Tag: Mental Health

If You Need Experience, Practice, or a Reference, Consider a Job Training Program

Have you been unable to find a job or keep the ones you’ve had so far? Have you struggled so much in your relationships that you don’t even have any personal references to offer an employer or volunteer coordinator? If any of that applies to you, maybe you’d find a job training program helpful.

Even someone who’s simply hiring for an odd job or a volunteer job will probably want to see some record of accomplishment and at least one reference. I’ve read that an inexperienced person will typically put classes and clubs on their first resume and list teachers or other people who they know as references. I didn’t do well in any of my classes in high school or my previous attempt at college, and issues like my social awkwardness and anxiety have gotten in the way of having even personal references. If you’re facing similar barriers, but want to work, you still have options, and the option that I’ll focus on in this post is job training programs.

Since job training programs are designed specifically for people with difficulties finding or keeping a job, I think that their supervisors will often be more patient than supervisors at a paid job or even a volunteer job. For example, I just started my barista training program yesterday, and I remembered my schedule incorrectly, so I showed up thinking I was on time when I was actually an hour late.

Someone in a more official position might have been harder on me or even fired me. My supervisor, whose role is a blend of barista manager and social worker, was very gentle with me about my mistake. I apologized, but then froze. She was also patient about my anxious moment and smoothly moved the conversation along. The rest of my shift went a lot better. Since this job is practice, not an official job, it was a low-stakes way for me to discover that I still need to work on my organization and not freezing up when I make a mistake, which are issues that I can bring up to my therapist before trying to work or volunteer again.

I think that having someone, such as a therapist, to talk about progress and setbacks with during your job training program will lead to even better results than doing the program alone.

I found my program through an organization in my city that helps low income and/or homeless women. Job training is one of many services that they offer. You may be able to find an opportunity in your area through a charity like this one. Other places that may offer this service include D.V.R (department of vocational rehabilitation, specializing in people with documented disabilities), Goodwill, mental health agencies, or Job Corps (if you’re 16-24).

Good luck!

Video Games and Grief

Video games were a fun part of my relationship with my mom, and they’ve been helping me work through my grief.

While she was in a coma, and dying, I told her some cheesy jokes from the game Word Search. She had tried it a few weeks before she died. As a very frugal person, she was hesitant about buying the Nintendo Switch. Since I’m somewhat less cautious with money, she liked to use me as a guinea pig for products she was interested in, which was a role that I enjoyed. I had joked to her that it was like she was a queen and I was a taster to make sure that she didn’t get poisoned. I told her that I was enjoying the Switch, which piqued her interest enough to try Word Search for a few minutes.

During that same visit, she also traded an egg into my Pokemon Y game for the 3DS that hatched into an Eevee, my favorite Pokemon. I didn’t think that it was possible to like Eevee more than I already do, but I do like it more, because it’s the last Pokemon that I got from my mom. She really liked Eevee and its evolutions, too.

I’ve been playing a game called The Last Day of June for the Switch, which is about losing a loved one. The main character, Carl, loses his partner, June, in a car crash. He travels back in time to try to save her. I have similar feelings about wishing that there was something that I, or someone, could’ve done to save my mom. So far, I’ve learned from the game that a cause of death can be very complex, and any one thing wouldn’t necessarily have changed the outcome. I don’t know yet how the game ultimately will end, though, but I know that in real life, there’s nothing that I can do to bring her back.

What I can do is honor her memory through things like activities, memories, reflecting on lessons that I learned from her, and prayer. Playing video games is one of the activities that helps me continue to feel connected to her, since we were both gamers. The games help me work through my feelings while having some fun at the same time. Since my mom liked to end our conversations with, “Go do something fun,” I feel like it suits my situation well.

 

How Shopping at Amazon Can Help Your Favorite Charity

Amazon has a subcategory of shopping called Amazon Smile that donates part of your payment to a charity of your choice at no cost to you. I selected the mental health organization that I go to. Now, many of my purchases on Amazon will be able to benefit them a little bit. It takes time for the donations to be processed from orders, so don’t worry if the site doesn’t say right away that it went through.

I recommend this service as a fun way to make a bit of a financial contribution. There are so many types of organizations represented that many customers who are interested will likely be able to find one that works for a cause that they care about.

My Thoughts on the Computer Game “Please Knock on My Door,” developed by Michael Levall

I had high hopes for Please Knock on My Door, since it’s about depression and social anxiety, conditions which I struggle with. If you’re familiar with my blog, mental health is, of course, a big interest of mine. I was disappointed with this game. That’s mainly because I couldn’t tell when my character was hungry or needed a shower, so it was aggravating to suddenly get a notification that he was starving or filthy.

I think that the Sims games are more manageable. I have Sims 4, and my characters there have bars that show their needs so that they aren’t as likely to get into crisis level needs as the character in this game is. Sims doesn’t exactly get into mental illness, but Sims 4 does include emotional states, such as sad or angry, that Sims need a little guidance to work through, so I recommend that over this Please Knock on My Door if you want to play something with some emotional depth. I’ll cover Sims 4 later.

 

Works Cited

Please Knock on My Door. PC, Levall Games AB, 2017.

How I Find Word Search Puzzles Beneficial for Mental Health

Word search puzzles help me with my anxiety and depression because each puzzle gives me a list of words to search for that are related to a specific topic. I often pick topics that are good for my mood, such as animal related ones. Focusing on these clusters of related words makes me focus less on what I’m depressed or anxious about and more on the puzzle’s theme. For example, I did one about cats yesterday. One of the words in the puzzle was “sunshine,” which made me think of a cat sleepily soaking up the sun’s warmth, and another was “ears,” which made me think of how pointy a cat’s ears are and how they easily flick when there’s even a slight noise. The puzzle really immersed me into thinking about cats.

For me, doing these puzzles feels similar to meditation due to how they shape my focus. They keep me concentrated on a specific thing that doesn’t need to go anywhere aside from brief mental imagery and looking for the word. Since I tend to over-analyze, they’re a good way for me to give my brain a bit of a break.