Previously in this article segment I mentioned the following tips to how I got better and stabilized with my mental health by: throwing myself completely into other tasks (like reading books), reaching out for help to someone I know and trust, being listened to, going to the hospital (and knowing the difference between needs and wants), getting my medications adjusted, recalling my values, journaling and making a list of accomplishments, goals and scores of the day.
With that said, if you happen to have recognized for yourself that you need to go to the hospital and you are embarking into that journey, I recommend that you expose yourself to a return to the world plan before your discharge. Basically, you want to know what aftercare steps are you getting involved with. Appointments, day programs, housing, a return or break from college, etc. Be reassured that you can handle things and have a plan when things hit the fan, if they do.
Similarly, have a relapse prevention plan. This is a lot like safety plans–you want to learn your triggers, know your specific coping strategies, who you can contact and their relevant numbers and what resources you can access.
Rediscover your dreams. Dreams, hopes and goals are the flags we see at the top of the next mountain before us. They are critical to have a vantage point of as they give us responsibility and accountability to achieving all that we want to in life. Life can be cruel and life can be short, having both small and large goals can keep us afloat in an otherwise tumultuous sea. I will be writing an additional article I have actually waited two years to work on titled “My Dreams in Recovery.” Coincidentally it is also a Youtube video I have prepared to make but haven’t actually made yet, but the notes are there and the execution is just backlogged. One of the important ways I got stabilized this time was finding a lovely book by the editors of Conari Press from 1993 titled “Random Acts of Kindness.” There are a few quotes I’d like to pull from that book review (which will go up on my blog) to create more articles on. The book really spoke to me at my most intimate level. I also read all of it in the span of a few hours.
Play a video or board game. Video games are not entirely my forte–but getting re-engaged in them by my parents intentions has really helped. I have a really old Wii system that still works and we are still on the search for a few additional games that can be played on this console that are relatively interesting. I have found that Mario Kart and Wii Sports baseball really require all of my attention so it’s a great way to be mindful and in the moment.
Use your mantras. Mantras are something you’re going to want to have an endless supply of. Whether they are words, phrases, quotes, song lyrics–expose them to your eyes and keep bits and pieces of them everywhere. A lot of mine are phrases I’ve used since the start of my recovery back in 2015 (“It gets better”, “This crisis is temporary”, “Feelings are meant to be felt”, “I always have a choice”, “I control my actions”) and most of them are noteworthy song lyrics that I have incorporated through and through into various artworks.
And, actually, an additional idea you’ll probably want to keep in your gold fairy dust pocket is inspiration. Find things that inspire you over and over again. I love taking the backroads versus the highway when I am traveling (and am not the one driving) because I find it so fascinating and enjoyable to see the different designs and color choices people have in and on their homes. It gets my brain thinking of the creative endeavors I wish to explore for myself–things that the book of kindness reminded me of as well. There is so much I want to do, so many things I want to come into my life as a formidable and concrete object, and the only way I can ensure that that happens is by not getting hit by one of those rogue buses.
Again, these are all things that I have used in my own recovery to get better. I encourage you to brainstorm your own ideas and hope that my words may have started a domino effect for you.
As always, stay safe.
And know that you are loved, you are important and your life matters.
Disclaimer: All of my advice comes from my own lived experience struggling with mental health and is not meant to replace the help you should seek out with actual mental health professionals.
This was written 2.18.2018 and typed 2.26.2018 with the last inspiration blurb newly written on the 26th as well. 🙂
I hope it helps in some way!!! Let me know what ya think, peeps! 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤