Coping Skills

Coping skills are what the name implies, things that can help you cope with tough situations in life.

Different things work for different people.

What do you enjoy doing?

Think about that for awhile and try to come up with a list of things you can do easily when times are rough and you need a distraction.

Here are some of my top coping skills that have helped me many times.

Journaling

This is definitely at the top of the list for me.  It’s a great feeling to be able to just write and get all your feelings out, especially when you have nobody to talk to.  It’s also interesting to look back at patterns in the future and see how you dealt with things before.  I personally use a physical journal, I just happen to like that better.  You can do it however you want, blog, draw, write in a journal.

Coloring

Another big one, this is insanely helpful.  You may think it sounds silly for adults to color but it’s not at all.  It’s extremely relaxing, it gets your mind off what’s going on around you and on deciding which color to use next.  A very good distraction tool.  There are thousands of coloring books you can find online and order, even ones specifically for adults meaning that they’re much more intricate and time consuming than a child’s coloring book, but then again simple is fun to.  Whatever makes you happy!

Music

This is a tricky one, because naturally you will tend to be drawn to more depressing/angry songs when your depressed or anxious.  That’s okay too but it’s not good to dwell on bad feelings.  Try making a playlist with a mix of different types of songs so it doesn’t get to depressing.

Those are my top 3 coping skills, here is a simplified list of things that help me relax or take my mind off things.  Feel free to reply with what helps you or tweet me @ChaoticMindBlog

  • Relaxing shower or bath
  • Going for a swim
  • Taking a walk
  • Reading a good book
  • Watching a funny or positive movie/videos
  • Meditating
  • Arts and crafts
  • Playing with your pet(s)
  • Taking an afternoon nap (refreshing)
  • Practicing muscle relaxation techniques
  • Listening to relaxing sounds/music
  • Organizing/cleaning (helps some people feel better)
  • Having a cup of tea or cocoa

Your Illness Doesn’t Define You

It’s common for people to say things like “I’m Bipolar” or “I’m Schizophrenic” but I think a better wording would be something like “I have Bipolar disorder or “I have Schizophrenia” Now, you can say it however you want but what’s important is what you believe behind it. Are you just Schizophrenic or whatever your diagnosis is, or are you a person, beyond a diagnosis.  Sometimes we get caught up in our labels, A lot of times people try to label and diagnose every behavior as some sort of episode that is caused by their illness.  It’s completely normal to have sad days, to have a bad week, to get angry, to get a little hyper or over enthusiastic.  That is within the normal range of emotions.  It’s concerning that people want to medicate away any emotions they have, they are part of life, remember that life is full of ups and downs, it’s learning to cope with them that will get you through.  It feels good to experience a full range of emotions and not be totally numbed out, that’s the point of life, to experience it.  Of course your illness is serious and may need medication, but that doesn’t mean it defines you and is all there is to you.