Ruth Rogers

@ruth100483
I have multiple chronic diseases and live alone.
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Did anyone with P.H. have problems with sweating and getting very hot pre-diagnosis or post-diagnosis.

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What takes up the most time in your day-to-day life?

<p>What takes up the most time in your day-to-day life?</p>
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Does anyone have issues with sternum pain?

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Community Voices

Does anyone have issues with sternum pain?

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Juliette V.

18 Things to Put in Your Suicide Prevention Kit

When you’re fighting an invisible battle with suicidal thoughts, sometimes you need tangible objects to help you fight another day. For times like these, a suicide prevention kit can be so important. A suicide prevention kit is a collection of items that help you remember your reasons to keep living — even when you feel like all hope is lost. If this sounds like a cool idea to you, but you don’t know where to start, look no further. In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10), we teamed up with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to create a guide with suggestions for making your own suicide prevention kit. With suggestions from our communities (as well as some recommendations of our own!), we put together the following list. Before we start, we want you to know if you’re feeling suicidal, you’re not alone. There is no shame in struggling with your mental health. If you need to talk, we encourage you to post on The Mighty with the hashtag #CheckInWithMe. Whatever you’re going through, we’re here for you. If you are in crisis and need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. Here’s what our communities had to say: 1. A Suicide Prevention Plan So You’re Safe Anywhere You Go Unsplash photo via Green Chameleon A suicide prevention or safety plan may be the most important item to have in your kit. Typically a safety plan includes a list of numbers you can call in a crisis, some coping strategies and ways you can distract yourself when you’re feeling suicidal. The best part of the plan? You fill it out yourself so it’s tailored to your needs exactly. If you need help writing your own suicide safety plan, check out this template from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “ A suicide prevention plan. My therapist helped me create one when I was suicidal with many resources (including hours of operations and how to check in to different places) and list of family/friend contacts (that she contacted for me) that I know would help and care about my safety/life. She did not let me leave her office until this was done. It was very uncomfortable at the time, but I appreciate it now.” — Megan H. 2. Photos of Friends and Family to Remind You You’re Loved Unsplash photo via Lindy Baker It’s no secret that part of being human is needing connection. When you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, it can be helpful to have a visual reminder of the important people in your life. We recommend tucking a few important photos in your suicide prevention kit. “ I have a photo album. It has pictures of me with loved ones, family friends and pets. Pictures of me at my proudest moments, such as graduation and honor band. I take it out and look at it when I forget what reasons I have to live and to remember life goes on and a better day is coming. ” — Kylie G. “A photo of my daughter. She is the reason I take my next breath. The place my heart gains strength. My daughter, my hope.” — Thuy G. 3. Art Supplies to Help You Express Your Feelings Without Words via Amazon Sometimes you can’t find the words to express what you’re feeling inside. In times like these, expressing yourself creatively can help. Whatever medium you choose, whether it be colored pencils, finger paint, crayons or watercolor, let yourself channel everything onto the page. “Paint/art supplies… Art is therapeutic and helps us express ourselves even when we don’t have the words.” — April D. “Journals and pens of every color. So [I] can write or draw.” — Olivea M. Our Picks: 36-Pack Colored Pencils ($6) and Travel Watercolor Journal ($13) 4. A Candle to Remind You of the Light in the Midst of Darkness via Amazon Candles can provide warmth and comfort when you’re struggling — especially if the candle was given to you by a loved one. Pick a candle in your favorite scent, light it and focus on breathing the scent in and out. This technique may help ground you in difficult moments. “The rose candle my son gave me shortly before he died by suicide to remind me there will always be a light in the darkness and the love of those who have gone before you.” — Linda H. “A fuzzy blanket and a candle. Something about this is very soothing and reassuring to me.” — Ashley A. Our Pick: Lavender Vanilla Scented Candle ($12) 5. Books (or a Library Card!) to Visit a Different World for a While via Amazon If you’re tired of the situation you’re in currently, you’re not alone. It’s OK to take a break from your world by diving into a fictional world for a little while. Keep a few books in your suicide prevention kit if reading helps you cope. If you need to read something that directly addresses the suicidal feelings you’re experiencing, try out Matt Haig’s book, “Reasons to Stay Alive.” “The picture book, ‘You Can Do All Things’ by artist The Latest Kate. I love her artwork. It’s full of cute, colorful animals that are paired with really important messages. She has helped me get through the day on more than one occasion.” — Becca W. “‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ by Matt Haig. The most wonderful book.” — Courtney M. “A library card. I can’t tell you how many times my local library has saved my life/soul. I’ve not only been suicidal, but have been unemployed/poor while in that state. The library is a wonderful place to go in almost any manner of dress, you’re not expected to speak to anyone, and you can get books, DVDs, etc. and take them home! For free! A library card is a must.” — Melissa O. Our Picks: “You Can Do All Things” by Kate Allan ($16) and “Reasons to Stay Alive” by Matt Haig ($7) 6. Your Favorite Chocolate for Something Sweet to Look Forward To via Amazon In “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” Professor Lupin offers Harry a piece of chocolate after a run-in with a dementor, a creature author J.K. Rowling used in the books to symbolize depression. Though more research needs to be done, some studies suggest dark chocolate can positively affect mood. If you struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts, take a page from Lupin’s handbook and keep a bit of chocolate in your kit. “Chocolate because snacking always helps [me].” — Kat L. “An ultra soft stuffed animal. Maybe some chocolate too. Those are what usually do the trick when things get bad.” — Taylor R. Our Pick: Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses ($10) 7. A Journal to Get Your Thoughts Out on Paper via Amazon Ever need to just dump everything out on paper? Studies have shown that consistent journaling can benefit depressive symptoms over time. Put a blank journal in your suicide prevention kit, and when you’re feeling suicidal, open it up. Try to write out what your feeling — without paying attention to grammar or style. Just get it all out, it might help you feel a little better. “ My sketchbook, my headphones, a book, my journal — basically I carry my suicide prevention kit around with me everywhere when I leave the house.” — Donnie T. Our Pick: Blue Dotted Journal ($10) 8. A Gratitude List to Remember What You’re Thankful For via Amazon When you’re feeling dissatisfied with your life — and feeling suicidal as a result — sometimes it can help to list out things you’re grateful for. Even when gratitude is the last thing you think you can feel, listing out small things we can overlook like “running water” or “my pet” or “the way it feels when I exhale,” can remind us there are things we appreciate deep down. Don’t know where to start? Try out the prompt-heavy gratitude journal below. “A list of all the things in life I’m thankful for. Even small things. Everything from animals to family and friends to Starbucks.” — Elena C. Our Pick: “Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal” ($7) 9. Tokens From Nature to Remind You of the Beauty in the World via Etsy Reminders of how beautiful nature is can be helpful when we are feeling low. What’s your favorite natural setting to be in? Near mountains? By the sea? Choose an object from your favorite location and save it for times you need to be reminded there is still beauty in the world. “Pressed flowers, or sea shells. Things that would remind me of the elements. When I am outdoors and feel the wind, or at the beach and feel the sand, I always remember the times when things were so bad I just didn’t want to exist. Yet, being there outdoors reminds me of how beautiful moments can be or even that there is beauty out there.” — Lyssa L. Our Pick: Pressed Flower Pack ($9) 10. Essential Oils to Help You Breathe Easier via Amazon Essential oils can soothe our senses with their pleasant aromas. Invest in a bottle of a scent you like and spray it on your skin or pillow to calm yourself down in mentally intense moments. We recommend lavender because it’s known to have a calming effect.  “My favorite essential oils to help me breathe and calm down.” — Marisa B. Our Pick: Lavender Essential Oil ($20) 11. A Blanket or Sleep Mask to Help You Rest Feeling depressed or suicidal can sap your energy quickly. Give your body the rest it needs by keeping comforting objects in your suicide prevention kit like warm blankets and pillows. Maybe throw in an eye mask too if you have difficulty falling asleep. “ I would choose my snuggle blanket. Keeps me relaxed!” — Cristina F. “A sleep mask and a cozy place to rest. Grounding myself with all the senses and giving my body and brain a rest with sleep, a moment to escape and renew.” — Kristie L. Our Picks: Fuzzy Red Blanket ($23) and Weighted Sleep Mask ($18) 12. Music for When You Need a Distraction Unsplash photo via Malte Wingen Similar to expressing yourself through art, listening to music can provide comfort without needing to say a word. Find out what type of music soothes you most — is it loud, pulsing beats or meditative tunes? — and create a playlist for the times you’re struggling the most. Have your list written down or create a playlist in Spotify so it’s handy anywhere you go. “A playlist. I have a special playlist I listen to when I’m having bad days that grounds me and re-centers me. Music does wonders.” — Allie H. 13. Poetry to Give You the Strength to Keep Going The words of our favorite writers can bring us comfort when we can’t see the light. For anyone who needs to be reminded to keep fighting for life, check out Dylan Thomas’ famous poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” You can read the full poem here. If you want to connect with our Mighty community of poets, post your work on The Mighty with the hashtag #MightyPoets. “A copy of Dylan Thomas’s ‘Do Not Go Gentle’ poem.” — Christy O. Our pick: “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” Art Print ($18) 14. Exercise Equipment for When You Need to Channel Your Energy Physically via Amazon If you enjoy exercising to get out your frustrations and re-center, you might consider having an exercise object in your kit. For some that might mean a yoga mat, for others, it might mean some free weights. Whatever you choose, lean into the physical sensations of exercise. If you’re not feeling up for rigorous exercise, perhaps resting in child’s pose on a yoga mat can offer some much-needed rest. “A yoga mat. Yoga has completely changed my life, physically, mentally and emotionally. I always say you might not know what you need but yoga knows what you need.” — Mary E. Our Pick: Nature-Themed Yoga Mat ($30) 15. Letters From Others (or Yourself) to Help You Stay Strong Unsplash photo via Debby Hudson We all need to be reminded from time to time that our loved ones care about us. Saving birthday cards, letters or notes from friends and family can come in handy in dark moments. Some people may also benefit from reading letters they write to themselves. “I save every complimentary email I get a work in a special folder so I can look at them when I’m having a bad day.” — Leanne T “A letter to myself reminding me of all the pain and hopelessness I have already survived and that I am stronger than most people ever dream.” — Britt L “ Unread letters from people I love the most. I would ask those closest to me to write a letter reminding me of who I am and why I am loved and wanted.” — Allison S 16. A Spiritual Text or Object to Make You Feel Connected to Something Bigger Unsplash photo via Aaron Burden If you are religious or have a faith practice, a religious object or text can help in times you’re really struggling. Whether you turn to prayer, words that give you hope or meditation, having a spiritual practice can help you re-center and focus on connecting with something bigger than yourself. “A cross you can hold in your hand, so when the going gets tough, you can hold that in your hand and pray for things to pass.” — Terri M. “So many things, but one would be the Bible. A beautiful reminder of how much I’m loved unconditionally and created perfectly just as I am.” — Josie S. 17. Something to Remind You That ‘You Matter’ via Etsy and TWLOHA websites When you’re feeling suicidal, it can be so hard to remember your worth. If you’re looking for an item to put in your suicide prevention kit, why not pick something that literally reminds you that “you matter”? “ I would place an intricately painted rock that says ‘you matter’ in the center of the rock.” — Micaela A. Our Picks: “You Matter” Pewter Stone ($10) and TWLOHA “You Matter Very Much” Coloring Poster Set ($15) 18. A Stuffed Animal to Provide Emotional Comfort via Amazon When we’re feeling suicidal, sometimes we just need a hug. If you’re alone, having a comforting stuffed animal can provide the emotional comfort we need to get through a difficult moment. “A stuffed animal named Rosie. It’s a raccoon and is covered in peace signs, flowers and hearts. My boyfriend always pretends it’s talking and kissing me when I’m down.” — Reta B. Our Pick: Stuffed Lion ($12) Suicide prevention kits can be personalized to fit your needs. If you don’t resonate with some of the objects listed above, don’t put them in your kit. Take time to think through what would really help you in a difficult moment and choose those objects to keep in your kit. If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, we want you to know you matter and we need you here. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. Please stay. What would you put in your suicide prevention kit?

Juliette V.

18 Things to Put in Your Suicide Prevention Kit

When you’re fighting an invisible battle with suicidal thoughts, sometimes you need tangible objects to help you fight another day. For times like these, a suicide prevention kit can be so important. A suicide prevention kit is a collection of items that help you remember your reasons to keep living — even when you feel like all hope is lost. If this sounds like a cool idea to you, but you don’t know where to start, look no further. In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10), we teamed up with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to create a guide with suggestions for making your own suicide prevention kit. With suggestions from our communities (as well as some recommendations of our own!), we put together the following list. Before we start, we want you to know if you’re feeling suicidal, you’re not alone. There is no shame in struggling with your mental health. If you need to talk, we encourage you to post on The Mighty with the hashtag #CheckInWithMe. Whatever you’re going through, we’re here for you. If you are in crisis and need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. Here’s what our communities had to say: 1. A Suicide Prevention Plan So You’re Safe Anywhere You Go Unsplash photo via Green Chameleon A suicide prevention or safety plan may be the most important item to have in your kit. Typically a safety plan includes a list of numbers you can call in a crisis, some coping strategies and ways you can distract yourself when you’re feeling suicidal. The best part of the plan? You fill it out yourself so it’s tailored to your needs exactly. If you need help writing your own suicide safety plan, check out this template from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “ A suicide prevention plan. My therapist helped me create one when I was suicidal with many resources (including hours of operations and how to check in to different places) and list of family/friend contacts (that she contacted for me) that I know would help and care about my safety/life. She did not let me leave her office until this was done. It was very uncomfortable at the time, but I appreciate it now.” — Megan H. 2. Photos of Friends and Family to Remind You You’re Loved Unsplash photo via Lindy Baker It’s no secret that part of being human is needing connection. When you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, it can be helpful to have a visual reminder of the important people in your life. We recommend tucking a few important photos in your suicide prevention kit. “ I have a photo album. It has pictures of me with loved ones, family friends and pets. Pictures of me at my proudest moments, such as graduation and honor band. I take it out and look at it when I forget what reasons I have to live and to remember life goes on and a better day is coming. ” — Kylie G. “A photo of my daughter. She is the reason I take my next breath. The place my heart gains strength. My daughter, my hope.” — Thuy G. 3. Art Supplies to Help You Express Your Feelings Without Words via Amazon Sometimes you can’t find the words to express what you’re feeling inside. In times like these, expressing yourself creatively can help. Whatever medium you choose, whether it be colored pencils, finger paint, crayons or watercolor, let yourself channel everything onto the page. “Paint/art supplies… Art is therapeutic and helps us express ourselves even when we don’t have the words.” — April D. “Journals and pens of every color. So [I] can write or draw.” — Olivea M. Our Picks: 36-Pack Colored Pencils ($6) and Travel Watercolor Journal ($13) 4. A Candle to Remind You of the Light in the Midst of Darkness via Amazon Candles can provide warmth and comfort when you’re struggling — especially if the candle was given to you by a loved one. Pick a candle in your favorite scent, light it and focus on breathing the scent in and out. This technique may help ground you in difficult moments. “The rose candle my son gave me shortly before he died by suicide to remind me there will always be a light in the darkness and the love of those who have gone before you.” — Linda H. “A fuzzy blanket and a candle. Something about this is very soothing and reassuring to me.” — Ashley A. Our Pick: Lavender Vanilla Scented Candle ($12) 5. Books (or a Library Card!) to Visit a Different World for a While via Amazon If you’re tired of the situation you’re in currently, you’re not alone. It’s OK to take a break from your world by diving into a fictional world for a little while. Keep a few books in your suicide prevention kit if reading helps you cope. If you need to read something that directly addresses the suicidal feelings you’re experiencing, try out Matt Haig’s book, “Reasons to Stay Alive.” “The picture book, ‘You Can Do All Things’ by artist The Latest Kate. I love her artwork. It’s full of cute, colorful animals that are paired with really important messages. She has helped me get through the day on more than one occasion.” — Becca W. “‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ by Matt Haig. The most wonderful book.” — Courtney M. “A library card. I can’t tell you how many times my local library has saved my life/soul. I’ve not only been suicidal, but have been unemployed/poor while in that state. The library is a wonderful place to go in almost any manner of dress, you’re not expected to speak to anyone, and you can get books, DVDs, etc. and take them home! For free! A library card is a must.” — Melissa O. Our Picks: “You Can Do All Things” by Kate Allan ($16) and “Reasons to Stay Alive” by Matt Haig ($7) 6. Your Favorite Chocolate for Something Sweet to Look Forward To via Amazon In “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” Professor Lupin offers Harry a piece of chocolate after a run-in with a dementor, a creature author J.K. Rowling used in the books to symbolize depression. Though more research needs to be done, some studies suggest dark chocolate can positively affect mood. If you struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts, take a page from Lupin’s handbook and keep a bit of chocolate in your kit. “Chocolate because snacking always helps [me].” — Kat L. “An ultra soft stuffed animal. Maybe some chocolate too. Those are what usually do the trick when things get bad.” — Taylor R. Our Pick: Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses ($10) 7. A Journal to Get Your Thoughts Out on Paper via Amazon Ever need to just dump everything out on paper? Studies have shown that consistent journaling can benefit depressive symptoms over time. Put a blank journal in your suicide prevention kit, and when you’re feeling suicidal, open it up. Try to write out what your feeling — without paying attention to grammar or style. Just get it all out, it might help you feel a little better. “ My sketchbook, my headphones, a book, my journal — basically I carry my suicide prevention kit around with me everywhere when I leave the house.” — Donnie T. Our Pick: Blue Dotted Journal ($10) 8. A Gratitude List to Remember What You’re Thankful For via Amazon When you’re feeling dissatisfied with your life — and feeling suicidal as a result — sometimes it can help to list out things you’re grateful for. Even when gratitude is the last thing you think you can feel, listing out small things we can overlook like “running water” or “my pet” or “the way it feels when I exhale,” can remind us there are things we appreciate deep down. Don’t know where to start? Try out the prompt-heavy gratitude journal below. “A list of all the things in life I’m thankful for. Even small things. Everything from animals to family and friends to Starbucks.” — Elena C. Our Pick: “Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal” ($7) 9. Tokens From Nature to Remind You of the Beauty in the World via Etsy Reminders of how beautiful nature is can be helpful when we are feeling low. What’s your favorite natural setting to be in? Near mountains? By the sea? Choose an object from your favorite location and save it for times you need to be reminded there is still beauty in the world. “Pressed flowers, or sea shells. Things that would remind me of the elements. When I am outdoors and feel the wind, or at the beach and feel the sand, I always remember the times when things were so bad I just didn’t want to exist. Yet, being there outdoors reminds me of how beautiful moments can be or even that there is beauty out there.” — Lyssa L. Our Pick: Pressed Flower Pack ($9) 10. Essential Oils to Help You Breathe Easier via Amazon Essential oils can soothe our senses with their pleasant aromas. Invest in a bottle of a scent you like and spray it on your skin or pillow to calm yourself down in mentally intense moments. We recommend lavender because it’s known to have a calming effect.  “My favorite essential oils to help me breathe and calm down.” — Marisa B. Our Pick: Lavender Essential Oil ($20) 11. A Blanket or Sleep Mask to Help You Rest Feeling depressed or suicidal can sap your energy quickly. Give your body the rest it needs by keeping comforting objects in your suicide prevention kit like warm blankets and pillows. Maybe throw in an eye mask too if you have difficulty falling asleep. “ I would choose my snuggle blanket. Keeps me relaxed!” — Cristina F. “A sleep mask and a cozy place to rest. Grounding myself with all the senses and giving my body and brain a rest with sleep, a moment to escape and renew.” — Kristie L. Our Picks: Fuzzy Red Blanket ($23) and Weighted Sleep Mask ($18) 12. Music for When You Need a Distraction Unsplash photo via Malte Wingen Similar to expressing yourself through art, listening to music can provide comfort without needing to say a word. Find out what type of music soothes you most — is it loud, pulsing beats or meditative tunes? — and create a playlist for the times you’re struggling the most. Have your list written down or create a playlist in Spotify so it’s handy anywhere you go. “A playlist. I have a special playlist I listen to when I’m having bad days that grounds me and re-centers me. Music does wonders.” — Allie H. 13. Poetry to Give You the Strength to Keep Going The words of our favorite writers can bring us comfort when we can’t see the light. For anyone who needs to be reminded to keep fighting for life, check out Dylan Thomas’ famous poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” You can read the full poem here. If you want to connect with our Mighty community of poets, post your work on The Mighty with the hashtag #MightyPoets. “A copy of Dylan Thomas’s ‘Do Not Go Gentle’ poem.” — Christy O. Our pick: “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” Art Print ($18) 14. Exercise Equipment for When You Need to Channel Your Energy Physically via Amazon If you enjoy exercising to get out your frustrations and re-center, you might consider having an exercise object in your kit. For some that might mean a yoga mat, for others, it might mean some free weights. Whatever you choose, lean into the physical sensations of exercise. If you’re not feeling up for rigorous exercise, perhaps resting in child’s pose on a yoga mat can offer some much-needed rest. “A yoga mat. Yoga has completely changed my life, physically, mentally and emotionally. I always say you might not know what you need but yoga knows what you need.” — Mary E. Our Pick: Nature-Themed Yoga Mat ($30) 15. Letters From Others (or Yourself) to Help You Stay Strong Unsplash photo via Debby Hudson We all need to be reminded from time to time that our loved ones care about us. Saving birthday cards, letters or notes from friends and family can come in handy in dark moments. Some people may also benefit from reading letters they write to themselves. “I save every complimentary email I get a work in a special folder so I can look at them when I’m having a bad day.” — Leanne T “A letter to myself reminding me of all the pain and hopelessness I have already survived and that I am stronger than most people ever dream.” — Britt L “ Unread letters from people I love the most. I would ask those closest to me to write a letter reminding me of who I am and why I am loved and wanted.” — Allison S 16. A Spiritual Text or Object to Make You Feel Connected to Something Bigger Unsplash photo via Aaron Burden If you are religious or have a faith practice, a religious object or text can help in times you’re really struggling. Whether you turn to prayer, words that give you hope or meditation, having a spiritual practice can help you re-center and focus on connecting with something bigger than yourself. “A cross you can hold in your hand, so when the going gets tough, you can hold that in your hand and pray for things to pass.” — Terri M. “So many things, but one would be the Bible. A beautiful reminder of how much I’m loved unconditionally and created perfectly just as I am.” — Josie S. 17. Something to Remind You That ‘You Matter’ via Etsy and TWLOHA websites When you’re feeling suicidal, it can be so hard to remember your worth. If you’re looking for an item to put in your suicide prevention kit, why not pick something that literally reminds you that “you matter”? “ I would place an intricately painted rock that says ‘you matter’ in the center of the rock.” — Micaela A. Our Picks: “You Matter” Pewter Stone ($10) and TWLOHA “You Matter Very Much” Coloring Poster Set ($15) 18. A Stuffed Animal to Provide Emotional Comfort via Amazon When we’re feeling suicidal, sometimes we just need a hug. If you’re alone, having a comforting stuffed animal can provide the emotional comfort we need to get through a difficult moment. “A stuffed animal named Rosie. It’s a raccoon and is covered in peace signs, flowers and hearts. My boyfriend always pretends it’s talking and kissing me when I’m down.” — Reta B. Our Pick: Stuffed Lion ($12) Suicide prevention kits can be personalized to fit your needs. If you don’t resonate with some of the objects listed above, don’t put them in your kit. Take time to think through what would really help you in a difficult moment and choose those objects to keep in your kit. If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, we want you to know you matter and we need you here. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. Please stay. What would you put in your suicide prevention kit?

Community Voices

What’s August been like for you so far?

<p>What’s August been like for you so far?</p>
191 people are talking about this
Community Voices

What’s August been like for you so far?

<p>What’s August been like for you so far?</p>
191 people are talking about this
Paige Wyant

18 Devices That Can Make It Easier to Work and Function From Bed

When your chronic illness flares up, it can often mean a day (or several) spent in bed while dealing with the symptoms. But as those who are chronically ill know, these days in bed aren’t exactly a “vacation.” In addition to the physical symptoms, being in bed all day can be isolating and boring, and it makes it difficult to go about what most people would consider simple parts of their daily routine – such as accessing water and food, washing your hair or brushing your teeth. It can even be tough to find a comfortable position in bed to watch a movie or read a book. That’s why we asked our Mighty’s chronic illness community to share the products that make it easier to work or function from bed. Being stuck in bed all day is neither fun nor easy – but these devices might make those hard tough flare days a little more comfortable. Here are the community’s recommendations. We hope the products below, all recommended by our Mighty community members, help you or a loved one in your health journeys. Just so you know, The Mighty may collect a share of sales from the Amazon links on this page. 1. Rolling Overbed Table Although commonly seen in hospitals, these rolling overbed tables are great at home as well. Not only do they provide an extra surface besides your nightstand to hold your medications, snacks or electronics, but since they extend over your bed, they’re perfect for holding your laptop so you can easily work or watch movies. Lea Szychoski Marter wrote, “My overbed (hospital type) table holds my coffee, water, snacks, meds and other things I may need.” Buy the overbed table above for $69.99 from Amazon. 2. Extra Long Chargers If you’re sitting in bed all day using your phone, computer or tablet, these devices can quickly run out of juice. For those who don’t have an outlet super close to their bed, an extra long cable can help keep your devices charged all day long. Candice Reed wrote, “ I ordered a long charging cord for my phone. Also, I use my Bluetooth headphones. It helps on my painsomnia nights – so I can stay on my phone while it charges and listen to videos without disrupting my sleeping hubby.” Buy 10-ft. lightning cables (pack of 2) for $13.99 from Amazon. 3. Amazon’s Echo Dot Amazon’s voice-controlled Echo devices are great for those who are stuck in bed or experiencing muscle pain and weakness. There are a ton of “skills” you can download, from games to news reports, and you can even use Alexa to text, call, jot down notes or create reminders. Carissa Haston told us, “ Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or similar Echo device. I can schedule things by talking, leave my family messages, there’s an emergency contacts app, there are a lot of fun games for keeping myself entertained and smart devices are great. Still new, but so much potential for even more. Alexa goes with me when I travel even. (I have the Dot, but planning to get one for another room too.) She literally has become like my buddy and keeps me company!” Jill Clayton said, “ I listen to audiobooks on my Amazon Echo. It allows me to focus on something other than pain and illness.” Buy the Echo Dot for $29.99 from Amazon. 4. No Rinse Shampoo On difficult flare days when you’re stuck in bed, taking a shower likely isn’t in the cards. But if you still want to have clean hair, there are dry shampoos that require no water and no rinsing, so you can wash your hair from bed. Mary Mattio said she uses no-water shampoo – the type NASA uses. Buy the shampoo above for $6.39 from Amazon. 5. Plastic Tub A plastic tub is a simple but effective way to keep all your essentials close by while you’re in bed without having to worry about losing anything under the covers or between blankets. You may even have one at home already!Liberty White said, “ I have a plastic tub that sits on my bed and holds books, markers, my tens unit, headphones, etc.” Buy the tub above for $12 from Amazon. 6. Water Filter and Dispenser Drinking enough water is important – but on days when you’re struggling to get out of bed, refilling a water bottle isn’t so easy. Keeping a water dispenser near your bed saves you trips to the kitchen and ensures you stay hydrated.“ A water dispenser with a spout,” said Cindy Sink Kepley. “I lose track of time and have gotten dehydrated multiple times.” Buy the water filter and dispenser above for $31.88 from Amazon. 7. Remote-Controlled Outlets From strands of Christmas lights to a space heater to speakers, I have a lot of devices in my room. When my boyfriend saw me struggling to “make the rounds” of turning everything on/off multiple times each day, he got me these remote-controlled outlets – and they are one of the best presents I’ve ever received. You simply plug your device into one of these outlets which then gets plugged into the wall, and then you can use the remotes to easily turn on and off any of the devices you’ve set up. Being able to turn everything on and off with one remote from my bed is magical. Liliana Cook said she uses a bedside light switch to turn on/off lights. Buy the outlets above for $29.99 from Amazon. 8. Folding Tray Table If you find your nightstand getting overcrowded with medications, water, snacks, books, remotes and all your electronics, a small folding table can give you a little more surface space to work with.Jill DeVol wrote, “I use a folding tray table right now to extend my nightstand so I can keep my phone, kindle, 3DS, snacks and beverages all handy.” Buy the folding table above for $30.55 from Amazon. 9. Mini Fridge Having a mini fridge in your bedroom allows you to keep all your favorite drinks and snacks within arm’s reach – so no running back and forth between your bedroom and kitchen on those days when getting out of bed is just too much.Amanda Bates Galassini said, “My husband set up our mini fridge right next to my bed. I keep a few snacks and a lot of sparkling water there to wash down my pills and keep my nausea at bay.” Cece Jean Loften added, “[I use] m y mini fridge for meds that have to be kept cold, juice and Ensure.” Buy the mini fridge above for $159 from Amazon. 10. Colgate Wisp Disposable Toothbrush If you want to freshen up your mouth but don’t quite have the energy to stand in front of the sink, these disposable brushes can be used from bed – no water or rinsing required. Felicia Renee Phelan said Colgate Wisps are lifesavers for her. Buy the disposable toothbrushes above (4 packs of 24) for $17.76 from Amazon. 11. Lap Tray This tray is perfect for using your laptop, reading, eating or even coloring in bed. The legs are adjustable, and part of the tray tilts up so you can find the perfect angle for your screen, book, etc.Melissa Drennan told us, “I love my bamboo bed tray. It has an adjustable top so I can put my laptop on it or tilt it up so I can prop a book on it. It really makes being in bed easier to deal with when you have a mini table on your bed.” Elisabeth Wheeler added, “My sister gave me this amazing lap desk. I use it to play games on my laptop when my syncope is at its worst. I like that it elevates the laptop and to the side I can use a mouse.”Liberty White added, “ I have an adjustable laptop table which helps with my neck pain (because I can look straight ahead rather than down).” Buy the bed tray above for $29.99 from Amazon. 12. Phone Holder Whether you are watching videos, reading a book or just want to keep your phone handy, this clip holder can be adjusted to hold your phone in whatever position works best for you. You can clip it onto your headboard, nightstand or overbed table and not have to wear out your arms holding your phone up in front of you. Buy the phone holder above for $19.99 from Amazon. 13. Electric Tea Kettle Although tea won’t cure your illness, different types are known to have different health benefits. Regardless, a cup of tea can be incredibly soothing on those tough flare days, so keeping a small electric kettle next to your bed allows you to make yourself a cup without having to go to the kitchen.Beatrice Gamba told us, “ My boyfriend recently bought me an electric kettle to keep in the bedroom, so I can make my own herbal tea/water bottles without having to go downstairs every time.” Cassandra Paquin said she keeps an electric tea kettle with a storage case of her favorite teas in her room. Deanna Kalian “ An electric kettle- yes you have to get out of bed to use it but you can fill it with water and keep it in your room, allowing you to have hot tea without having to go to the kitchen every time.” Buy the tea kettle above for $32.99 from Amazon. 14. Electric Mug Warmer If you’re like me and only seem to remember you’ve got a hot beverage waiting after it’s gone cold, then a mug warmer might be for you. Keep your tea, coffee or soup warm without having to walk back and forth between your bed and your microwave.Recommended by Gabri Zmich and Alicia Estadt. Buy the mug warmer above for $8.99 from Amazon. 15. Adjustable Bed Frame Finding a comfortable position for sleeping, reading, working on your laptop, etc. can sometimes feel impossible when you are stuck in bed on a tough flare day. An adjustable bed frame allows you to raise or lower either your head, feet or both so you can find the angle and position that works best for you and your body. Carie Braun wrote, “ I had a prescription for an adjustable bed to sit myself up to enable me to get out of bed in case my back and hips lock up.” Amanda Bates Galassini said, “ I just got an adjustable base for my bed and it’s the best investment! I can put my body and legs at different heights/levels depending on where my pain is worst that day. It’s awesome!” “T he best thing I have is an adjustable bed!! The head of my bed can move up an down via a remote so not only can I can sleep at a specific angle to avoid reflux pain overnight, but it makes it easier to just sit up in bed during the day to do things like read, go on my laptop or phone and watch my TV without the need for 100 pillows for support,” added Abigail Formas. Buy the adjustable bed frame above in King size for $228.74 from Amazon. 16. Remote-Controlled Fan Having a fan in your bedroom can keep you cool, help with air flow, provide some white noise and, if the fan has an ionizer (such as the one featured above), help purify the air in your room. But if you are someone who is temperature sensitive, getting up and out of bed constantly to adjust the fan can be a hassle. Having a remote makes it much easier to turn your fan on and off however often you need to do so. Diane Muhs wrote, “ I love the remote for my fan. My temperature fluctuates, and being able to turn on the fan without getting up is priceless.” Buy the fan above for $62.72 from Amazon. 17. Avana Orthopedic Support Pillow The Avana Support Pillow is perfect for those who spend lots of time in bed. It allows you to easily sit up in bed without going to the effort of stacking up a bunch of regular pillows.Jenny Labrosse told us, “I have a great pillow that I got from Amazon [featured above]. Since I spend a lot of time in bed, it allows me to get comfortable while sitting up.”Danielle Schroeder added, “This product makes staying in bed so much more comfortable. It can be adjusted so many different ways to find your prefect position. It’s a bit pricey but well worth it. I bought it after my third back surgery and am so happy I did!” Buy the pillows above for $169.99 from Amazon. 18. TV Mount Watching TV shows and movies can be a helpful distraction from pain or other symptoms on days you’re stuck in bed, but having to crane your neck or lay in bed at an odd angle can easily exacerbate pain. Mounting your TV allows you to find the perfect angle to comfortably lie in bed and watch your favorite shows. Brenda Fink Chapman told us, “[I have a] TV elevated on the wall so I can watch while lying on my back if needed, and a subscription to Netflix and Hulu with plenty of shows and movies picked out in advance.” Ren Seabrook said she uses a TV mount that extends over her bed. Buy the TV mount above for $25 from Amazon. Have a product you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

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