It can be tough starting something new, something thats been bugging you for ages but you cant seem to muster the energy to change it. Whether it’s tidying up, replying to that email or even getting help when you need it.
I know how easy it is to say … i’ll do that tomorrow. With every intention to do it tomorrow. but then tomorrow comes and there is something else that gets in the way. but trust me … when you say … fxxk it, lets do that today. The sense of anticipation and excitement is amazing.
In my case it was the tiny space outside the flat. Ive been looking at it for weeks on end, thinking too myself i really need to do that. Days turn into weeks and it gets a little more messy and a little more overwhelming each day. I kept making excuses to why i cant do it today. The weather helped loads i must admit … beautiful sunny day … I might even get a bit of a tan while i’m working.
Think i should i point out that i am no handy man/DIY guy … as you can probably tell. Birthday present drill, borrowed sander and 7 quids worth of wood preservative. But My thinking was … well it cant look any worse right? … So anything i do today will be an improvement.
Staring was so rewarding … once i had done a bit of sweeping and filled a bin bag with garden rubbish i felt so proud of myself. It took ages to do but each step looked better and better. I did have a slight “maybe this a bad idea” moment when i saw how red the wood presevative was … but again i thought, well it will look better than it does right now.
I could have stop anytime … still looked better than it had done. But I wanted to carry on and finish what a few days ago seemed a huge task. The more i did the better i felt, proud of myself that id taken the first step.
Of course there is always more i can do, more sweeping more sanding, more pruning … plants with thorns? I mean why do they exist in a garden? lol. The fact i started gives me encouragement to know i can do more.
So my simple advice is to try … try tackling that job thats been on your mind, that thing that you didn’t do yesterday. The first step is the biggest one … they get smaller and easier to climb the more steps you take.
It can be tricky sometime reaching out to a mate. Especially if you haven’t spoken to them in a while … it can get a bit awkward i know. Checking friends and family are ok … and vise versa of course is a big part of sharing how you feel
So … we thought this might help … we had a good look through www.unsplash.com a free online image gallery (they kick ass) and chose a few images that should help start a conversation.
Hence … ‘Saw this and thought of you’ Funny, inspiring, silly and cute images that we hope gives someone a smile … set up as 800×600 so it doesn’t kill your data … or theres come to think of it.
Free to download here … or if you want something different … check out unsplash. Sorry in advance as they have millions of beautiful images so you might be there a while.
We are encouraged to work from home more and more these days … sounds great. But some times it can feel a bit lonely and things can quickly get on top of you.
So we have put together some simple suggestions to keep things on track. mentally and physically.
Take a break, Sounds simple, but i am sure its something we all forget to do … “let me just finish this … then i’ll have a break” Sound familiar? Take a walk around the block, put the telly on for 10 minutes, watch a cat being funny on youtube, stretching exercises … whatever it is … as long as it’s not work and away from your desk.
Routine, This one is difficult to stick at i know, but it makes a big difference. Have a start and finish time. Make sure you have a proper lunch break. Do all those things you would normally do, shower, breakfast loose your door keys (joking)
Desk, Have a work space, a place that feels like a proper work space, rather than laptop on lap sat on the sofa. (as nice as that sounds its hard to get things done) Try and find a decent supportive chair to sit on, good lighting and a window if your lucky enough, plants too. Can find some stationery bargains in Wilko and Tiger, to make it feel like a real office.
Zoom, We all love zoom. Use it for more than just meetings. try a zoom coffee with a colleague or a mate. Have a natter and a coffee. Maybe facetime is your thing. Whatever you feel comfortable using. Try and keep it a daily thing, so you feel less isolated.
Family/Housemates, Try and be flexible and let those who live with you know when you are working. Have a chat and explain your needs and be flexible so it works for everyone. Once you have a few boundaries sorted it should all be a little easier for everyone.
Be kind, … goes without saying but always forgotten. Be kind and patient to yourself. self care is king.
A done list, Something thats good to do … well i find it helpful, is a done list at the end of the day. Often we forget how much we do, and tend to get anxious that we haven’t achieved enough that day. forgetting the 30 emails sent, excel spreadsheet finished and the R&D work done with that new software we got.
Go Home When you should finish work, stop working. shut down and kick back. Easy to say, much harder to do i know.
Create4mentalhealth wasn’t started 5 years ago, But it was 5 years ago this week that i lost my closest friend Keith Clarke. To be fair, he was a bit of an idiot, but he was always funny, daft, charismatic, and kind. He also struggled quite a lot and i guess thats where our story really starts.
This is Keith …. i think this sums him up rather well. Full of life, fun and a little idiocy. I made this for his funeral … I wanted his family to know he was dearly loved by all his friends. Keith loved movies and always wanted to be help me with filming work. Sadly he never got to see the film he was in, I hope he would have liked it.
Keith was that guy you meet once and thats it … you’re friends. He knew everyone, and everyone knew him. We had our place at the bar, but no one was ever excluded. Its what i liked about him i guess, everyone was welcome. People came and people went, but Keith was a constant in all our lives.
I always tried to be a good friend to Keith, be there for him, but sometimes i got it wrong, I would get impatient and a little frustrated. Get cross when he didn’t turn up to things he had promised too, be too busy to send him a message or call him up to ask if he fancied a beer.
I just didn’t get that he was struggling, didn’t really know it was a thing. And like most of us, he kept his problems to himself.
He was convinced … (again i know how this feels) that he had no friends, and no one wanted to know him. Nothing could be further from the truth. If only he could have seen the crowds at his funeral … the church was full, every seat taken, and the rest stood in the aisle, and filled the back of the church. I think we all had the same thought, i hope Keith is watching.
We planted a tree next to our local … meet up on his birthday and anniversary to toast him.
But i wanted to do more, I couldn’t shake the thought that there must be thousands of people like me and Keith. Not really understanding what the matter with us with us. Not knowing that it doesn’t have to be like this, there are things we can do to make us feel better as well as loads of support available if we need something more.
So create4mentalhealth was born. we have created something good in the world thanks to our dear and greatly missed friend. This sounds like a cliche … but there is not a day goes by i don’t think of you, and wonder what you and i would be doing if you were still with us.
So if you are feeling a bit rubbish, or you know someone who is finding things tough right now send a message, it all starts with a message. We all need to know that we have friends around us who care, share a little hope today.
Keith, Happy Anniversary mate. Our lives will never be the same without you.
I know we all get busy … especially this time of year. Putting everyone else first feels right somehow, but it’s important to remember yourself too. It’s so easy to forget we all need to put a little time aside to look after ourselves. Even if it’s a putting your feet up, sticking on your fave album and relaxing with a cuppa
So here is a list of cheap … I mean really cheap products that encourage a little self care to help promote wellbeing, from herbal tea to comfy socks.
Everything in this list costs around a pound and available from high street stores. Popping out to the shops … with a face mask on of course … it’s also great for wellbeing. Good exercise … releases those endorphins and try something new.
Take a short walk, music on feeling better with every step. They are mini jack, but Flying Tiger sell the adapters cheap too. Cant actually find them on the website but they were in store last time we looked.
Clears pours, softens skin and it feels amazing. We recon you can get at least 2 or even 3 sessions from one sachet. Can feel a little bit embarrassing wearing one (talking from experience) maybe something to do when everyone is out.
This is one of those instantly feels like its done some good type of deals. Quick easy and effective, loads of inexpensive options out there too. This one is nice and gentle … if you want something a little tougher you might have to pay a bit more for a branded one.
It’s that thing we all forget … especially when it’s freezing cold. Total no brainer really. Another instant feel more positive kind of thing. Pocket size … looks expensive too, not that it matters of course.
I hope this give you something to at least think about, take care of yourself ok, it’s not easy to put yourself first sometimes, just remember self care is not selfish.
Should point out … we have no affiliation with any of these shops, or the products they sell. We just wanted to find cheap and cheerful products that you can go to the shops and buy.
I made this film to encourage everyone to reach out to friends and family. Its been a tough year of course … so many worries for us all. I get that … but it’s important that we don’t forget our friends and family.
Its weird … i have noticed some of my friends who use to post lots on socials media don’t seem to post as much, Or maybe i’m not seeing those posts as much as i use to … and … well i find myself forgetting to check in sometimes. Forgetting to send that short little message to say ‘hows it going, not seen you in ages.’
Im sure we all say to ourselves I’ll do that tomorrow. Im trying hard to be one of those ‘let me do that today.’ people. Its not easy i know … but it feels good to get those nagging things done.
And lets be clear here … It takes seconds to send a message … literally seconds … but it can make a tough day a little less tough. I know how i feel when i get a message from a friend I’ve not heard from in a while. Makes me me feel wanted and appreciated … being reminded I’m still part of that social circle.
So I encourage everyone to have a think about one person they havent seen in a while … I bet they are feeling the same way you are. Delighted that someone took time out of their day to reached out.
We are always on the look out for used audio/video kit that can help us in what we do. Computer hardware and software are always welcome. Working with our volunteers is always a challenge so its great if we can enough kit to go around.
We are a bit limited for space so if you think you might have something that could help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Anything you can spare no matter how big or small will be greatly received.
Huge thank you for all those people who have donated kit so far, we could not have got this far without you.