Posts Tagged ‘Help’

Sleep Is Overrated

“Sleep is overrated” “Efficiency is a word insomniacs use to defend their caffeine addiction” “Sleeping more than 4 hours a night is pointless” All of these phrases have been used about by me… but secretly I would love to be able to sleep for 8 hours straight. I would love to wake up feeling refreshed rather than with a headache. I would like to actively go to bed every night and just sleep rather than pass out from exhaustion. I would love for my eyes to not burn from pure fatigue. I would love to not fall under the insomniac umbrella. But that’s just not meant to be…

Tonight in our #TopicsToDiscuss we asked our followers how they would identify insomnia and where they think it comes from. They pretty much said what the NHS said too

Insomnia is a side effect of many things. Stress. Depression. Bad eating habits. But what side effects result from your insomnia?

  • I struggle to remember simple things sometimes
  • a huge one is the paranoia
  • finding it hard to focus
  • I get really irritable and withdrawn
  • also feel thirsty more and snack on biscuits and other junk food.
  • some people that live with this disorder see things as if they are happening in slow motion, wherein moving objects seem to blend together

There are many levels of insomnia and this is also what makes it so tricky to diagnose. Insomnia is both a symptom and a side effect and that confuses things a bit, especially when you are trying to figure out how to treat it. We asked our followers the following two questions:

What do you do to trick your body into sleeping when you simply can’t stand to be awake any longer? And what has helped you retrain your brain and allow yourself to get some sleep?

  • have a bath in lavender – calming affects of certain smells can help release the tension that is keeping you awake
  • hot milk – it may seem old fashioned but the lacto has a soothing effect on your body that allows it be calm and sleep more peacefully. Plus it is associated with bed time so psychologically there is that advantage too
  • healthy eating is very affective – sometimes just eating less ‘heavy’ meals at night will make a difference. If your body does not have to digest food, it means that it can shut down and relax and not mess with your subconscious throughout the night either
  • caffeine a no-no – if you have a problem with sleeping obviously drinking coffee right before bedtime is not a good idea. A cup of tea or horlics is a better option or simply just a glass of warm milk. But just be careful not to force your body into a detox if you are slightly addicted to caffeine as this could be counterproductive. And sometimes depriving yourself of sleep during the day can help you regain control of your body clock, so coffee is not 100% bad… it’s just something you need to be aware of. There is also a chicken and egg conversation about which one came first: my caffeine addiction or my insomnia?
  • Senses – what you smell and hear makes a difference. The atmosphere that you require to get a good night’s sleep is very important. Try to eliminate all of the things that distract you in your room. Even having too many pillows on the bed or light shining in through the window can affect your sleep. Changing to darker curtains may help.
  • Noise and sounds can also interrupt your sleeping pattern – some people prefer to drown out the sounds with music while others prefer earplugs to remove all sounds completely. You need to try it out in order to determine which one will work for you.
  • Exercise – can be a good way to get rid of all of the extra energy you have and allow you to relax and get a good night’s sleep
  • Pen to paper – writing down all of the thoughts in your head when you want to go to sleep is also a useful tool. If you allow yourself to write these thoughts or concerns down then it gives your mind permission to let go of the thoughts and not fear losing them overnight by allowing you to sleep.
  • baby concept – same routine every night, brush your teeth, comb your hair, listen to the same music or watch the same movie. Like a baby, your body will get use to the routine and realize that you want it to go to sleep. Sometimes it’s like your brain is afraid of missing something so it wants to be awake all the time and if you teach it what to expect and what will happen next, it will realize that there is nothing to be missed by allowing you to sleep

In the medical profession they also use these 2 techniques

  • paradoxical intention – you try to stay awake and avoid any intention of falling asleep; it’s only used if you have trouble getting to sleep, but not maintaining sleep
  • biofeedback – sensors connected to a machine are placed on your body to measure your body’s responses, such as muscle tension and heart rate; the machine produces pictures or sounds to help you control your breathing and body responses

All of these techniques worked for someone… and it most likely failed for someone else, so try them out and let us know how they work for you. There are always more options and new things to try, as long as you are willing to keep looking for that solution, we will be here to help you too.You should consider visiting your GP if you’re finding it difficult to get to sleep or to stay asleep and it’s affecting your daily life. Do not wait until you cannot stand it anymore. You have the power to reclaim your bed as a place of comfort.

Leave your comments about tonight’s #TopicsToDiscuss or tweet us @dontloseurgrip you can even suggest a topic for our discussion next week.

When It Rains It Pours

You know those days when everything seems to be going wrong? Well my boyfriend’s parents have sort of been having that for the last 3months!

You can read about it on my other blog posts so I won’t bore you with the details now… Basically it comes down to losing everything you have except the clothes on your back through no fault of your own. Having every new venture you embark on crumble underneath your feet is not exactly a motivational beginning.

Obviously it hasn’t been all bad, there have been some amazing friends who stepped up and are holding their friend’s heads above water. And for this they are grateful. I am grateful. But it is not easy accepting help from others, especially when you haven’t really kept in contact with them as well as you should have.

For me as an outside, I get to chose what I focus on. I get to choose which story I tell. Do I tell the one about despair and how when it rains it really just pours, or do I tell the one of friendship and Ubunthu? Well I’m choosing to tell the one about people caring about each other; about people looking past their differences and focusing on the friendship they once had. We have this uncanny ability to drop everything [including a grudge] the second someone we care about needs us. If they are in trouble we run to them and crush every soul that gets in our way. It’s like we’re all super heroes who love that ability to catch someone when they’re falling off a 70 story building. We love being strong enough to help them fight their battles and in the end all we want is for them to be safe, we really don’t care about the ‘Thank You’ part.

I’d gotten so use to people doing the whole *you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours… or maybe stab you in the back if a better opportunity comes up* thing, that I find it refreshing to see how many good people there still are in this messed up world of ours…

Occasionally it is good to just take a little step back and while you’re looking at your life, realize that it really isn’t all that bad. Chose to see the good and then go see if you can help someone else out. It really is a great feeling that we don’t experience as often anymore. Go make a difference in someone’s life; just say ‘hi’ and ask them if they need a hand… it really is a good place to start.

I’ll remind you all that we should be working towards world peace, hey. But we’ve gotten a tad lazy so we should ease into it by doing all the little things again. Just smile and lend a hand and show you care. That’s it! It’s not just the huge things that should be given credit for peace; after all it is the little things that determine the big things.

Go make a difference… actually no, go be the difference!

AM

PS: check out my friend’s charity event in the UK http://chriselle.com/?p=137 Bands needed! Models needed! Help needed!

Be The Difference

I would like to introduce you to an amazing woman. It’s actually hard to believe that she’s still only 19. She’s just a kid but she’s already doing great things.

Maybe that’s the point: she’s still a kid. It seems like as soon as we cross over to our twenties we stop caring. I mean, obviously we care about our families and our jobs and stuff but it becomes very much centred on ourselves. We stop trying to change the world the way we wanted to when we were little kids. It’s like we lose that drive and start thinking small. Well Chrisselle isn’t there yet and considering the amazing team she and Hammy makes, I don’t think either of them will ever end up like most of us: forgetting about the fight for world peace.

Now before your mind starts dwelling, I’m not suggesting that they have found the answer to world peace but then again maybe they have… By doing everything they can to promote happiness. So let’s get back on track: this post is about one particular act of spreading happiness to those who need it most. Check out Chrisselle’s blog post about the charity concert she’s planning in aid of Suicide Help-lines “Don’t lose grip”.

So if you are anywhere in the UK, make sure you get involved! This is good and this is important. If you can do anything, anything at all to help someone else: just do it! I know I’m not doing a whole lot at the moment but I’m still that little kid who wants to change the world. I honestly don’t know one single person who is completely happy with everything in the world, so why have we stopped trying to change it? Why does it seem like we’re all waiting for someone else to do it for us?

Recently I moved to Zimbabwe and since I’ve been here I haven’t really done a whole lot to promote change but I haven’t given up yet. I’ve spent the last 9 years talking about change and how beautiful this country is, which is why I felt it was time for me to move here and do something to make sure my children will one day be able to experience its beauty. If Chrisselle can go big and focus on more than just her personal life, then what’s stopping the rest of us? I’ll tell you: nothing!

Ghandi said: Be the change you want to see in the world. So you, yes you reading my ramblings, get off your butt and be the difference! Don’t complain about this hectic world we’ve inherited, find a way to fix it! Don’t just sit back and watch as people you care about give up on life and themselves, get active! We have this amazing advantage over all things bad: numbers! There are more of us in this world who believe in peace and love and happiness than those who don’t, we just have a tendency to forget that. This is just one project out of hundreds that you could get involved in, why this one? Because this one is right at your doorstep, actually it’s just a click away! Why are you still reading my blog?! Go to http://Chrisselle.com/?p=137 already! I really won’t mind…. Go!

We have a shot at being the difference in someone’s life. If this event benefits just one single person by providing them with someone to talk to when they have lost all hope, then it’ll be so worth it! If you have any free time what so ever, why not get in contact with your local help lines and go be the difference. Start an after-school chat group and give someone else the opportunity to talk about their lives to someone outside of their life. Get involved; don’t let more people lose their grip on life. You have no idea how much a hug or smile or just a few kind words mean to someone who feels all alone in our messed up world.

Please be the difference! You know you want to…

AM

I see you

Since the release of P!nk and Dave Meyers’ F***in’ Perfect music video, there has been a lot of talk involving suicide and the sheer hopelessness many people feel every day.

Unfortunately we live in a world where practically no one can say that they have never known someone who contemplated giving up on life. We live in a time when there is so much pressure, not just from the outside world but even from the family who’s suppose to be your corner stone during times of doubt. And what’s worse is the pressure we place on ourselves… you rarely hear someone say: “I’m awesome!” and actually mean it and in the unlikely event that they do, we tend to label them as arrogant and obnoxious. It’s almost like we designed the world so that we can’t win.

Then one day a musician takes the time to look at her fans and see that they are terrified; terrified of being no one; terrified of letting themselves down; terrified to let their true colours show. Instead of just ignoring it, this amazing person who has a great talent for writing and an even greater one for getting people to listen, decides to upset the apple cart once more: she writes a song about alienation and depression. She’s not arrogant enough to believe that she has a solution but she’s willing to give it a shot… Her goal: “That it promotes awareness and change, or at least some discussion”. So far that’s exactly what’s happening!

In my final year of high school three of my six closest friends wanted to commit suicide. Actually to be fair the one guy was just severely depressed and refused to eat or move and he only talked about suicide. It’s that ‘only’ word that sends shivers down my spine. Like thinking about giving up on your life and yourself isn’t bad enough? Well it is! And believe me, I have spent many a day since then worrying about my friends because I missed ‘the signs’ the first time around and I said ‘only’. My friends who went a bit further than just thinking about it tried it, thankfully for us they didn’t know what they were doing so we found them in time but they still spent months [some of the best months of anyone’s life time] in hospitals and clinics. They still have to make that choice everyday: choose life. Every time they face a challenge they have flashbacks to that moment they felt so absolutely powerless that they couldn’t see any way out of it… And then they remember that they made it through. It wasn’t easy and this challenge ahead of them won’t be easy either but they’ve made it once so they can survive anything. When we talk about those years in High School now, they don’t remember the millions of little things that kept piling up on them, they remember us, their friends, huddling around them. They remember the strength they got from knowing that we are there for them.

It’s just sad that they couldn’t realize that we have always been there ready to tell them that they are amazing and a simple conversation with them about the weather would make us smile. It’s tough knowing that we came so close to losing our friends to the insecurities of feeling unseen and unheard. It’s something that has altered my perception of showing emotions: I always preferred being stoic and showing emotions only when I really had to but the fact that my best friend could be standing next to me laughing and joking one minute and attempt suicide the next shook me to the core. To think that behind that laugh was thoughts of feeling utterly alone and numb… Since that memory still haunts me, I now live by the rule that ‘I call them as I see them’. If I get even the slightest inkling that you are not 100% alright, then I’ll tell you that you’re fuckin’ perfect to me! Remind you that you make me feel more alive simply by allowing me to be in your presence. I still wonder if one line of approval or that one hug could have saved my friends this entire trauma… but we can’t dwell on the past, all we can do is help others walk a different path.

Loosing someone is never easy! Losing them to suicide or depression is a lot harder because the guilt is so much worse! We see so many friends and acquaintances every day and instead of telling them that their tie looks awesome or that their hair due brings out the blue in their eyes, we just walk by. We keep it to ourselves thinking they already know or that someone else will tell them. What if no one ever tells them? What if you could make their day simply by acknowledging that you notice them? In the traditional Zulu culture they don’t really have a word for ‘hello’ and if you translated what they use instead it would akin to “I see [the real] you”. They’re pretty much saying they see your spirit and the person you really are. So next time you think about walking past someone without a word, just think about seeing them and say hello. Let them know that they’re not alone and more importantly remind yourself that you are not alone!

A song and a video won’t reduce the number of suicide attempts but maybe the people who listen and watch them will.

Please,

AM

*If you or someone you know needs help, please visit TWLOHA

*If you ever want to talk the quickest way to reach me is through twitter @am_mf