A post from our newest Community Correspondent Ann Marie Sharpe
During a mental health crisis it is likely that we feel the worst we can possibly ever feel, but there are some things I have found that can help that I would like to share, and hopefully help others. The key I have found, is to prepare for the event so that you are ready if/when it happens.
- Write down all the numbers of people you could call for help – your mind can be fuzzy and confused when you are in crisis, and having the numbers right there (preferably as big and clear as possible) can be very helpful, and may even remind you ring for help. You could include the numbers of family, friends, your crisis team or care team, help lines and things like NHS direct. You could have these on a piece of card, and if you find your mood slipping, hang them on a wall where you can see them clearly so you are prepared.
- Write a clear list of things that you know make you feel good or that have helped during a bad time in the past. Keeping them simple and clear, things you can do easily is the best idea, so that you are most likely to try them out when you are feeling bad. My list includes playing with my animals, writing down my feelings if I can, watching my favourite programme, and even eating a piece of cake!! 🙂
- Create a CD of your favourite feel good songs, so that all you have to do is put it in and press play – music is one of the best ways to cope, even if it’s just sitting listening, or getting out some feelings by singing along loudly (and out of tune in my case). Keep it somewhere very visible and you could even put a label on saying ‘Play me when you’re feeling down’.
- Put together a scrapbook or a box full of happy memories: this can be pictures, written memories or even things that you remind you of happy times (such as your favourite childhood teddy bear or favourite childhood film/story). Again pop it somewhere you can get it to easily, you can even put a label on it too to remind yourself to get it out when you are struggling and look through it. Good memories can remind you of good times, comfort you and keep you going.
- You can prepare signs on pieces of card in clear writing that remind you to keep going – these could be inspiring quotes or something you have learnt in the past, or just a message to yourself to keep fighting – keep these handy in a draw with some blue tac, and when you feel your mood slipping you can hang them around the house so you can see them easily when you are at your worst.
- Put together a bag or box of your favourite comforting food items (those that won’t go off quickly obviously), you can put it in a cupboard and get it out when you are in crisis. This serves 2 important purposes – food can be very comforting (or so I find) AND if you are in crisis you rarely have the energy to eat properly, but at least this way the bag is just there to grab and hopefully your favourite foods will tempt you so at least you are eating something! Ideas of what to include could be: lollies, chocolate bars, crisps, popcorn, and nuts.
Thank you for reading. Stay strong lovely people!
This post was originally posted on Ann Marie’s blog . What helps you when you are in crisis?