Better Sleep To Better Health

A weighted blanket is exactly how it sounds a blanket with weight to it. The material inside is made from multiple small beads, It claims to help promote relaxation for a night of better restful sleep and help with multiple other conditions. To get the right weighted blanket for you, you have to look at it by weight and size, and do some math. Take the number of your body weight and times it by 10% or 0.10, and whatever that’s equal to; that’s how much your weighted blanket needs to weigh for you and your weight. They’re also recommended weights: 5lb. 36” by 48” in size for a child, for a child anywhere from 10 to 50 lbs in weight, a medium-sized blanket is about 10 lbs 48” by 72” in size. For anyone weighing more than 50 lbs but less than a 100lbs a medium blanket is about 15 lbs 48” by 72, for anyone weighing more than a 100lbs, you will best benefit from a large blanket, weighing about 20 lbs 60” by 80”. A weighted blanket is also good for many types of conditions including restless leg syndrome, autism, anxiety, chronic pain oh, and a variety of other conditions.

Weighted Blanket Worth?

Product: Weighted Blanket

Price: $89.99

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon

Size: 60″ x 80″ (15lbs)

My Rating: 8 out of 10

Brief Overviews of Other Reviews

I’ve read and watched multiple people’s reviews on weighted blankets online and on YouTube and there are very mixed feelings about it. Some people have wanted it for a long time and then they finally get it and it didn’t really solve all the problems like they thought it was going to. In terms of being more relaxed or sleeping and napping better, a lot of people have said it helped them. Many people with anxiety said it really helped them a lot and they recommend it for children with anxiety or Autism; so I think it really just depends on you and your condition.

One thing that was definitely said multiple times was that it is very decently heavy. It also feels like a giant blanket laying on top of you. It is a very thick blanket with some furry fluffy like material on it. So after a while, you can feel very warm underneath it so some people did suggest maybe if it was a chilled blanket it might feel a little better; and that it is good to take a nap under. That it also feels like those protective “bib” like covers they put on you at the dentist. To protect your body (internal organs) during an x-ray at the dentist, but filled with bean bag like bags. Definitely has been trending online lately and has even helped some people with restless sleeping problems and odd vivid dreams. The fabric also feels nice and soft.

The Pros of a Weighted Blanket

Things I do like about the blanket, it’s nice and soft. The very first day I tried it on myself I wasn’t feeling anxious at that moment but it did feel nice on my body. Like someone was kind of like laying on me or giving me a big hug of comfort. I highly recommend it if you have anxiety, depression-wise it hasn’t helped me that much. I still have a lot of nights where I’m up till 4am-6am and still can’t seem to fall asleep and even under the blanket, I’ll still feel fine. IT might be that it’s mainly over my lap and my legs, so I don’t know if that’s also a reason why it’s not helping completely. It’s also a different experience for everyone with different types of conditions so that’s also another thing. Anxiety-wise it definitely helps me and when I’m actually sleepy I’ll lay under it and immediately fall asleep faster. Other people didn’t like how heavy it was trying to carry it around their home and how difficult it may be to move. I’ve watched many reviews about weighted blankets on YouTubethat also said it was pricey and repeatedly said it was heavy but it’s a weighted blanket so that makes sense. Even how it comes in a box or a plastic bag is also kind of heavy to move it in.

The Cons of a Weighted Blanket

Things I don’t like about the blanket is that it is very pricey and there are a lot of falsely advertised blankets that say they are weighted and aren’t. Or weight an amount that’s completely different than what was said online which will affect how well it works for you. With one of the main concerns being the price it can be annoying searching around online to try to find a deal while making sure it is big enough to cover you and actual weighs the correct amount for your body weight. The weighted blanket I will link to is about $90 and is from Amazon. This blanket is normally at least $100 a lot of blankets are actually around $130-$150.

My Recommendation & Conclusion

All in all, I do think it is a good tool and resource for people to try if they do have anxiety mainly. Also, if you want to try it if you have depression that is up to you but it definitely helped me with my anxiety. I do think your experience and how well it will help you depend on your condition and the severity of it. It also just depends, person to person a lot of people recommend it but different people get different benefits from it. I highly recommended and I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me if not more.

Stop Stress & Anxiety – DIY Tips & Tricks

1 in 13 people suffer from some sort of anxiety, there are many ways people find ways to cope but it’s not easy. Life has its stresses but sometimes you need some help but can’t always afford it. Here are some crafty tips and tricks to de-stress a little and focus more on the positives that are somewhat affordable. I do recommend these things, while they won’t completely get rid of your stress they will help you distract yourself from it.

 

Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety with Squishes

The most common thing right now is something to squish or squeeze as hard as you can to get out any pent-up stress, a squishy or squeeze ball.

Materials Needed DIY Stress Ball:

  • A small bowl
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of corn starch
  • A fork
  • Food dye, any color you like
  • Empty water bottle
  • A white latex balloon
  • (Optional) –  1 decorative ballon

Steps:

  1. In your bowl add, 1 cup of water and 2 cups of corn starch, then start stirring them together with a fork. Until it looks completely combine, white, and has a gooey like consistency.
  2. Then add about 3-4 drops of food dye or to whatever shade of color you like. Then pour your mixture into the empty water bottle and cover the mouth of the water bottle with the end of the latex balloon.
  3. Now turn the bottle around until it’s upside down and now filling the balloon with your starch-water mixture.
  4. Try to get as much as you can into the balloon and then tie off the end. From here you are free to squish and squeeze your creation. If you would like some extra protection just in case it pops or wants it to look a little prettier.
  5. You can get another latex balloon that’s decorative and cut the end off, and then fit the white balloon inside of the decorative balloon, then squish it.

 

Another Guide To Making A DIY Stress Ball

Materials Needed:

  • A latex balloon of any color
  • Toothpaste
  • Scissors
  1. First, use your fingers to hold the open end of the balloon to the open end of the toothpaste.
  2. Then begin to use your other hand to apply pressure to the end of the toothpaste tube, to press the teethpaste into the balloon/ Try to add as much as you can to fill it up.
  3. You might not need the whole to toothpaste tube to fill the balloon it just needs to look full. Once full remove the balloon end from the toothpaste and tie a knot at the end of the balloon. Begin to enjoy it as a stress ball and squeeze away!

 

 

DIY Stress Relieving Dough

Materials Needed:

  • 2 cups of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of your favorite scented hair conditioner
  • Small mason jar with an airtight screw on lid

Steps:

  1. On an open area or a wooden block lay out the cornstarch and then the conditioner on top. Using your hands mix everything around until you get a doughy or putty consistency with everything well mixed.
  2. From here you can roll it into a ball and place in a small mason jar for storage so it doesn’t dry out. Whenever you want to play with it you can take it all out or tear off pieces of it and squeeze and mash it however you like.

Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety with Toys & Smells

No Mess DIY Zen Garden

Materials Needed:

Steps:

  1. Open up the back of the shadow box, and take everything out until you have just the plastic cover on the front, Then take your glue sticks and glue the plastic frame into the shadow box so it will stay and not leak anything, add extra glue if needed.
  2. Then add white fine sand, glitter, a little bit of Gittler sand, and a pinball. Next, put more glue on the sides and corners of the box and then close up the shadow box.
  3. Add a final layer of glue around the outside of the box to make sure no sand will not leak out of the sides. On each corner of the shadow box glue 2 cubes on top of each other to raise the shadow box.
  4. Lastly, with the magnet, you can have some fun and relax watching the sand move around with the pinball.

DIY Aromatherapy Shower Melts

Materials Needed:

Steps:

  1. In the bowl, pour in 1 cup of baking soda, ½ a cup of citric acid, an ¼ a cup of corn starch and whisk everything together, evenly blended. Add ¼ a cup of coconut oil and mix everything together again with the whisk until it is a crumbly consistency and well mixed.
  2. Add about 15-20 drops of one color of soap dye and whisk together until you see the color evenly blended. Then add about 20-25 drops of the next color of soap dye and then whisk that together until it is one color shade. Add about 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil to the mixture as well.
  3. Next, add about a handful of tea leaves, and whisk everything together again until well blended. In each of the silicone molds put about 4 to have tablespoons of the mixture and pat down with the back of the spoon, add just enough to each mold so that it is half full.
  4. Let everything dry into shape for at least 24 hours, then flip over the mold onto a counter or plate and gently pat the back of the molds to release them. Now they are ready for use, in the shower place them on the ground and each one will provide you with about 15 minutes of aromatherapy in the shower. Use this time to relax and de-stress and not think about any worries you have.

Making Life Less Stressful

Ask a friend or a loved one to give you a massage or go get a massage from a place with good reviews. For someone who offers to actually give you a massage recommend these tips and tricks.

Steps:

  1. Applying pressure mainly with your index finger and thumb, pull fingers slowly across the back starting at the base of the neck and curing down the collar bone. Next place your thumbs on the neck on each side of the upper spine and apply firm pressure while moving your fingers up the neck.
  2. Continue to use our thumbs to make circles on each side of the base of the neck of the skull. Then you can slide your thumbs down the side of the neck, and down across the shoulders. After that, you can gently circle your fingers on the bony part of the forehead where the temple is.
  3. Then on the upper back shoulders apply pressure thumbs and make circular motions, and then squeeze shoulder with alternating hands. With more pressure, you can use your thumb to firmly move across the bone along your upper back. You can repeat each step, for about 5-10 minutes, I don’t recommend a message longer than 30 minutes to an hour for beginners.

Yoga

Steps:

  1. To start you have the chair pose, begin by standing with your feet shoulder length apart, and slowly raise your hands above your head and lean back like you are about to sit in a chair with your knees bent. Hold this pose for about 15 seconds then go back to a standing position with your hands by your side.
  2. Next with your feet shoulder length apart, and slowly raise your hands till they are next to your ears with your elbows bent. Then slowly lean backwards slightly while still being able to stand, this is the cactus pose.
  3. Then lean forward like you are going to touch your toes and place both hands face down on ht e ground and stretch your feet and legs back behind you, to enter a raised plank position.
  4. Next lay flat on the ground with your feet and hands flat on the ground as well, and slowly use your upper body to lift your chest and head off of the ground into the cobra pose with your face facing forward.
  5. Now bring your body back into the plank position and lean back to put your body in the shape of a “V”, arms and legs stretched out into the downward dog pose.
  6. Next, touch your toes and then stand up with your arms and hands going towards the sky. Go through these steps as many times as you like, I don’t recommend doing yoga for more than 30mintues to an hour for people first starting out.

DIY’s for Stress & Anxiety – Make a Thoughtful Mason Jar

Materials Needed:

Steps:

  1. Take your paper and cut even strips of paper, big enough to write on. For ideas of happy thoughts or inspirations to write, you could search online or even go on social media like Facebook to ask people for encouraging words to write down.
  2. There doesn’t have to be a set amount I would just try to have enough to fill the jar. Then when you are feeling depressed or anxious you can open the jar and pull one out randomly.
  3. There’s Also Yoga, if you have to, you can get a yoga mat but as long as you have open space around you and comfy clothing on you will be fine.

 

Make a Vision Board To Set Goals and Visualize Your Future.

Materials needed:

Steps:

  1. Cut out inspirational pictures you have or from magazines, and arrange them how you like in the picture frame. You can also cut out inspirational words and arrange them with the pictures as well or just make it all words.
  2. Then just insert everything into the picture frame. You can even just use a marker and draw on the clear front of the picture frame. This can also be done on a wall by putting up post-it notes, a cork board, on a computer, or even on a dry erase board.

Use These Tips and Tricks To Destress

Each one of these ideas is a good way to de-stress for a little while and try not to worry about things going on in your life. There is also making a calming music playlist, looking up meditation, and other videos on the web. I definitely recommend the squishy ideas and everything else listed I have tried and it has helped, try what you like and what you think helps. There are many ways to healthy cope with stress and to try to focus on the positives towards living a more stress-free life, anxiety and worries are only a few steps backward but this will give back some steps.  I have included some links above for certain materials to prices and where to buy them on Amazon and if you would like to try some other ways to destress click here.

Alternative Depression Treatment – Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

TMS Therapy is definitely a controversial treatment and “cure” for Depression. The thought of Magnetic Therapy does seem bizarre, energy waves emitted to your brain can help decrease if not vanish symptoms of depression through a series of treatment sessions. TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, using short pulses of magnetic energy to stimulate and reset neurons in parts of the brain.

TMS As Alternative Depression Treatment

In my area, I recently heard about this type of treatment on the radio from GreenBrook TMS Therapy Center. They offer safe and effective treatment for people specifically suffering from MDD, Major Depression Disorder. Providers claim it can be used in combination with medicine or by itself when you have felt like antidepressants have not worked for you. Providers claim to stimulate parts of the brain that regulate mood, parts of the brain that are apparently under active, to help regulate better mood.

GreenBrook TMS Therapy Center Treatment

GreenBrook claims to have 40% remission rates and 70% response rates from their patients. They also say that a depressed person’s brain will show less activity throughout the brain than someone who is not depressed. This type of treatment does not require sedation, patients are awake and alert during a treatment session and afterward can resume normal activity like driving. It’s non-invasive, non-systemic, non-drug, patients do not need a referral from a doctor, and currently covered by all major insurances, including Medicare & Tricare.

At GreenBrook, a treatment session is about 18-20 minutes long, patients will notice a difference of positive changes in their mood or behavior, better sleep, self-confidence, the feeling of wanting to be more social, motivation to go to work or school, and wanting to make more decisions. With more progress and positive changes to continue throughout more treatment sessions. Everyone is different so it is hard to tell when you will actually see results, some patients at Greenbrook have reported seeing results at 2 weeks others can take up to 4-5 weeks to see results.

Electric Ball

TMS treatment ranges from 30-36 treatment sessions over a 6-9 week period. Depending on how you feel after an entire round of treatment sessions are over some patients need follow up maintenance therapy sessions to manage their depression while others feel as if their depression has been completely cured. This also depends on patient’s support systems at home, diet, exercise, and sleep patterns.

So, before you leave your TMS provider will also work with you to develop a plan for exercise, diet, and support when you leave so that you do not need to come back for follow up treatment, and maintain your more positive mood. During and after treatment, patients can still experience dips in mood, anxiousness, and trouble sleeping, if you do experience this you need to let your TMS provider know.

TMS Therapy On Doctor Oz

Approved by the FDA in 2009, this treatment, “I believe this can be an effective treatment.” Dr. Oz had a segment of one of his shows dedicated to talking about TMS therapy and brought on stage a guest named Suzanne, who has received this treatment and swears by it. That it saved her life. She tells her story about how she’s seen about 20 different therapists and tried all kinds of medication but nothing helped.

Dr. Oz also said the part of the brain responsible for depression is the hippocampus, which is inside the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Dr. Oz calls it “the eyes of the emotional system of the brain”, where your feelings are processed (“Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Cure for Depression?”, The Dr. Oz Show 14 March, 2012. Television).

TMS focuses on supposedly activating that part of the brain, to keep up with the activity of Depression being present. The first biologically based treatment for Depression, so the process is, magnets are placed on the front of your head. Then they turn the machine on and waves are now activating the neurons in your brain to make them more active by moving ions back and forth.

Turning cells on in the brain that have apparently been asleep, like “Pull[ing] your Brain out of the darkness.” Increasing blood flow to the brain and making you able to take in more oxygen, “changing the electrical pathways in which we process information” (“Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Cure for Depression?”, The Dr. Oz Show 14 March, 2012. Television).

Blue Electric Ball

Magnets As Treatment For Depression

Doctor Mehmet C. Oz, is a Cardiothoracic surgeon, who received his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1986, and is currently the director of Integrative Medicine Center at Columbia Surgery. On his television show, they continue to actually show the same woman receive the treatment in front of a live studio audience.

When the pulses are emitted she twitches a little which looks quite scary but the doctors and the lady claim the whole procedure is painless. It is an involuntary movement showing that the electromagnetic waves they are trying to omit to her brain are actually moving through her skull to her brain.

After they find the right location in the brain they send waves for 4 seconds straight and then give the patient about a 26-second break. The lady explains the feeling like tapping on your head, which can be adjusted if it becomes too uncomfortable for you.

At the time the show was aired which was March 14th, 2012, the treatment was issued every day for 5 days a week, for 3-6 weeks, until the patient sees results and becomes “completely well. Doctors claimed at the time that more doctors and psychiatrists were not recommending it because most insurances would not cover it or would not pay for it until the treatment was done.

My Review

Although this information from the Doctor Oz show is a little outdated since it was published more than 7 years ago, everything still holds true. The information from Greenbrook is more up to date information that I received last year when I asked about treatment for myself. Unfortunately, I have yet to actually try this treatment myself. I didn’t realize how controversial this treatment was until I told my fiance I had set up a consultation appointment for myself and he voiced his opinion as strongly against it.

Now, I want to say for the record he is all for me treating my depression and fully supports me and helps me through my rough patches of worse days than others that my depression hits. He just thinks this type of treatment doesn’t work and is a waste of time. I then had an unexpected change of events that left me without health insurance for a certain amount of time so I had to cancel my consultation, I have just recently received health insurance again and will post an update when I actually receive treatment to give my final review of the TMS treatment.

About Gloria

Hello everyone and welcome to my What Affects Your Mental Health website. I am on a mental health journey, trying to gather any and all information I can about mental health into one consolidated website. Ever since middle school, I mainly struggle with anxiety and depression. So those will be the main topics that I will have a lot of information on but I will try to cover other conditions and topics as well. I will also go over controversial treatments and products that “claim” to treat or “cure” certain mental illnesses.

A Little Story About My Mental Health

When I was first diagnosed with Depression sophomore year of college and given medication and recommended therapy. I thought that was all there is to it and that I would get better. For the next 2 years, I went through 3 different medications and biweekly sessions with my Therapist to help. After, being on a few medications I started to notice side effects I didn’t like. This made me really want to invest in other ways to help better my life and mental health other than medication.

Once I actually did more research about my condition and other alternatives of treatment I realized there is so much more than that. I stopped taking my medicine “cold turkey”, and tried other natural alternatives. With the sudden change of medication and other life events that happened to me at the time, things became a little too much at the time. Unfortunately, I went back to bad habits and unhealthy ways of coping.

Next thing I knew I was in a hospital and admitted against my will for 3 days. It was the lowest of low places I could have ever been, in my entire life. If there was a time that I really wished for death to take me it would have been then. Being in the hospital wasn’t all terrible once I started to accept the help I was being offered and given. I also made some friends too. I was the happiest person in the world once I was released from the hospital. I finally felt like things might be alright again, but it was the healthy coping mechanisms they taught me in the hospital and during the outpatient program I had to attend upon my release that helped make sure I did not have to return.

Take Charge of Your Life

I’ve had many days and still continue to have days when it is hard or nearly impossible to get out of bed, lack of motivation to do anything, and constant racing thoughts running through my mind daily. I’ve even tried to de-stress my life a little by working jobs that aren’t as stressful, only taking a few college classes at a time, and trying not to put myself in stressful situations but you can only do so much on your own.

There’s also listening to more calming music, meditation, and mindfulness, I don’t want to say I have tried it all but I have tried a lot of things and I will share my experiences in hopes to help others going through similar situations that I did. I want to help other people be able to actually enjoy their lives and live fuller, better, and healthier lives without worries, that’s the dream and the goal.

 

A Better Life

I know when I started looking around on the Internet for more information I came across thousands of websites and YouTube videos. Some more up to date than others and there was also a lot of information which can be very overwhelming. I did eventually come across information that was helpful to me and can be helpful to others and I want to share what I have learned with you.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Gloria

Founder of What Affects Your Mental Health