Hey all! Happy Monday 🙂 What the what… I’m back here on the blog again… so soon. Also, who in creation says “happy MONDAY”?!? I’ve been posting more lately and it feels right. Does that make sense? Doing what I love and what makes me smile – writing and sharing!
What am I here to talk about today? Coping mechanisms and skills for your mental health toolbox. OK, so, I came across a quote the other day which inspired me to sit down and journal about what I define to be my purpose and goals. I’ve been extremely on edge lately and dealing with way more anxiety than “normal” for me. Knowing this, I knew that I NEEDED to take some time to myself and just write, process, and understand my feels. In doing this, I decided to define what my coping skills are or what could be a genuine coping mechanism for me and my life. Coping skills are a necessity, and in my opinion, the more in-tune we are with our needs and what things are supportive of our needs the easier reaching goals becomes. It’s never a bad thing to utilize skills and cultivate habits which support our goals and fall in line with what we feel is our purpose on this planet.
I am such a quote person it’s slightly ridiculous, not a bad thing, merely an observation. Anyways, “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds… Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.” ― Neil Gaiman
Like I said, define my purpose. Before getting into specifics, I just wanted to share some hiking panoramics which I love to look back at and reminiscence between hikes. THIS is a huge coping skill for me.
All of that said, let’s jump into the primary topic of this post… coping skills. The categories to define various coping skills are some that I learned while in treatment, and honestly, I think they’re gold.
Based on the five senses, what are things that soothe you?
- Sound: birds chirping, rain, thunder, the ocean, bells, music
- Smell: pine, coffee, mint, smoke from a campfire, lavender, fall leaves, cinnamon
- Taste: berry, mint, coffee, cinnamon, vanilla
- Touch: comfy clothing, hugs, hot showers, sauna (heat), soft blankets/being under multiple covers in bed, walking barefoot
- Sight: sunshine, rain, the forest, waterfalls, mountains, blue skies, the ocean, wildlife
What can you do to reconnect with yourself physically?
- Run OUTSIDE
- Go for a walk
What can you do to reconnect with yourself mentally?
- Meditate (guided or unguided)
- Write a blog post
- Listen to a calming music playlist
What will you do if you need an out?
- Remove myself calmly from a situation
- Text a friend to call me/call a friend
- Accept that saying NO is acceptable
What can you do to distract yourself and/or remove yourself from anxiety (I filled in this question with anxiety to get more specific)?
- Meet up with a friend
- Work on homework
- Plan a workout
- Read a book
- Listen to a podcast
- Take a nap
- Take a hot shower
- Hold a frozen orange (cool and useful technique learned in my program… keep an orange in the freezer and if you feel a panic attack coming on just sit down and hold said orange, your focus will move from negative and very robust emotions to the fact that your holding a freezing cold non-melting object… if this isn’t enough you can resort to filling a bowl with ice water and sticking your head in… YEP, I have done this (twice), and YEP it does the trick). I do think processing the feelings which led you to needing to utilize this skill in the first place though after the fact is important.
What will you do if you feel stuck?
- Attempt to decipher my feelings
- Talk with a close friend
- Read old blog posts and journals to try to help regain a sense of self and light a fire under my ass
What are some of YOUR coping skills? We’re all different.
Any quotes that speak to you lately?
Thanks for reading 🙂 xo, S