Although being chronically ill can often mean we have physical symptoms and issues, our mental health is very easily affected too. Often people are unable to work which means they are stuck inside for long periods of time and cannot leave the house. Activities can become tedious and repetitive so I thought I would share s few of the things I enjoy doing and as it is Blogtober and Autumn has arrived, I thought I would make it an Autumn themed list. Obviously, some of these ideas will be relevant all the year through as well, but I hope this will help give you some inspiration to bust the boredom this season.
1 ) Visit a coffee shop
Sometimes you really need to just get out of the house. A short trip to a local coffee shop can be just the thing. Meet a friend, take a book and as it is Autumn why not go for something like a Pumpkin Spiced Latte – my current drink of choice?
2) Join a support group
Connecting with others and being social has a massive influence on you mental health. Humans are sociable creatures and we need that interaction! Whether you find a local group to attend or choose to join online support forums, talking with other people who have similar conditions and symptoms to you can be really beneficial.
When I first found the online support groups for people with IBD, it literally changed my life. Not only have I met some incredible people through them, I have learnt more about my condition and received support from people who really understand what I am going through. I have also now joined my local Young IA group an am a member of the committee so I get to regularly meet with other ostomates in my area, as well as being able to support my passion for helping others. If you would like help to find a support group, wither online or local to you please feel free to send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – or pop a comment at the bottom of this post and I will help you out!
3) Read a book
Reading is literally one of my favourite hobbies and the change in weather definitely means I will spend more time snuggled up with a good book for the coming months! I regularly read and review books so check out the ‘Book Reviews‘ section to see what I would recommend.
4) Movie marathon
This is something the boys really enjoy – a PJ day, a bunch of great movies and some yummy snacks. An obvious theme this month is Halloween so dig out Hocus Pocus, The Addams Family and the Hotel Transylvania movies and settle in for the afternoon. Or if you prefer a good horror there are plenty out there to keep you occupied too!
5) Start an online course
Most of you will know that I study with the Open University for my degree, part time. I cannot recommend it enough! Studying really helps keep my brain active and while I can not work this stops me from going insane! There are online courses available in so many thugs nowadays, so whether you pick a subject you are interested in entering a career in when you are well enough or whether you just want to pursue a hobby, I am sure you will find something to interest you.
This isn’t one I do although my blog is often a collection of my thoughts and feelings so maybe I do in a round about way! Lots of people really credit journalling with a marked improvement in their mental well being I have been doing a course about managing my anxiety recently and part of the activities I have to do are answering journal type questions. There is definitely something about writing things down that really helps you to understand things better and give you a clearer idea about how to deal with them.
Struggling to know what to write about? Pinterest has some great tips and ideas – just search ‘journalling prompts’ for lots of great resources.
7) Exercise at hone
If the weather is rubbish and you can’t get out the house, don’t forget to forge some good habits inside and still get some exercise. One of my favourite things to do is turn the radio up and have a really good dance/clean!
I also really enjoy Pilates and there are some really good, easy to follow workouts at home online on platforms like YouTube. Always be careful when starting something new, you may want to ask your doctor or specialist nurse for some advice if you haven’t done something before and take it slow. Exercise really does help both your physical and mental health though, so having a regular regime is rally great.
8) Get crafty
If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen my latest cross stitching escapades! I used to cross stitch when I was younger. My Grandma was an avid knitter and tried to teach me – but I was rubbish – so instead I picked up cross stitching. I have got back into doing it in the last year and really enjoy it. I find it relaxing and it also helps wen I am struggling with not feeling too great or am in pain, to concentrate on something else. I have been working on making advent calendars for the kids but honestly, with less than two months to go I am not sure they will be ready for this Christmas!
It doesn’t have to be cross stitch – you may prefer painting, crochet, knitting or even colouring. Try things out and see which you enjoy the most. You can also get the kids involved – there will be some Halloween craft ideas coming up soon on the blog or you could make a collage with leaves you have collected on an Autumn walk for example.
9) Start a project
Want to spruce up your garden? Redecorate your bathroom? Some of these can be big jobs but by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks you can make subtle changes that will add up to a big result. I have been slowly painting my garden fence, although with the rain, progress on that has slowed significantly! I also picked up a tin of paint for the kitchen the other day. I am only going to paint one wall and have also got some tile transfer stickers, but these simple jobs will give me something to do and will definitely make my kitchen look loads better!
This is something I have recently started to explore and am really enjoying it. I honestly never thought it would be for me, but after hearing so many people talk about how amazing it was I thought I would give it a go.
I downloaded the Headspace app and started working through the free ten sessions which teach you the basics of meditation and was in love with it after just one! The session worked brilliantly ell at allaying all the fears I had had about meditation – would I feel stupid, would I feel calm afterwards, would I be able to ‘clear my mind’ etc. I enjoyed it so much I have subscribed so I can access more features on it. I am planning a fuller review post on this so won’t go into much more detail on here but Heeadspace is definitely a good one to try and there are also some guided meditations on platforms like YouTube which you could try as well. I really did not expect to be preaching the benefits of meditating but here I am! I am sure it isn’t for everyone but I would say give it a try because you really don’t know until you have had a go. Be open to the experience and you never know – you may love it too!
Well, that’s my list complete and I would love to hear if you have any ore ideas. Please pop them in the comments below and I will be back for Blogtober Day 4 tomorrow,