Distraction Tactics

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Life is sometimes a thrower of curveballs; it likes to test us and see how we cope. When you feel like you can’t cope, maybe, in that moment, you can’t. So you need tools to take your mind outside of your life for a little while.

Here are my top 5 Distraction Tactics:

  1. Read a book: No, I’m never going to stop recommending this as a course of action. It’s appropriate to all situations and it has been a life-saver for me (and I mean that in a literal sense).
  2. Puzzle it out: Do some online quizzes, print out a sudoku and immerse yourself, do a wordsearch using pretty colours. Concentrate and work that grey matter.
  3. Get some grief-bacon: Bake a big, fat, fudge cake. Create a curry. Make moussaka. Chargrill chicken. Delight in dough. Well… you get the idea.
  4. Potter with plants: Have a good nip with the secateurs, wrangle out the weeds, rake vigorously. Green fingers, assemble!
  5. Plans with people: Actual real life people who care about you. Go to the cinema, eat together, read aloud to each other, play a board game that takes hours and ends in a hissy fit. Spend time in other people’s worlds and your own becomes less daunting.

For anyone struggling with self-harm, here are some links:

Scar Tissue

Alternatives to self-harm from rcpsych.ac.uk

No More Panic

Give yourself a break šŸ™‚

I could stop here, but I’ll go on…

Last week I got my second tattoo and I love it. The whole idea behind this oneĀ is to get people talking and I want to talk about it. I am now part of a growing movement called Project Semi-colon, the aim of which is to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness and to prevent suicide. It’s a movement to inspire, encourage and start a conversation about those unspoken things that are killing people.

My tattoo is a smile during my day, it’s a reminder of the strength which I’ve shown time and time again. My tattoo is a symbol of solidarity to all those who struggle every day, whether because ofĀ depression, self-harm, addiction etc. My tattoo says I choose life. My tattoo says that I am not worthless, or inadequate. The pause represented by a semi-colon isĀ permission to take some time for myself when I need it. It shows me I am human and that, more than anything, I have a choice to be alive and to live rather than just exist.

The semi-colon is a break and a continuation; it is a triumph. The tattoo just reminds me that I am also a triumph every single day that I wake up. Depression is a killer and it is cruel, but I chose to go on, and that’s something worth shouting about.

25 Autumn Pick-me-ups!

My favourite walk

  1. ‘Autumn days when the grass is jewelled’: Revisit your childhood with a song, maybe a hymn you used to sing in assembly or a lullaby.
  2. Don’t quote me on that: Find a quote of the day, or search by theme to get inspired. Try BrainyQuote or The Quotations Page.
  3. Death-day Party: Make like Nearly-Headless Nick and celebrate a death. Commemorate a friend, family member or hero via the medium of their favourite food. Look through photos, plant a fruit tree in their honour – get creative.
  4. Become a superhero: Buy a cape – what says autumn better than a cosy, cosy cape. Just don’t do a Madonna.
  5. This little piggy went to market: Go to a farmer’s market and sample some fresh produce.
  6. On the back burner: Make a glorious, rich, full-of-gravy stew. Devour with home-made bread… *drool*
  7. Ahoj!: Practise a skill – pick up a language you did in school, get a refresher in knitting from your nan – those cold winter nights are coming…
  8. Stick or twist: Play cards, learn a new game, bet with chocolate and win.
  9. Remember, remember: Doesn’t have to be 5th November, though. Release your inner pyromaniac and burn stuff.
  10. In disguise: Handmake a costume, or part of a costume for yourself or a mini-human. Get crafty, get covered in glitter – hands on is good for your head.
  11. Walk this way: Go for your favourite walk with your favourite people. Call in a country pub for lunch. Bliss!
  12. You’re forgiven, not forgotten: Write a forgiveness postcard to someone who has upset you, or even to yourself. Let go of something that you’ve been holding onto – you don’t have to send it!
  13. What’s your flavour?: Consume something that screams autumn. Mine is chai latte..
  14. Comfort music: Nostalgia feels good.
  15. Be a viking: Pillage a wardrobe, maybe your mother’s… don’t tell me she doesn’t have some 80s gems in there…Immortalise:
  16. Get a tattoo. Make your mark as the year draws to a close.
  17. Toasty: Have warm feet. Buy new fluffy socks, wear awesome, oversized slippers, get a foot massage. Circulation is everything, people.
  18. Are you sitting comfortably?: Write the story of your scars (not just the visible ones).
  19. Texture: Do a bark rubbing, or make a collage from fallen leaves.
  20. Feng shui: Redecorate in some small way, move a piece of furniture, hang that painting that’s been sitting around for months, clean your curtains…
  21. Jingle bells: Start Christmas shopping, don’t stress.
  22. Systematic airing: Get outside, perambulate, or don’t.
  23. Make way!: Clear out your kitchen of old crockery you never use and take it to the charity shop. Or, smash it up and use for draining when planting plants.
  24. Go all the way: Choose a book series and read it all the way through.
  25. Nest-le: Make a nest with lots of pillows and blankets, bring snacks, animals, wives, husbands, kids and nestle.

Dyslexia Awareness Week!

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This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week! (…whoever came up with the word ‘dyslexia’ had a warped sense of humour). I know and love people with dyslexia and I know the struggle that it can often be. School is not always a happy place for children with dyslexia because of pressure to perform in certain ways.

But dyslexia is more than finding spelling difficult. Many people with dyslexia are incredibly creative and can see connections between things which others can’t. Dyslexia is not always the monster under the bed – if we learn to harness a different kind of potential in people, many artists, creatives, writers will be born and flourish.

Vicky Morris, (writer, facilitator), discusses and explores these issues in ‘Dyslexic and Loving Words‘, her 2014 documentary. Enjoy!