4 September 2018

How To Get Through a Bad Mental Health Day

Bournemouth, UK
Hello everybody and welcome back! Today I wanted to talk to you about getting through those bad mental health days. The ones where it's slightly harder to think positively and where motivation is non-existent. Everbody has them! Here's how you can overcome them.

Disclaimer: What works for me may not work for you, as everyone experiences things very differently. These are just some things that have helped me to get through bad mental health days.


Be Selfish
To be 'selfish' is defined as lacking consideration for other people. It has negative connotations. For exmple, as children we are told to share with others; and to not be selfish. But is being selfish really a bad thing?

It can be difficult to be selfish and to put yourself first on difficult mental health days. Sometimes individuals feel undeserving of self-care and taking time out. It's at these times when self-care is needed the most.
The most important relationship that you have with anybody is yourself. Fall in love with taking care of yourself. It's the greatest medicine.


Self-Care
Self-care can be practiced in multiple ways. For example, meditation, journaling and reading. But it also comes in unconventional forms, like saying no to the extra shift at work, eating three meals everyday, getting yourself out of the house, attending appointments and taking medication. By setting small goals for yourself to do these things, it brings a sense of achievement and a positive association between being 'selfish' and recovery from mental illness.

As I am still in recovery, my goals have changed. They've changed from 'get myself out of bed in the morning' to 'getting my university place to become a mental health nurse'.
By ticking off goals at the end of the day, you're showing a dedication to getting better. If in your darkest moment you can consciously choose to stay alive and fight against mental illness, you will get there one day.


Have a Shower and put on Clean Clothes
Simply having a shower and putting on some clean clothes can make a huge difference to your mood. It can be helpful to visualise the water washing away the negative emotions and feelings which have been consuming you. Leaving you feeling alot lighter and able to face the day.


Express Yourself
Sometimes a trigger can leave overwhelming emotions bottled up inside of you, and keeping them there can cause more harm than good. Sooner or later it will burst open and can make you behave irrationally.

Expression allows individuals to release their negative emotions safely. Forms of expression could be blogging, writing, painting, singing, exercising and baking. Putting this negative energy out of your body feels like a huge weight off your shoulders. It prevents individuals turning to unhelpful coping mechanisms. This also acts as a distraction from the racing thoughts which accompany some mental illnesses.
In the moment it can be challenging to initially get started: picking up a paintbrush or putting on your trainers. At this point you need to remind yourself that you are deserving of getting better and it is another step towards your recovery.



Be in the Company of Others
Isolating yourself can be dangerous because it allows negative thoughts to take over and gain control. Being with others is a distraction and it proves that you aren't alone. Suffering from any mental illness can feel extremely lonely, but negative thoughts can be contradicted by the people around you, reinforcing that you are loved and needed in this world.


Go Outside
Breaking away from your room on a bad mental health day is so important! Although, it is also incredibly difficult and scary when you are struggling with mental illness. It can feel like a huge effort to go outside. But, I do believe that being in the fresh air and watching the world go by has helped with my recovery.



Recall Past Achievements
When I am having a bad day, I find it very easy to pick out things that I don't like about myself, and things that I could of done better or should be doing. To pull myself out of this self-destructive mindset, I reach towards things that I have done which I feel proud of.
When I read the comments on my blog posts I instantly feel appreciated, needed and that I am helping people, which I love to do. Consequently, reading text messages or birthday cards, listening to voicemails and talking to family members can help you to bring light on how much you have achieved in your lifetime, and how proud you should feel of yourself.

Gratitude

It is very easy to focus on the bad things which are happening in our lives. We get caught up in a series of negative emotions and forget to appreciate the smaller, positive moments. Getting into the habit of writing a list of things you are grateful for, at the end of your day, can help you to feel happier and more present.


Seek Professional Help
If you are having a series of continual bad mental health days, and feel that you are developing a mental health problem, please seek help. This can be extremely difficult, so it may be helpful for you to tell someone you trust how you are feeling. This means that they can support you throughout this process.
If you are in a crisis and need help urgently, you can go to any A&E department and ask for help. Alternatively, you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123.



How do you get through a bad mental health day? Leave me a comment!

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

Love Casey x


2 June 2018

Mental Health Discrimination in the Media

Bournemouth, UK
After reading a Time to Change article on reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, I became inspired to write this post about the Sherlock Gnomes movie and their negative portrayal of mental illness and depression. This is because of a line in the script which reads 'What are you going to do, depress me to death?'

I feel that I should use my blog to inspire other people to act on stigma which they come across. I was in two minds about posting this, as I am aware that a lot of people will disagree with what I am about to say. However, I believe that sufferers of this predominant mental health condition should not be used as a punchline and in an attempt to humour others. There is a quote which reads “speak your mind even if your voice trembles”, which I am keeping in mind as I write this post.

As a sufferer of depression and a passionate advocate for mental health, I was extremely disappointed by the ignorant use of depression to make audiences laugh. 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness every year and 35 in 100 people have self-harmed, experienced suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide in their lifetime. The topic of mental illness has been talked about more frequently in society, but there is still an extremely long way to go until the stigma is removed. There was a lack of sensitivity for depression sufferers in this movie. Depression poisons the minds of people and living can become so incredibly painful that they don't want to be alive to see another day or week or month. That should not be a laughing matter. It is insensitive and highly triggering for those with depression.

The young children which this movie is targeted towards will remember the negative stereotype associated with mental health and the stigma will not change. Consequently, new generations will contribute to the stigma and lack of understanding that depression is a serious illness, not a joke. Sufferers are very, very strong people. They fight exhausting daily battles and should be applauded for tiny victories like getting out of bed in the morning or taking their medication. They should be helped with recovering, not mocked and criticised by others. Depression is extremely serious. It kills so many people and it should be treated in the same way that physical illnesses are. If you personally find depression and death humorous then you need to ask yourself why; challenging yourself and your pattern of thinking.

I have contacted the creators of Sherlock Gnomes, explaining my concerns and I am awaiting their response. The article (which I have linked above) states that stigma is reduced by sharing examples of discrimination and making companies and authorities aware that it is not acceptable. Therefore I would appreciate my readers also sharing their experiences and sharing this post so that it is taken seriously by the producers and a change can take place. Individuals deserve to live in a world that doesn’t make them feel that their life is unworthy. They deserve to recover from mental illness.

Love Casey x

Below are links to websites that can support you if you are suffering from mental illness.

Samaritans
116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
jo@samaritans.org
https://www.samaritans.org/

Mind
0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday)
info@mind.org.uk
https://www.mind.org.uk/

10 September 2017

A Safe Place in a Box

As a sufferer of multiple mental health illnesses, I have tried many coping mechanisms and distractions. I personally think that what works the best for me might not work in the same way for you, but in the chance that it does, I want to share with you how to make your own Self Soothe Box.

A Self Soothe Box is something that I was uncertain of at first. It was described to me as a 'safe place' that contained things to help me cope with staying safe and positive. At the time I thought that nothing helped me so I would practically have an empty box. Though with time and as I thought more about it, there were a lot of things that had the potential to help me, and I learnt that I was worthy of helping myself and using this as a way of coping when I am feeling negatively.

I bought my box from a local art and crafts shop for £2.50 and over time began to fill it with small items that helped me in different emotional states. One year on, my box is overflowing and I have a limitless amount of support made by and for myself.

Here are some of the things that you could put in your own Self Soothe Box:

Sight: 
  • Photographs
  • Favourite Quotes
  • Notes from a Friend or Family Member
  • Felt Tip Pen
  • Loom Bands
  • Glitter Jar
  • Mini Mindful Colouring Pad
  • Small Writing Pad
  • Post-it Notes
  • Bath Bombs
Touch:
  • Amethyst Stones
  • Hand Cream
  • Stress Ball
  • Seashell
  • Ribbon and Textiles
  • Fidget Cube
  • Putty
  • Guatemalan Worry Doll
  • Feather or Soft Brush
  • Bubbles
Sound:
  • Fun Snaps
  • Ipod
Smell:
  • Scented Candles
  • Body Spray
  • Face Mask
  • Lip Balm
  • Aromatherapy Oils
  • Incense Sticks
  • A Small Jar of Spices
  • Scratch and Sniff Stickers
Taste:
  • Hot Chocolate Sachet
  • Hard Sweets
  • Gum and Mints
  • Rescue Remedy




It is important to cater for the majority of emotions that you feel; therefore your box can help you in multiple situations. By including at least one item that appeals to each of the senses, it is likely that you are covered!
Most of the items in my box are small and transportable. Therefore I can always keep the box with me and have the safety of having things close to me that I know help in tricky situations. If you can't bring your box with you then you can still take a couple of things from it that will support you in your day.

In 2016 I was kindly gifted with a 'Little Box Of Distractions'. The Little Box Of Distractions is a project made by Kerry and Shelley Elliot. Since 2015, they have been making boxes filled with items to help sufferers of mental health and very kindly sending them for free. When I received one of their boxes it really motivated me to begin to help myself when I felt that I was underserving of recovery. I got the chance to talk to Kerry about The Little Box Of Distractions.

Casey: Hi Kerry! Who or what would you say has had the biggest influence on you to create such a kind project?

Kerry: I have tried so many different therapies that have been flung at me. I was willing to do anything to make me better. Most services suggested I make a "self-care box". I realised that when phoning the crisis team they would always say "take a bath, read a book, make a hot drink" etc. so I decided to make up a box that people could try before phoning the crisis team, so that they can say they had already tried their suggestions. I decided to use my own benefit money to make 10 boxes to start with. I thought "if I help 10 people that would be amazing" when those boxes were gone people started donating and I made 10 more. Before I knew it I had helped 50 people and I was getting regular donations from my local council and participation budgets. 2 years down the road, we are a registered charity and have helped over 700 people. 

Casey: I really respect your determination to get better and recover! Well done for being so strong. It must be such a wonderful feeling to know that you have helped so many individuals. What are you hoping for The Little Box Of Distractions to achieve in the next 2 years?

Kerry: I am hoping to continue to help people. Hold good fundraisers and to do talks on self harm etc. within schools and workplaces. We want to provide as many charities, organisations and schools with boxes which they can allocate to people who may need them. 

Casey: That's wonderful! I wish you the best of luck with your fundraising! Is there any advice that you would give to anyone that is struggling right now in terms of their mental health?

Kerry: If you can't manage one day at a time, try one hour at a time or a minute at a time. It's one more minute you have got through it.



Do you have a Self Soothe Box? Let me know in the comments what is in yours!
Love Casey x



27 July 2017

The Liebster Award

I was nominated by Hannah from @Rand0mg41 on twitter  to complete the Liebster Award Tag. For those of you that don't know, this is a way of discovering new blogs and learning a bit more about the people behind them. You can read her post here.


1.  How long have you been blogging?
I started @casestreetx in June 2017, although I launched my first blog in 2015.

2. What's your favourite posts to read?
My favourite posts to read are advice and personal ones. Reading someone's experiences with certain difficulties or struggles really inspire me and I love that the blogging community is such a positive and safe place for people to do this in.

3. What's your favourite posts to write?
My favourite posts to write are lifestyle posts.

4. What is your next goal for your blog?
My next goal for this blog is reach a following of 100 subscribers.

5. Which social media do you use the most? For both personal and your blog?
For my personal account, I mostly use Instagram, whereas for my blog I mostly use twitter. Find me here.

6. What is your hobby? (outside of blogging)
Outside of blogging, my hobby is photography and art. I am quite a creative person and therefore a lot of my feelings and experiences are reflected in all of my work.

7. If you could start your blog all over again, would you? and how would it differ?
As my blog is very new, I wouldn't start it all over again. I'm very happy with Casestreetx and my little corner of the internet.

8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be & why?
I would live in Perth, Western Australia, because I find it so beautiful. I have never visited, although I dedicated an essay on this location as part of my coursework in my A-Levels.

9. What's one piece of advice you'd give to a new blogger?
One piece of advice that I would give is to not compare yourself to other bloggers that have been blogging for months or years... As hard as that sounds, putting all of your energy into your own work and goals will impact you so positively! I was guilty of this comparison as a new blogger and I think that without this I would have a larger amount of confidence in myself and the work that I was creating at that time. There is a quote that fits perfectly here; "Don't compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 20".

10. Are you subscribed to any subscription boxes or magazines? If so, which?
I am not currently subscribed to any subscription boxes or magazines, although I am a regular reader of the Glamour Magazine.

11. Favourite sweets/chocolate?
My favourite chocolate is Milky Bar.


So here are the 11 I nominate to do this tag and their blog links.
1. Julia
2. Chloe
3. Talie
4. Bethany
5. Brenda
6. Katelin
7. Faye
8. Izzy
9. Talie
10. Skylar
11. Diana

And here are your questions...

1. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

2. How old is your blog?

3. Do you take part in any weekly blogger chats? If so, which one is your favourite?

4. Who or what inspires you?

5. Who is your favourite Youtuber?

6. What is your favourite quote and why?

7. What's one thing you would do if nothing was impossible?

8. Who's your favourite music artist?

9. Why did you decide to make a blog?

10. What is one thing you have learnt from making and owning a blog?

11. Favourite season/time of year?

Please tag me in your blog posts, I can't wait to read them!

Love Casey x


20 June 2017

Ted Baker Perfectly Polished Nail Polish Gift Set



Hello everybody! This is the Ted Baker Perfectly Polished Nail Polish Set, containing four 9ml beautiful, summery polishes. This is the first product that I have tried from the Ted Baker range, so if you have ever wondered about the quality of them and if they are as good as people say they are, keep on reading.

The packaging is beautiful and minimalistic. A white cardboard box engraved with flowers and natural surroundings. This is accompanied by the classic 'T' symbol of Ted Baker himself. The rose gold running through the middle of the box also compliments the shades in this set.

The four polishes have no names, though I would describe them as nude beige, pastel pink, light grey (my favourite) and bronze. I feel like they would be perfect for wear in the upcoming warmer months; spring and summer.

These polishes have a perfect consistency, they provide great coverage after the first coat although I would recommend two for the fullest coverage and longer lasting nails. I also use the Maybelline Dr.Rescue Base, Top-Coat and Strenghtener. This combination makes my nails look healthy, strong and allows them to last for up to seven days.

Ted Baker's Perfectly Polished Nail Polish Set has become my go to for colourful nails. I would recommend this set and I am excited to try out more products from the Ted Baker range.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

Love Casey x
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