I don’t go out very much. I think it is mostly because I am sober these days and I have never got the hang of what sober people do in their spare time. I have plans to make some changes to my life this spring/summer and hopefully find myself outside and enjoying my days more fully for a change.
For anyone living with mental illness, you will know that you can’t just think about doing something. You have to make a plan, perhaps find an accountability partner, and take the necessary steps to bring your plans to life.
For me, I am using my work and my dogs as an excuse to get myself outside and enjoying life again, like a healthy, sober person.
There are many parks and trails within a reasonable distance of my home where I can take my dogs and so that is obvious.
I believe that I have blogged about the Calm app before, but in case I haven’t, it is a mindfulness app that I am in deep, deep love with. It costs about $67CDN/yr to subscribe, which may sound like a lot, but it is jammed packed with tons of features, which makes it worth every penny (it my opinion). Some of these features include, guided meditations, sleep stories, and nature sounds.
I mention the Calm app because it includes a walking mindfulness meditation that I intend to use while out on my dog walks. It should be helpful to extend my time outside to a min of 20mins and to keep myself in a healing state of mind while I walking.
As far as work stuff goes, I will begin hosting a monthly DIY ZINE PARTY and CRAFTIVIST NIGHT starting in May 2018. It will be a great opportunity for me to do something fun and creative out of the house that doesn’t involve booze.. although at least one of the events will be hosted in a pub. Once the final dates have been confirmed, there will be links on all of my websites, plus the facebook groups, for people to buy tickets.
The ZINE PARTY will be $12 and the CRAFTIVIST NIGHT will be $18. Ticket prices for each event will include all of the tools and supplies necessary for the project being created.
Zine making is especially therapeutic for individuals suffering from mental illness. You have the opportunity to write or illustrate whatever is on your mind. You can either complete your zine and keep it your personal library or you can xerox it for distribution to others with similar interests.
I remember collecting zines as a teenager from authors and illustrators from all over the world. I still have some tucked away somewhere. In a lot of ways, my zines were my first introduction to feminism and different forms of activism!
I had a meeting with a psychotherapist recently and she was inquiring how I divided my time. I basically said that when I’m not sleeping, I’m working, and I am watching television during whatever time is left. She was concerned with this schedule because there was not any time set aside for socialization.
As I said, it isn’t something that I have thought about since my drinking days, but without time spent out of the house and socializing, I find that it is very easy to fall into evil and unhealthy ruts. I tend to oversleep or sleep not enough. I write in my journal for hours about nothing. I watch days of the same television shows over and over again. It isn’t your what life is supposed to be like.
We all need to be physically active. We all need time spent with friends. We all need to go outside.
Find someone who you can go for walks with. Maybe go for a coffee afterward? Journal write, without going overboard. Find ways that you can be creative. Join a class or creative club where there are potential new friends build in!!
If you can, share your intentions with a friend or family member so they can hold you accountable to your new plans. A little pressure can often be very helpful when you are trying to introduce new things to your lifestyle.
Just it a try. Start with one simple thing and go from there. You may be opening up a whole new world to yourself!!!
Let me know how it goes!