It has all these functions that help me. Obviously there are times when it is not great being so connected but the good outweighs this for me.

Maths

Sounds strange I know but there is something about the logical reasoning of maths that is comforting. I love immersing myself in maths problems. It’s been a major coping strategy for me since I was small. My grandad used to set me maths problems for fun and I loved it. At one point I did my 3 times table as far as I possibly could in an exercise book when I felt overwhelmed. More recently I’ve moved on to the Fibonacci sequence. I love algebra the most.

Memes

I love memes. They make me smile. They are relateable. They are fun. I can get lost looking through memes. For this Tumblr is great. Also Facebook can be good too. I see more memes on my Facebook news feed than I do what my friends are doing. And actually that’s OK.

Talc

This may be an odd one but I love the smell of talc (not so keen on the feel). It’s a smell I find really comforting. If I’m really stressed smelling talc calms me down. It can also help me sleep better when I’m upset.

Art

This is a fairly new addition and is something I feel has become part of my every day routine. I’m trying hard to work on not being a perfectionist but it is difficult and there are times it frustrates me. But it has also led to praise and I’m finding this something I am starting to allow myself to be praised for. (If you’d like to see more of my art you can find it on Facebook or Instagram).

So those are just a few things in my mental health survival kit. You may have your own things that work for you. Feel free to share in the comments or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Dear GP 2

There is an amazing account on Twitter called Dear GP where people write letters to their GP about their encounters with mental health professionals in the same way mental health professionals write letters about their patients to their GP. You can visit the website here. I thought I would have a second go at this below after an encounter during lockdown. My first attempt is here.

Dear GP

Today I had a telephone consultation with care coordinator M due to the current lockdown conditions. This was an unscheduled appointment and was preceded by a text message which stated that she wanted to talk to me straight away and was demanding of immediate contact without considering my prior commitments.

When we spoke to each other on the phone, M was in a jovial and friendly mood. She seemed to need reassurance about our working relationship due to comments from other staff members based on what she had said. She denied she had said anything to other staff members about our working relationship and stated “we work well don’t we?”. Her need for reassurance shows, I believe, an insecurity and possible fear of abandonment.

We then discussed my mental wellbeing. Here M was keen to show that everyone is struggling and dismissed suicidal ideation. Her concentration during this part of the conversation seemed to dip and she appeared to want this to end quickly.

Her next actions I believe confirm her fear of abandonment. She decided to put an end to our working together stating a too high workload. She did however say that I could always let her know good news. She seemed not to wish to cut ties completely showing difficulty with endings.

Overall I think M may need to work on her social skills but I do not wish to see her again and feel she will be fine under your care. Please do not rerefer.

Yours

Jo

Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Positives From Lockdown

Lockdown has been a hard time for so many people, myself included but I’ve also found some positive things have come from lockdown too. Therefore I thought I’d look at my positives.

1. A lockdown birthday

I had my birthday in June when everything was still pretty much shut and we could barely see anyone. It was one of my favourite birthdays. I went for a picnic and a walk and then went home and did what I wanted. No pressure whatsoever. So I reckon on my birthday we should have a lockdown each year.

Birthday walk and picnic

2. The 2 metre rule

Yep it’s been the bane of so many people but I want to keep this forever. I now have a reason to tell people to get out of my personal space or to move away from them without appearing rude. Long may it continue with people we don’t want to be near.

Picture from Pinterest

3. Wildlife returning

During my walks I have had great pleasure in spotting different wildlife that has returned to our local park. We had a regular heron (named Herbert by me and adopted by others). We also had some Little Egrets. We also got to see the regular geese, ducks and coots have their offspring. I got particularly involved with one pait of coots who had a tragedy when their nest was destroyed. Wildlife is amazing.

Herbert

4. Finding new hobbies

I have taken up drawing again. It’s something I’ve not done in years but I seem to of improved over the lockdown period. I’ve enjoyed extending my range and developed some confidence in this area. I even set up Facebook and Instagram pages for my art. I’ve also managed to do more Lego building, which I love but just could never find the time for. I’ve adapted my routines to incorporate these things.

A drawing of mine

5. Getting things done

I have managed to get so many jobs done. Things I’ve always put off as I’ve been to busy or tired to do them. I’ve enjoyed them too. It’s not just been the mundane daily life jobs but things I wouldn’t normally get to do. I built my mum’s Christmas present from 2018 for her which I’d been meaning to do since she received it.

Making Mum’s Christmas present from 2018

Overall lockdown has been tough for me and many others. It has by no means been a positive experience fully but there are positive bits in there. Sometimes we forget these among all the talk of death and failing businesses. What have been your positives? Feel free to share in the comments or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Lost In Lockdown

So it seems like the world has been shut down for forever. Everyone is finding it tough. People are losing loved ones or being kept away from them at least. Life is restricted. Unfortunately my mental illness has decided to take advantage of this situation to cause ultimate unpleasantness.

I know this lockdown is not fun for anyone. I’m not pretending that I’m the only one negatively effected. Everyone seems to be in the same boat. But unfortunately that doesn’t help make it easier. In fact it’s making it harder. I feel guilty that I need support. I feel like a burden when I know so many are struggling to deal with this. I hate myself for being able to access support yet still feel on the edge.

The thing is I know I would tell any of my friends who are mentally ill and struggling that it’s OK and mental illness doesn’t make it easier but harder. That it will impact you more as you have to work harder than everyone else to stay well. I’ve even said these words to others. But I can’t apply it to me.

I think also that as things that help keep me more stable have been removed temporarily due to the lockdown this is going to make it harder. I’ve been lucky that my mental health team have given me permission to exercise more than once a day. This is allowed for medical reasons. (For more information click here.) But there are other things I’m missing that I’d not even realised I needed.

Social contact for me has always been exhausting and something I need a break after. I thought I’d be OK without it as I still can contact friends and others through social media or WhatsApp. But it turns out I need to physically see people. I need hugs. I need to be closer to them. I miss them. Yes I may need quiet time after but I still need the contact.

While we can all say lockdown is not our ideal situation I have found some things that are helping keep me a little bit saner (never completely sane, that ship sailed long ago). I’ve rediscovered things I liked doing. I’ve discovered I’m more skilled in them than I thought and that they can help others feel better. Drawing has been a major one for me, with me drawing animals and characters for others and children.

I’ve also found it useful to set myself projects. I’ve put together things I’ve been meaning to do for ages, I’ve built Lego I’d been meaning to make or made friendship bracelets for others. Focusing on this one thing has helped me keep moving and not dropping into deep despair.

The thing is it’s not always helpful. I seem to have a regular Friday night meltdown at the moment. I just disintegrate. My anxiety at times is so high it gives me chronic chest pain. I’ve got an almost constant headache. These are things that I’m struggling to manage. I’ve had a lot of anxiety that I’m going to infect my family. Hair pulling and skin picking have increased along with self harm. Things are not ideal.

Unfortunately there is nothing we can do to make this go quicker but we can help each other. Just checking in is helpful. And we need to ask for support when we need it. Fingers crossed we’ll be able to have some normality soon.

To keep in contact please feel free to use the comments or Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Jokes And Memes To Get You Through

Yes I am going to inflict my sense of humour on you all. Sometimes we need to laugh. In Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) there is a skill called Opposite Action where we do something to make us feel the opposite feeling. So I thought I’d produce some humorous (in my opinion) content to help. Good luck to you all reading this.

Jokes

Bare with me. I find them funny.

How do you make Pikachu get on a bus? Pokemon

Who designed King Arthur’s round table? Sir Cumference

What do you call a pig who does Karate? A pork chop

What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear

What do you call an acid with attitude? A-Mean-O acid (ammino acid, yes its a science joke, it may not be the last)

What do you get if you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite

How much room is needed for fungi to grow? As mushroom as possible

Why don’t skeletons fight each other? They just don’t have the guts

What time do ducks wake up? At the quack of dawn

What do you call a bee that comes from America? A USB

Do you want to hear a bad cat joke? Just Kitten

What kind of music scares balloons? Pop music

Memes and things

Puns

I tried to catch some fog. I mist.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop anytime.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

I used to think I was indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.

I tried to sue the airline for losing my luggage. I lost the case.

Velcro – what a rip off.

She had a photographic memory but she never developed it.

I’m a natural sleeper. I can do it with my eyes closed.

I lost my mood ring. I don’t know how I feel about it.

I bought a boat because it was for sail.

Feel free to share any of your own jokes in the comments or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.