Energy Anxiety

I know things are a bit shit these days, but this isn’t one of those facts and figures kind of stories. This is about simple things we can all try to feel a bit less worried about what’s going on. Saving energy and helping the planet in a small way.

Most of this sounds obvious … yet some (most) of us don’t do it. Simple things make a difference.

Getting in the habit of turning things off not only saves a bit of money … but makes us feel like we are doing something positive. And let’s face it … none of us want to give energy companies any more cash than we absolutely have too.

Lights

Switch off lights you aren’t using

Lights … sounds simple enough. It’s a mind set thing … get into the habit of turning them off. LED bulbs are cheap these days too … try Wilko … enough said.

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Laptop

Shutting down laptop saves energy and its better for the computer

Laptop … we all do this … shut it down rather than closing the lid. Way better for the laptop, and energy usage. Laptops do run better when they are cool.

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Eco-Wash

20°C washes are perfect for everyday washing

Wash cooler or eco … washing powders are amazing these days … cheap or expensive ones … they all work well on colder washes. Lets face it we tend to wear something once then wash it.

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Quick shower

Quick shower … nuff said.

Shower … try a quick shower … something that helps is music on a phone, easy to know how long your shower is. Try turning the temp down … even if it’s a tiny change, like half a turn on the temp gauge, so  you hardly notice it .. all helps.

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TV

Try not to use the remote when turning things off.

Stand by … simple really … turn the tv off … rather than leaving it on standby. if it’s easier turn it off at the wall, Rather than using the remote. Will prolong life of your tv too.

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Drying Clothes

Drying clothes when it’s cold does work … mad i know.

Dry clothes outside … even when its cold. This sounds a bit far-fetched … but it really works. It’s to do with the triple point of water … water at 0 degrees is a solid liquid and gas … I get a bit lost at all this but it does work. If you are lucky enough to have the capacity to dry outside … what’s stopping you?   Helps prevent moisture building up, causing damp and other horrid things.

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A few other things you can try …

Microwave food.

Gordon Ramsay makes out that microwaves suck … but they are great … well they are very energy efficient. If you can cook it in a microwave … (of course check the instructions first) Do it …  even if you start it in the microwave and finish in the oven, it’s still better.
Can also try cooking for a few days … spag boll is great the following day … tastes better somehow … not the Spaghetti though … cook that when you want it

Hot water

Coffee … I love coffee … drink far to much of course, so have been boiling the kettle, and filling a thermos … cos apparently you are not suppose to use boiling water in coffee anyway. Every time I need a coffee … I use the hot water in the flask. sounds like a pain … but its weirdly easy to do. Every time you use hot water you will be amazed at how hot it still is.

Tech

Buying new stuff … if you are lucky enough to be buying a new tv/washing machine or whatever … make sure its energy efficient. The A to G stickers. You will be amazed how many things even now days are very bad with energy consumption

Draughts

Block them … with whatever you can find around the place. Old towels are good … if you are like me and rent … stopping drafts permanently can be difficult. Short term fix work well … then if you are feeling brave ask your landlord (odd phrase) to insulate.

But this is important … if you are cold. Put the heating on. If you can turn radiators off in rooms you don’t use then that’s great. But don’t just turn everything off … cos its cold some-days … and there is nothing more miserable than being stuck in a cold flat or house. Worried about what’s happening.

Starting is the one

Once you get into the habit of turning off lights, or washing at 20°C it’s amazing how easy it becomes … getting into saving energy not just to save cash … but it does make a difference for the planet.

Christmas can be a lonely time

No great surprise … but its the small things that really help, especially now. A text goes a long way …



“So proud of you mate … you are gonna smash 2023 … Let’s catch up soon ok”

Ok maybe a bit much but something positive to remind people they are doing amazing things. cos we all forget what we have done … Always focus on the things we haven’t done yet … Like this article i should have written last week,

So check in with a mate … you cant message everyone of course … but is there a mate that has been quiet on socials? not been in the pub lately? ping them a message. Knowing that someone is looking out for you makes all the difference, especially when you’re feeling a bit shit.

ever had this ? … being surrounded by happy successful friends/family … talking about how amazing their lives are? … anyone else get that?

The endless of posts bragging about best Christmas ever, pictures of a food mountain and presents galore … so yeah … its a bit of a shit show sometimes. Help each other out ok … and eat loads of mince pies

Happy Christmas everyone.

Listen and share great songs

Music is a powerful thing especially when you are having those tough days. Sharing your fav tracks that make you feel better and a bit more positive is a great way to support one another.

So thats what this is … only just started this but get the feeling it will be a long process … so many great songs to choose. They are in no order at all. … we ain’t that organised. More to be added soon … ya know … once we have agued whats best.

Starting is the hardest part

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.

Staring is the hardest part

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.

messy garden
The task in had

The task

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.

Sweeping
Sweeping

Staring

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.

Bright red paint
red paint

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.

Finishing

Tidy garden
well worth the effort

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.

Saw this and thought of you

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.

Working at home

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.

Take regular breaks

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.

Coffee Break
Coffee Break

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)

Breakfast
Breakfast

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.

Tidy desk
Beautiful work space

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.

Zoom with a friend
Zoom a friend

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.

Working Together
Work together

Be kind, … goes without saying but always forgotten. Be kind and patient to yourself. self care is king.

Be Kind
Be Kind

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.

a completed today list
Write a done list

Go Home When you should finish work, stop working. shut down and kick back. Easy to say, much harder to do i know.

5 years later

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.

Keith Clarke 1979 – 2017

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.

Keith Clarke’s plaque

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.

Keith Clarke’s tree

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.

Christmas Wishes from us all

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Christmas, not going to bore you with the whole it’s been a tough year bit … cos we all know that. Stay safe … be careful, look our for others and have a great time.

Create4MH- Christams 2021

If you are feel you need a little extra help … here are some useful contacts that are open this Christmas.

Everyone
Samaritans Call 116 123 open 24hrs
Shout Text Shout to 85258 open 24 hrs
Calm Call 0800 58 58 58 open 24 hrs

Under 25’s
Young Minds text YM to 85258 open 24hrs
The Mix Call 0808 808 4994 3pm till 12 am every day
Childline Call 0800 1111 call free and wont show on any phone bill.

And spare a thought for friends and family you haven’t seen in ages. Takes a few seconds to send a text … let someone know you care.

Happy Christmas to one and all.

Self-Care Christmas

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.

Chamomile tea
Chamomile Tea

Chamomile TeaWaitrose

We start with Chamomile tea … its actually nice … doesn’t taste like tea … but then again … nothing does. And. If its not for you …  offer to friends and sound sophisticated 

Bath Bomb

Bath BombWilko

These are great. Simple relaxation that we are normally too busy to enjoy. Got these little beauties from Wilko

Earphones

Headphones Flying Tiger

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.

Mud Mask

Mud MaskSuperdrug

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.

Coloured Pencils

Coloured Pencils Flying Tiger

Doesn’t matter if you haven’t drawn anything since you were a kid, try it … cost a pound … and no one ever has to see your drawing. Do it for yourself. 

Hair Treatment

Hair TreatmentSuperdrug

Aussie 3 minute goodness in a sachet … smells great … instant soft hair and cost a pound. Again … can get at least 2 goes with this … depending on how much hair you have of course.

Comfy Socks

Cosy SocksPrimark

Such an advocate of comfy socks … instant cosy feel 2 pairs for 2 pounds. Great for tiredness too … Well worth a try. Could only find these up to a size 8 but we probably could have looked harder.

Fruity Soap

Fruity Soap – Wilko

Bit old school but it smells amazing. Fresh and invigorating … a really good way to start the day. Loads of different ‘flavours’ to choose from.

Face wipe

Tea Tree Face WipesWilko

Love these … feeling tired and over worked? Take 5 mins, put the kettle on …. Give your face a bit of a massage with a cleansing wipe, works wonders. Try putting them in the fridge to sooth-tired skin

Lavender Candle

Lavender Candle – Wilko

They look pretty, Soothing smell, very relaxing. Lasts for ages… Enough said.   

Face Scrub

Face ScrubAldi

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.

Lip Balm

Lip BalmWilko

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.

No one is that busy

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.