Posted in Mental Health

Mental wellness and personal growth with CRAZYCREATIVECOOL

Mental wellness and personal growth with CRAZYCREATIVECOOL Posted on 02/09/20182 Comments
Ahoy, hello! My name is Jenny. I am a thirty-something human female from Manchester in the north of England. I enjoy rainy days and sad songs, custard donuts and salt & pepper chips and beer, lentil dhal and fried okra, X-Files and Twin Peaks, fierce fat heroines and mental health advocates, dogs and cats and otters and a very special beirdo. To paraphrase Sylvia Plath: "I blog because there is a voice within me that insists on writing lots of ridiculous chuff".

Heyyyy blog friends, long time no bloggo. I’d like to say I’ve been super busy doing productive creative wholesome Things, but it’s more the opposite of that. I handed in my final (pre-dissertation) Master’s assignment on 12 July and then, free from the shackles of academic tyranny, I pretty much settled down to do bugger-all of any importance or value for TWO JOYOUS MONTHS. Frens, it’s been an okay two months. Here’s some of the ridiculous stuff I have done…

  • Watched lots and lots and lots of Forensic Files.
  • Listened to lots and lots and lots of Casefile.
  • Absolutely GORGED my 37-year-old self on Sims 4. YAS.
  • Done some non-academic reading. Station Eleven was A+.

I’ve also been pondering my recent BPD diagnosis and my treatment options. I’m planning to blog more about this in the months to come, and about some of the books and resources I’m trying out. The consultant psychiatrist who diagnosed me recommended a very specific treatment plan: long-term (1-2 years) Dialectical Behaviour Therapy or Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ugh, my brain is complicated). I took his diagnosis and recommendation for treatment along to my GP, but as I suspected and feared, my local NHS trust does not offer anything other than short-term (8-12 weeks max) CBT or psychotherapy. Sooooo while I decide whether or not to spend £1-£2k on private therapy, resources like the one I’m going to discuss here in this blog post are very mega appreciated!

A double page spread from the booklet; there is an illustration of a young woman surrounded by plants and her t-shirt says 'grow through what you go through'.

Recently the lovely folks behind CraZyCreativeCool contacted me and asked if I’d like to have a look at their flagship workbook, and being a bit neurodiverse as I am of course I said YES PLS.

The workbook is designed to help anyone recovering from -or just living with- mental illness. It’s intended to aid in recovery and in healing, and in setting goals and building [mental] healthful habits and promoting holistic mental wellness. In the words of the creative team behind the workbook:

I started to think about the way we are taught to set goals and began to realise why this might not work for everyone (especially people who suffered with their mental health). Instead of feeling defeated by my own mind I wanted to be in control. There must be a way I can learn to be productive, on my own terms – right?!

I knew how beneficial goal setting could be for mental wellness so I began to look at the traditional goal setting methods with the intention of creating something more holistic that targets all aspects of wellbeing. Enter the G.E.N.T.L.E method workbook! A mini book that gives an insight into why gentle goal setting is such an important step in recovery from mental illness and powerful tool for general wellbeing…

The opening pages of the workbook describing its purpose and the idea of holistic goal setting.

The workbook introduces the g.e.n.t.l.e. goal setting method: this stands for gratitude, emotion, nutrition, to-do list, learn, and experience. It very gently talks you through each of these categories first of all, before inviting you to think about what you want to get out of the process, and then begin to set your goals. Baby steps!

A spread from the workbook showing a page looking at what you want to get out of it.

As I mentioned above, this workbook came into my life at a time when I was despairing slightly over the news that the NHS would not be able to provide the treatment I need for my BPD. While I can access short-term counselling to help me deal with the associated, co-morbid symptoms (depression, anxiety) there is no easy route to the help I need to really tackle the roots of a hella complicated mental illness. This is why I feel so grateful for resources like this… It draws on some excellent CBT/DBT techniques, and is a brilliant little companion for anyone in recovery from -or living with- mental illness. It’s sweet and sassy and SENSIBLE and it warms my cockles that the lovely people behind it took the time to produce such a valuable resource.

Even if you don’t suffer from a serious mental illness, this wee book can still help you focus on what serves you and what doesn’t, and in making some goals and taking control of your thoughts and wants/needs. I resisted writing in it for a long time because it is so gosh darn PRETTY, but you could photocopy pages to use over and over again if you wanted to (e.g. the habit tracker) and perhaps even paste into your diary or bullet journal for use and re-use. Not only all that, it is printed on 100% recycled paper and is only £7.49 on Etsy <3 <3

I will definitely be keeping a keen eye on what CCC produce in the future. Thanks for doing what you do!!

You can also follow CraZyCreativeCool on Instagram.

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  1. Hello! Lovely to have you back (from someone else also loving taking a bloggo break to recover from academic horrors type person). Bugger about the therapy options though I guess not necessarily unexpected, sadly – mental health is still grossly underfunded. I’m very pleased resources like this are out in the world.

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