Thank you for such an encouraging reply! I'm so glad you liked my post. It really boosts my confidence for writing more. Bless you. And I hope you are feeling safe and peaceful tonight.
It's great to hear what we have in common. I put lavender oil on my pillow too, as the smell is so nice and relaxing. I also love the smell of roses, and have some face cream with rose scent in it which I put on before I try to sleep. My bedroom has cream walls like yours, but I enjoy lots of jewel-like colours and interesting detail as well, so I am putting up pictures to look at, of places I have been happy, and artwork done by my family. So far I have a pen and ink sketch of Gloucester Cathedral cloisters by my sister, a woven picture of my grandma's old cottage by my mum, and a painting of the Filmy Fern House at Kew, painted by me when I was about 8, and framed by my Dad.
Talking of art, that is the next good thing I have to report here in the sunshine room. Today my Dad, my son and I went to visit 4 artists studios as part of the Open Studios weekends they put on for free in July every year. We saw watercolours, ceramics, silver jewlery and stained glass. There were natural designs, abstract geometric patterns and portraits. It was all very inspiring, and hopefully we will be able to do some art of our own during the holidays.
One art activity I really want to try is marbling - you buy special marbling inks (I have asked for some for my birthday), and you drip them onto a tray of water. They float on the water and don't mix, but you can swirl them into amazing patterns, then carefully place a piece of card on top and the ink sticks to the card and makes a lovely design. When its dry you can make it into greetings cards or decorate things with it, like they used to do for the endpapers in old books.
This combines several of the things on my list of what makes me 'Greener' in my mental health:
1. Trying new things - this gives me hope - I am always seeking new experiences or new ways of doing old familiar things, in the hope of serendipitously finding something helpful that I can use my recovery
2. Creativity - making something unique that has never been done exactly the same by anyone ever - which reminds you that you are a unique individual, special and never-to-be-repeated, which is good for a feeling of intrinsic worth
3. Colour - I respond very well to bold, strong, bright and jewel-like colours. For others, pastel shades might have equally good effects. My sister prefers the sublety of black, white and greys, which bring out texture. (It is interesting to see what furniture and ornaments we have both collected over the years and how they reflect our different tastes. If someone gives me a browny-grey earthernware vase as a present, I am likely to pass it on to her. If someone gives her a bright green fluffy scarf, it is likely to end up living with me!)
As well as having colours around me in my room to create a positive background atmosphere, colours can also be specifically useful to me when I am actually in the grip of acute mental distress. The first technique I ever learnt for coping with my tactile hallucinations was told to me many years ago by an Occupational Therapist who was bipolar. I met her at a new church we'd gone to, quite at random, and when we'd talked for a while and I told her what I experienced, she said, "To pull your mind out of the state where you feel things like invisible knives cutting your face, look around the room and deliberately pick out colours and name them aloud." This is so simple, but it is amazingly effective. I have been taught lots of other techniques using one's five senses over the 13 years since then, which come under the general banner of "Mindfulness" (a very broad category of practices - some of which really exacerbate my psychosis, by the way, so I have to pick and choose), but this one is still the best for me. I wonder if anyone else uses this, or a variation on it?
Anyway, here's hoping that our dreams tonight will reflect pleasant swirls of colour, or the warm glow of stained glass, or the sparkle of sunlight on silver, or the peace of cream simplicity.