Posted in ASD, Mental Health, Posts

Creative World ~ Mental Health Calendar

A little while ago I made a post about @selfishlycaring ‘s mental health calendar, and I mentioned that I might create my own. Well here it is!

“31 ways to take care of your mental health this month.

Tick off each activity as you go and let us know what you find helpful each day!

This is a project I have been thinking about for a while and will definitely make a few different variations and would love to hear your ideas through my Contact Page!

During this time of change I have been trying different ways of managing my mental health and learning what helps to keep me calm most of these are related to art but there are a few other things in there too. I have made this calendar with Autism in mind as well, but I think anyone can find it useful!” 

I spent a while thinking about the things I try to do on a regular basis for my mental health. I feel it is so important to do at least one thing each day for yourself even if it is going to bed on time each night or indulging in your favourite TV show.

These past few years have taken a toll on my mental wellbeing. Before I started working in a permanent role, I was definitely a lot better at prioritising self-care and paying attention to what my mental health needed. In the past year there have been a lot of changes and I have spent most of my time working or travelling to and from work which meant self-care took a back seat. Lockdown allowed me to take time to acknowledge my trauma and try medications in a safe place where there are no expectations. I started out just trying to keep myself busy and catch up on my to-do list while sticking to my normal work day schedule because that is how I was brought up combined with the fear of never having that much time to myself ever again. I learnt very quickly that I am not well enough to do that and the whole point of having this time off is to help myself feel better and rest. I think the rest of this year I need to bring back a lot of my self-care activities and actively focus on that. So I will be using this calendar too and I will try and share some of it on my socials here in the hope that we can all improve our mental health and enjoy something each day no matter how bad the rest of it goes.

Click the download button at the top of this page to get your own PDF of my calendar and let me know in the comments what you would like to see in future versions and the things you like to do for your mental wellbeing.

I hope this helps you, enjoy!

May all your health wishes come true…

Kayleigh

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Covid-19 Lockdown Update (Part 13)

**Trigger Warning**

Life has taken quite the turn for us here. Turns out it is near impossible to get financial help during this time, so I have had to go back to work. At least for less hours, just enough to cover the bills and essentials. I have not been feeling any better lately, but I will get to talk to a professional about it next week (finally!). I had my first day back in two months yesterday. It was hard, even telling my boss I would return was hard. The moment I sent that email I had a very intense panic attack and vomitted into the bin next to me. It was awful, I have been a bindle of anxiety and heavily depressed for a while now and the thought of work only made this worse.

Admittedly my first day back wasn’t so bad, a lot of catching up and paperwork. Plus there were hardly any customers from when I sat at the counter. I feel a bit slow to catch on with this “new normal” and with every day things. I find it hard to social distance while my brain is in sensory overload and struggling to process everything else that normally goes on each day. I also realise I struggle to concentrate and to do mental maths. Once I got home yesterday afternoon I realised how dissociated I was throughout my shift and that definitley concerns me. Especailly as the extreme fatigue set in after I got home although I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t be productive either. It was hard.

I am so proud of myself for pushing through the day despite how awful I felt. I know this week will be tough but I will be focusing on getting home each day and enjoying my evenings. I hope that it won’t be busy and that people will still respect lockdown and social distancing. I want a calm and gentle fist week back. I hope I won’t have to fake a smile too much and that I will be able to relax a bit. I’d love to hear from my fellow #actuallyautistics who are in a similar position. This months going to be a tricky one, not to mention exhausting. I will write here when I feel able to, hopefully after a very important appointment next week I will actually be able to get help with my mental health and that means more energy to put into this! There are some exciting things coming!

I hope you are all managing this new stage of lockdown as best you can. Try and keep your spirits up, better times will come. Leave a comment below if you’d like a chat, I will try to respond to each and every one of you!

~ Kayleigh

Posted in Mental Health, Posts

Mental Health Calendars

I have been tried different ways to make sure I am taking care of my mental health. One of the things I tried was @selfishlycaring mental health calendar.

I managed to do about 22/30 activities. The calendar has one self care activity each day. I found one of the most important ones for me, despite it being challenging, was writing five things I liked about myself. It’s so important to acknowledge your state of mind and how you perceive yourself. Allowing yourself time to think positively about yourself and acknowledging all the good you’ve done really boosts your mood and alleviates some of those thoughts that shoot you down. We are our own worst enemies.

At the start of the month we were asked to write down some attainable goals for the month. It gives you something to strive for without pushing too hard. I wrote five and at least started each of them as there were delays causing the goals to be longer term. I think another important part of self-care, especially when you suffer with mental illness, is not being so hard on yourself when things don’t go to plan or have to be delayed for whatever reason. Despite what your mind might try to tell you, you are not a failure. You are a fighter, capable of incredible things!

A good way to unwind and step away from the chaos is to watch feel good films and shows. My go to is “Friends”, I can binge watch it time and time again, it also makes for good background noise to help me focus.  

Maybe try to make your own calendar of daily activities, I like to make a list every Sunday evening, I plan what TV or Netflix show I will watch after work so I don’t have to struggle with the decision on the day. I plan a fun activity for each evening whether that’s writing, crochet, playing a video game or going to see a movie. I add all the jobs I need to do to that list for each day, no matter how small. The jobs I usually have on there range from making the bed to appointments. I like to write it out in a weekly planner as well as using an app called To-doist. I love it and I feel so productive when I am using it. It gives you points for the number of tasks you complete each day which allows you to level up and also creates a colourful chart if you do tasks within different project sections on the app. (By the way this is not sponsored I just really love the app.) I found out about it from Hannah Witton’s yearly statics video which is really exciting for organization nerds by also quite motivating and inspiring. Click this link to watch:

I am also planning on making my own calendar but at least at first just for 30 day months. If you have any ideas or anything you feel might be important to help you mental health or manage on bad days, please leave a comment below or reach out on social media @kayleighcreativeworld and I’ll keep it anonymous!

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May all your wishes come true…

Kayleigh

Posted in Book Review, Posts

A Court of Thorns and Roses ~ Book Review

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Review:

After too long a time, I started reading again. I’d forgotten how great it was to get lost in a story. To be pulled from reality for a while. I have to admit this book took a while to read, which was frustrating at points, but I am determined to push through this. The more you read the easier it gets, sometimes there are moments where you can’t focus, but it does get easier with time.   

This book in particular caught my attention because of the endless reviews online, I personally love magical, sci-fi, action-packed adventure stories, so this was perfect for me. It focuses on a strong female protagonist called Feyre, she is a huntress that only hunts to feed her family which were in a large amount of debt. Feyre lives in the Mortal realm but across the border (near her home) is the Faerie realm (Prythian), these two were divided during a war between the mortals and faeries. However, after this war a blight began to dominate the faerie lands and the border, that prevented either side from entering the others’ territory, started to weaken.

During one of her hunts, Feyre shot a suspicious wolf that was after her prey. This led to a string of fast paced events, Feyre knew that there was something unusual about the wolf but decided to ignore that instinct. That was until a monstrous beast came tearing into her home and demanded that in turn for her life, she would have to live in Prythian as punishment for killing the wolf. She learns that this wolf was in fact a faerie and that this murder was usually punishable by death. The beast that took her to Prythian was actually a High Fae named Tamlin, one the most powerful faeries in Prythian. As the story progressed she learnt more about Tamlins past as well as the blight that threatened both realms. She wanted to be involved in stopping the blight and this became the focus of the story. Throughout you will be thinking about one question. Will love save them all?

This was an action-packed book; one event swiftly followed the next which made it a captivating read. All the descriptions were excellently written giving a clear vision of what was happening. It was very exciting and imaginative; the characters and the plot were set up and developed in an efficient way. The writer was also successful in her technique of slowly releasing the information throughout the book to make the reader wonder and consider the truth behind the things that were happening.

I would give this book 9/10. I think there is very little room for improvement, if any. If fantasy, sci-fi, magic and action filled stories appeal to you then I suggest you check this one out. I am excited to read the next book in the series, but if there are any recommendations I would love to hear them.

The next book that I read is “Fools’ Gold” by Philippa Gregory, click the link here to see that review or alternatively visit my “Reviews” for more book and film suggestions!

May all your imaginative wishes come true…

Kayleigh

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Covid-19 Lockdown Update (Part 12)

Okay so it’s been a while since my last update. Basically, the past week or so I had planned to write on here but I have been feeling really rubbish. Lots of tears and panic attacks and meltdowns. Basically I got to a point where I felt so depressed I didn’t feel like doing anything and so anxious I can’t move. I’ve been spending time napping or snuggling up with my boyfriend just trying to get through each day. A lot of the main blog posts you see have been pre scheduled by a couple of weeks, I’m not sure what and when I will be writing again or what I’m going to do right now. I plan to change medication one more time because the one I’m on isn’t helping at all really, maybe it is numbing the anxiety ever so slightly, but the side effects aren’t worth it. I feel like it will be my last attempt for medication, I just don’t have the physical and mental capacity to deal with that.

That’s my update for now, just wanted to check in and see how everyone is doing? What are you doing to take care of you mental health?

~ Kayleigh

Covid-19 Lockdown Update (Part 11)

So I am basically on the brink of a meltdown because the art supplies I need are unavailable. Haven’t felt too great today. I tried doing things but I haven’t been able to get into anything. I cried because life sort of sucks. Dealt with flashbacks to traumatic moments in my life. And got upset because there was a lot I wanted to do before I started working full time and know that I will never have this much time ever again. Basically I started doing okay and then got set back because I can’t regulate emotions or handle trauma in any way shape or form.

I think tomorrow is going to be more of a rest day because I have run out of energy again and want to sleep all the time (hence the short update). How are you guys doing? What’s lockdown like where you are?

~ Kayleigh

Covid-19 Lockdown Update (Part 10)

These updates seem to be every other day now and I’m quite liking how it feels. We just found out that the PM is still in hospital not on a ventilator or critical but still in need of care. However, it is still a pandemic and it is affecting far too many dispite the social distancing rules. I have a feeling it might be made stricter in the next week.

Today has been various waves of emotions, it seems as though so much is happening that the slightest thing can cause a meltdown (and believe me it has). I couldn’t even manage emailing a helpline service my mentor suggested to me because I was so overwhelmed by the questions and different ways they tried to contact me as if they couldn’t just use one.

I have tried to have a slower day, did some writing, some colouring and watched some videos. I even sat outside for the first time in a long time. I am struggling nontheless. My Autistic brain was not built for this. I just found out we won’t be able to get our weekly shop until Tuesday, yet another change I can’t quite process. When things like this happen I can’t figure out what I need and for how long. Fortunately I have enough to make the extra dinner but naturally I am concerned and anxious anyway. I won’t fight the meltdowns because that will only make me more exhausted and maybe rest in bed for a bit afterwards, I shouldn’t need to mask anymore even though I know I would have to at work, I am grateful for this time off. I just need to accept that it might be longer than two weeks and it will be a challenging return.

Does anyone else struggle with imposter syndrome when it comes to their Autism or any other mental disability? I know it is somewhat internalized ableism, I know I would never treat another person on the spectrum in such a terrible way over not working because it is completley valid. I have this little voice in my head telling me I’m not disabled enough because I do push through bad days normally and pay the price later. I shouldn’t have to pay the price, I know I won’t “get better” because I’m not sick, I just struggle most days and that won’t change much. I should be allowed time to myself. I should be allowed to rest. To unmask. It is important. Many others are resting now even if they don’t feel they need it. Why should I being any different? Why should it matter what my job is to determine how “disabled” I am and what I deserve? I need time to rest and I am going to take it. I will enjoy the good days because that will never discredit how bad the bad days are! I will enjoy the good moments and I will rest through the bad ones. My mood and my anxiety changes from minute to minute, I never know how bad it will be, but I do know at times like this it is likely to be pretty bad more often and I should protect myself and care for myself in these challenging times.

~ Kayleigh