My 10 Favorite Coping Skills

  1. Journaling: great way to get emotions out!
  2. Art:  drawing, coloring, arts and crafts can be very relaxing.  Many people enjoy adult coloring for stress relief.
  3. Watching a Comedy:  there’s nothing better than to laugh when you’re feeling anxious or down.  Look up funny videos online or watch your favorite comedy! (I enjoy watching clips from Ellen (DeGeneres) on YouTube, they always make me smile.
  4. Talk to a friend or family member:  It’s good to have someone you can talk with who will listen without judging.
  5. Getting Out of The House:  This is a big one.  The worse you feel the more you isolate and it becomes an endless cycle because you start feeling even more depressed or anxious as a result not getting out.  Staying inside all day by yourself feeds into obsessive/repetitive negative thoughts. So get out, go somewhere.  Anywhere.  Sit outside in the fresh air, take a walk, visit a museum, sit in a park, go to the zoo.  All these things can make you feel more connected with the outside world.  I know for myself the longer I stay indoors and don’t leave (sometimes it border on agoraphobia) the more distorted my thoughts become.
  6. Play With a Pet: Pets are amazing, they can decrease anxiety and even reduce blood pressure.  If you don’t have a pet maybe volunteer at a local shelter and help care for the animals, or play with a friend’s pet.  I know the most relaxing thing for me is when my two cats take nap with me or lay on me and purr.
  7. Socialize: Join some sort of group.  It doesn’t have to be a long term commitment.  There are many free activities at public libraries such as yoga, arts and crafts, book discussions.  Or hang out with a good friend.  When I hang out with a really good friend of mine it pretty much completely takes my mind off my problems because we have so much fun together.
  8. Exercise: one of the most effective ways to deal with anxiety is to get out all that extra energy.  Physical activity can greatly improve sleep quality.  It’s good for the body and the mind.
  9. Play a game/do a puzzle: perfect for taking your mind off problems and focusing it on the present moment.  It can provide a brief escape.
  10. Read or engage in some other hobby: I have many hobbies and I find that I almost never get bored now.  I always have something to keep my mind occupied when I have down time.  Learning new languages, music/instruments, find something you enjoy and stick to it!

This is a very basic list of some of the coping skills that have helped me, there are many others you can try.  I’ve seen lists with hundreds of coping ideas, so look around, your bound to come across something that may be beneficial to you, good luck! 🙂

  1. Sunflowers

(Picture taken by me Summer 2018 at a local rose garden)

The Importance of Having a Routine

I’ve never realized just how very important it is to have some sort of routine, such as in sleep, eating, and exercise/activity.  For the past several months my sleep cycle has been completely chaotic.  It ranges anywhere from staying up 24-40 hours to sleeping 12 to 18 hours a day!  Part of it was adjusting to a new medication dosage but a big part of it is my tendency to always want to stay up all night because I can “get more stuff done without sleep.” So what happens is when night rolls around and I start getting tired, the logical thing to do would be to go to sleep, but I always make other plans to get all kinds of things done like cleaning my apartment, getting caught up or ahead on classwork, playing games, watching Netflix, etc.  It never works out, I either fall asleep halfway through the night and wake up way later than I wanted to or I’m still up and am not functioning fully due to the lack of sleep.  This also affects my medication schedule which throws me off in several different ways.

I always wondered why I always did so well near the middle to the end of being inpatient in the hospital and for a couple weeks after getting discharged.  The answer is that I would always be on a great routine.  Got to sleep and get up at the same time every day, take my meds at the same times, eat three meals a day plus snacks, and have some sort of schedule  throughout the day as to what I spend my time doing.  It makes a huge difference.  Everything is structured in the hospital, not without good reason. All the chaotic patterns put stress on the mind and body.  My goal is to get this straightened out and back on track, last night was the first time I went to sleep and woke up at a decent time and I already feel better!

Happy Thanksgiving! (I know it’s early)

I have been having trouble coming up with topics lately, if you have any suggestions let me know in the comments.

I know the holidays are tough for a lot of people.  They can be very stressful.  I’m lucky in a way.  It’s just me and my mom and we usually do the same thing for Thanksgiving every year.  A big home cooked turkey dinner and watching the Macy’s Day Parade.  It’s relaxing for the most part.  What are you doing?

Here’s what we have every year.  My mom has some serious skills in the kitchen, it’s not the most complex stuff but man is it amazingly good:

Appetizers:
Deviled eggs
Celery with olive and cream cheese spread
Sweet baby dill pickles

Dinner:
Roasted turkey
Mashed potatoes with gravy
Corn
Sweet potatoes
Brussel sprouts
Cranberry sauce
Dinner rolls
Stuffing

Dessert:
Pumpkin pie
Pecan pie