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Posts Tagged ‘Self Care’

Welcome Back

Wanted to share some pictures of my new crochet pals, that I bought from Rues Bears on Etsy. There is Oscar the bear, Mr Bamboo the panda, Rae and Cooper the puppies and well I call them; Lilli and Lavender, the grey mice but Rue calles them Sebastian mouse in case you are tempted to buy any of these for yourselves after reading this and seeing them here.

Mr Bamboo the panda and Oscar the bear. Rues Bears
Mr Bamboo the panda and Oscar the bear.
Crochet puppy dogs, made by Rues Bears
Rae is the chocolate brown puppy dog and Cooper is the one in the copper coloured jumper. Hand made by Rues Bears on Etsy
Two grey crochet mice
I call these two Lilli and Lavendar. Lili wears the pink jumper and Lavender the lavender col jumper. Hand made by Rues Bears.

I have a very busy brain, its hypervigilant and over thinks everything which is hard work but I also notice that sometimes words start to rhyme and thats when the poems happen. I think I posted previously about the crochet mice I collected from another Etsy seller and had been writing stories in verse about them. Later I found someone else and bought a tiny crochet girl and an tiny crochet elephant. THEN I found Rues Bears and now I have a box full.

Crochet animals
Some of my crochet companions for creative writing.

I call it my story box, its been really good for my mental health, as on days when the words flow I write story in verse about an adventure one or the other of them has had. Other days I draw little illustrations along the side, which is making me very very hapy as I’ve always wanted to be able to draw and my drawing is getting a lot better, with the practice. Other days I ink in the drawings and another time I colour them in. On days when my body isn’t playing or I feel awful I can go to the journal and read the stories.

Box of crochet animals
This is the story box, filled with crochet animals from Etsy. I use this to inspire my writing and drawing.

I was the person at school, who loved when you were given a picture and asked to write a story about it. I admired people like Beatrix Potter who would draw from nature around her and write her stories. I also grew up watching the programes from Small Films studios; Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine and of course not forgetting the Clangers. I have no desire to get into stop motion filming but thanks to online drawing classes with Jane Davenport, I’m please with how my confidence in drawing is getting better and being able to draw and colour them in on days when I can’t write and on the good days when the words flow write the stories. Its pure joy. Its also good as it takes so few supplies which is good when my energy is so low.

I’m glad I grew up in an era before the internet, where you made up your own games your own entertainment from imagination. Now tech is great, but it can be a mixed blessing and some time away from it can also be a good thing. I’m thankful my parents gave me pens and pencils and paint as well as books handed down from around the family. We didn’t have holidays or spare funds but they made up with that with TIME, and you can’t buy that in any shop, and it means the world.

At times though the world gets so swirly, too fast, too loud to spikey and I fall off in overwhelm, then can’t process anything. I need to take time away from all that sometimes and be still, meditate, cry, it all out. Then after enough rest maybe on good days create. Life sure is a roller coaster of challenges and emotions and sometimes NOT trying to keep up, when it gets too much is a kind thing to do for yourself and your sanity. On those days I turn to the dolls and the crochet animals n just play.

I’ve also found some new channels on You Tube and a few more self help books have come home. But I’m guessing people are on this blog for creative stuff, so I hope you enjoy this post and the photos.

If you are in love with these characters too, here is RuesBears on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RuesBears and you can choose your character and its choice of jumper colour. Rue is a wonderful person and I highly recommend her, and no I’m not paid to write this, in case any one wonders.

Best wishes and thanks for reading. I’ll write again when I can. stay safe

Billie 🌈🙏🦓

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Welcome Back

I’d like to share a video I made a while ago, where I share the books that I have found good companions for self care when I am struggling with anxiety and depression.

What helps each of us is as unique as we are. What helps me moment to moment varies too. Sometimes a gentle story on a Kindle reading it outloud to me helps, other times I’m looking for an activity, like the art, journalling and so on. I adore the Kate Allan books they have been wonderful for when I can’t process thoughts feelings and emotions and just want to hear words of ecouragement that one day it will be ok, even if it isn’t right now.

Links

Books mentioned in this film are;

I have included links to these books on Amazon UK, but I am not sponsored in any way for this.

And the one I forgot to add in the film is by Johanna Basford

I also enjoy Johanna Basford books, her drawing inky wonderlands is brilliant here is her video walk though of that book. I forgot to add that one in the video I made, this video is JOHANNA’S.

Check out her You Tube channel as she often does video tutorials for drawing and its also soothing to watch her colour in. Johanna Basford on You Tube

I hope you find something here that is helpful, for yourself of someone you know. Please share it so others can find it. If you too, are struggling with your mental health, please look at the post I put up yesterday which has links out to sites of support. Some days we can, some days we can for a little while, and somedays we just can’t. Its not great, its not fun, its not a fad or fashion and for a lot of us its not all over in a month or so. Be kind to yourself when you are struggling. The media says a lot and not all of it helpful. Take in what helps and walk away from the rest. Its such a personal thing as to what each of us find helpful in the moment. This post isn’t trying to tell anyone what to do, say or think, its just sharing what was holding me safely in the moment I wrote it or filmed it.

I own the fact its an opion NOT a fact, and not dummping this opinion on anyone. I hope you find what helps you feel softer, safer and makes this moment feel a bit more possible for you. Stay safe and I hope the day is as kind to you as possible x

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

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Welcome Back

Message in a bottle scheme is genius idea from the Lions Club, it is a plastic bottle with a form u fill in,  that contains ur medical information and other key information, which you then put in the fridge. If there is an accident or you get ill, someone from emergency services will check the fridge to see if there is one there. It saves time and it saves lives. Make one NOW before you need it, while u have time to find all the information for it in a calm way.

Why do I want a Message in a bottle?

Sometimes there isn’t time to think, sometimes stuff changes in a heart beat, and you are in the worst day of your life. Be kind to yourself, fill in those forms on the good days, and if that terrible day does ever happen. Know you DO know what to do, and will be able to make a difference, however scary things get.

If the first paragraph didn’t appeal to you, here are some other ways to think about this. You have home insurance so if stuff goes wrong at home, you phone someone and they sort it, right?

If u have a car u have insurance so it gets fixed n you maybe have breakdown cover so its one call n they know all about you?

If there is an accident or emergency, at home, you can just open the fridge grab the bottle and know u can save lots of time and stress, knowing all the emergency services may need to know, is right there. If you brain melts, you’re still covered.

If you have close relatives or friends who have you as their chosen person to contact in times of accident, having a copy of this information about them could really help. If emergency services ask you about their stuff, you can go to a folder and look at that info and know. (you probably only need household ppls info in your fridge tho)

The Message in a bottle scheme is FREE, if u have a printer and the link below u can make it now without leaving home. Its simple to do and no ongoing fees? Its a no brainer right? Don’t just clap the NHS, take some steps to make your life and theirs easier in case of sudden accident or illness.

Examples

Your other half gets really sick, what do you do?

Your child gets hurt, what do you do?

You phone 999, later they ask u questions like what is his/her,their GP information, is he/she/they allergic to anything? Can u answer that? In that moment of panic?

Can u answer that right now, while you are sitting safe at home with everyone well? How well does your brain help you in a crisis, are you calm and know all the info or does your brain melt, and you flap? (which is also a normal valid response to any of that too)

Saving time saves lives. The more information you can give the emergency servies, the quicker and better they can take care of you or your loved one.

NO judgement but if the answer is no 😦 then please have a look at the form and consider filling it in. Would it feel better to know that if anything bad happened, you could open the fridge door and know all the info you might be asked for is in there? You could just read it out, or hand it to the emergency services?

Where can I get a message in a bottle? Can I make one myself at home?

  • Next time you are in the pharmacy in the UK, look for or ask for Lions Club Message in a Bottle scheme. They may be able to give you one. But if you have a printer and can read this page, then why not make your own, right here, right now? Its simple to do.
  • Print this; PDF of the form for Message in a bottle https://www.scas.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/message-in-a-bottle-form.pdf
  • Print it double sided and its only one sheet of paper. If your printer doesn’t do that, ask it to print just page one, then put paper back in and ask it to print just side 2.
  • Make a form for every person in the house.
  • Fill it in
  • Put it in a bottle or envelope in the fridge. (wash out and a plasic milk bottle or similar, just be sure to lable the bottle and leave it in the fridge somewhere promonant)

****IMPORTANT****

Keep the information on the forms up to date, if your meds change, your gp changes etc, please print a new form. Print on high quality NOT draft, draft uses less ink, but means print will fade faster too.

**************************************************************************************

If you have no idea what your NHS number is, do you have a prescription? Have a look at the top of the prescription and it will state your NHS number. If you don’t have that, fill in as much as you can, and add other info as you are able to find it.

Its a great form you can specify who looks after you if u have a carer, who you want someone to contact for you, if you have someone who relies on you, if you have pets at home who would need to be taken care of. As well as all the usual allergy questions, gp, next of kind stuff. So its really good.

Links

Mine was from pharmacy and I wanted to share it with you here but here is more about the scheme

Though this is a UK based project, I’m sure the Pdf of the form will be of use to those in other countries too, you can add any extra information you need to to it.

We are all living in challenging times at the moment. Lots of us feel anxious, worried, want to help but don’t know how too. Lots of us are running the ‘what if…’ story in our heads.

I don’t want my post to create fear, this is something you CAN do, for yourself, for your family for those you care for, and for those who will be taking care of you. Its an empowering thing, and brings peace of mind, knowing all the key info is there for when you might need it most. Its an act of kindness to your future self who is having the worst day and needs all the help they can get in that moment.

/messageinabottle #messageinabottle

This is a timeless post, its not just for right now, its for everyone, everywhere, you can do this, you can make a difference.

Stay safe and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

 

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Welcome Back

Just a heads up that I plan to put some calming ideas on this blog starting in July. Think art books, artists, card decks for inspiration, meditation links that kinda thing. If my hands allows some books that have projects that calm the mind n soul too.

The world sure is loud, shouty, spiky at the moment, so I’ll try to share some gentle things with you to help you through.

I fully respect that what one person finds calming, may well drive another nuts, so as with all things, take what resonates, step away from the rest. I don’t want to use the mindfulness word, as for me I find that devisive. Its a very marmite thing. Personal soap box moment on this topic; like any great idea that is shared, each person tweaks it a bit, adds their own spin and for me there are some parts of what is touted as mindfulness which (to me) feel judgemental. As if, you are failing if you don’t do this or that.

THAT’S not me and not for me. There is far too much of that in the world. Eek did I fall on my own sword there ??? Did I judge others, SORRY. Its simply that Mindfullness stems from Buddhist ideals, ways of life, things to live by, and that’s totally fine. My issue is as its been shared and rebranded as mindfulness it seems to have been modified past the original concept. I have found it being used as a mental health as a tool but in that situation as it was presented badly [to me] it was being used in ways that felt judgemental.  I own my part, I have tried to use it in situations that it turn out not to feel right for me, not at the right time and not in the right situation.

However, personally and for myself I feel surrendering to this current world situation is the way through for me. I have learnt Reiki from You Tube and will share where. Meditated lots, which has helped my anxiety grately.

I have learnt not to try to fix my mental health issues, been TRYING to fix for years and that’s not helped or worked. I have learnt to walk WITH stuff. Allowing it to be what it is, and witnessing it, giving it space to be, doing my best to take care of myself during the worst of times, and then waiting for the gaps in the clouds, the storms to break. When I  realised others can’t, won’t help then it was time to use a different approach. The phrase ‘no one is coming to save you.’ is one that has been repeatedly shown to me in this journey.There are more options that NHS offer, they simply have to stick to budgets and what NICE guidlines allow. It is what it is, not bashing anyone but waiting lists were long and its a circle of pillar to post for precious little of help, things aren’t going to be better with more people in need of help after the c19 situation. We gotta build our own boat here folkes. Work out what works for us, gather that, stick close to those who love and support us, who love us for who and what we are and beilive in. I have learnt that as someone wise also once said; ‘Its better to be alone, than be someone you are not’

So next month I’ll start to share what I’m using right now, see if it helps you too.

Holding safe space for all those struggling right now.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

UPDATE: If you were sad not to see the promised posts. Tech fail, my computer fell over. My health is suffering so I’m not able to post as much as I used too. I will post when I can.

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Welcome Back

With the help of my pal Hope (Wichtel doll Mona Muller), I would like to share with you  some wonderful self help cards made by Blurt. The Blurt Foundation is fantastic, they have the most supportive email newsletters and sell Buddy Boxes which are great for self care when you are feeling stressed or anxious. Blurt also sell lots of items individually. The self help card pack I’m showing today is ’54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind’.

Blurt 54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind

Hope shows you one of the cards from Blurt’s self help card deck; 54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind

As the title suggests, the deck has 54 cards, each with an idea to try, to help ease anxious feelings. You can use them anyway that feels right for you. Shuffle and see which card falls out of the pack. Perhaps you want to use one card a week or one a day, as a thought for the day kind of thing. For me, when anxiety is getting bad, I also find them useful to just sit with and flip through the pack reading each one slowly. Just doing that, even when you don’t feel you can do more, is also calming.

The cards are printed on sturdy cardstock with a linen feel, they are pastel colours which is soothing. As someone who has dyslexia, I find the font style is one I can read as the letters are quite thick, which makes them easier to read. The cards were designed by Fern Choonet and measure 63.5mm x 88.8 mm, which is great, if like me you have small hands. Making them small enough to pop in a pocket or in your bag to take around with you.

***In case you are wondering the doll is MINE and NOT included with the cards 😉 ***

If you are creating a Self Care box, to have a collection of calming things to look at, listen to or read, then these cards would be the perfect addition to that.

Links

If you would like to get hold of a pack of your own, please visit Blurt. There are also other card decks available and during the lockdown, those wonderful people at Blurt have reduced the card packs to half price, less than £5!

Come on, you deserve a treat. A little drop of happy post is good for us all. You can also choose have them shipped to a friend.

  • The Blurt Foundation This is their home page, do pop by they have so many helpful resources there.
  • Self Care Card Packs Here is just one page from their shop, showing the range of card packs. If links change over time, go to Blurt site above, look for button ‘shop with purpose’ then ‘self helpful’ and under that ‘card packs’.
  • 54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind This is the card pack featured in todays post.

I can also highly recommend signing up for their newsletter, they are such encouraging supportive things to read.

As a child I enjoyed playing with dolls and I’m finding them great companions now too. What was it you loved as a child and might want to do again right now?

Hope and I are sending you the biggest and gentlest of blanket hugs.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, stay safe and I’ll see you again soon

Billie x

PS Sorry our picture today was a bit flashed out, its gone dark n wet here, there just isn’t good photography light anywhere in the house today and its set wet all week, so I didn’t want to miss posting and went with what I had.

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