I thought I would share the types of strategies the mental health coordinator has tried to have me do, how they made me feel and what I have tried to do for myself. So far I am supposed to be having like a 1-2-1 talking therapy until the DBT starts in May; however even though my appointments were supposed to be doubled after I came out of hospital due to one reason or another I haven’t seen anyone since the beginning of the month.
That has affected my mental health as I have had no support, even when my coordinator was on holiday somebody attempted to ring me (albeit they rang when I was busy) it is a shame that when the Doctors secretary rang to let me know the appointments had been cancelled, it would have been nice to have had a phone call from someone to check how I was doing.
So my care coordinator last time I was due to see her but we got our wires crossed with the time; she rang me and we spoke for about an hour. Whilst on the phone she asked me to do a version of “the marble theory”, which is essentially you have one colour for a negative experience and another for positive ones, then you put your marbles in a jar or bowl. The idea behind it is so that the positive coloured marbles outshine and hide away the negative marbles. However I was only allowed to have 4 negative experiences, now I made mine into generic sections like family, money, work, health: she also wanted me to write them down rather than get marbles and a jar. Now I did this for two maybe three days before it became a burden and how was I supposed to remember what made me smile throughout the whole day? We then decided that it clearly wasn’t for me.
I did last February take part in The Mighty’s “Mighty Month” which was similar to the marble theory and was pretty energy consuming but it was all about making your own happiness which actively encouraged me to find or make some happiness in my day and increase it as the month went along.
I bought myself a 5 year “one thought a day” notebook from Wilkos and I felt like this was more of a manageable way to be more positive. I also only have to think of one thought to sum up the day or how I feel. So far I haven’t missed a day which I think for me is bloody good! I also like the fact that it is a 5 year notebook which means I can track my mindset over a longer period of time.
I also have bought myself “52 Lists” that my beautiful friend Mary brought to my attention which as you can guess is 52 lists that obviously coincide with each week of the year. It is essentially journaling with a different question and a reminder to try and action at least one thing on the list. If you don’t know by now that I love lists then I obviously don’t make enough of a point about it! I think that this type of list making is easier than trying to do the marble style list as I’m only focusing on one question and letting it fraction off as needed. The first weeks’ question was “list the ways you can cleanse your life for spring” and this weeks’ is “list your dream trips” so as you can see they are pretty nice to ponder on.
What strategies do you have in place to try and keep yourself positive?