Looking after ourselves
28-07-2019 01:28 PM
Re: Coping Box
Welcome to those new to the forums or who I haven't met before.
This is the ToolBox list I mentioned that would go into my Coping Box :
Listen to music
don't avoid household chores
shopping (choosing recipes and planning lists)
social activities such as art/craft/writing groups or courses such as computer skills
get into nature - beach and bush walks or just sitting quietly outdoors
mindfulness and breathing exercises or some sort of daily quiet time
swimming - I do water tai chi twice a week
MH drop-in centre, womens centre, writers centre, bridge playing
N.B. Sleep Hygeine - the most important for me. (you can google it, it's a set of guidelines to follow for people with insomnia)
medication compliance - also crucial for me
adult colouring books, collage, crochet and craft stuff at home
zentangles (another one for you to google)
Meds, moods and sleep chart - helps monitor what's going on
spirituality - for me it's 'new age' and pagan type of stuff but each to their own
work on my WRAP
Hope it prompts some ideas from others.
09-11-2019 05:48 PM
Re: Coping Box
Always hated the word cope. It seemed to me that it really meant cover up the symptoms. Not that i would just run down the road naked or go cuckoos nest intentionally.
Really scared if more people knew about what i have. I hate the look people get when mental health gets a mention. I am a health worker and i see what my colleagues do and what they say. I think what i hate most is the colleagues who have a MH disorder who use it as a weapon and an excuse to behave badly.
But anyway re coping, one is this talking to and with others about your mental health where you feel safe. Others for me are being with my kids and animals, enjoying a movie, a shower, swimming, going for a walk, bingeing tv series, making a healthy meal. If i have symptoms talking to a counsellor or psych of your choice, checking my other comorbidities are under control and finding a peaceful space to get it together, take some leave from work if that is contributing, reading but not trying to put too much strain on myself. Keeping it light and as my former Psychologist suggested, thankfulness.
09-11-2019 05:59 PM
Re: Coping Box
Hi @eth couldnt agree more your list and the spirituallity. I was brought up Catholic but as i drifted with my symptoms over the years i found becoming a Pagan was what gave me peace. I definitely feel such peace in ritual. Others may find being Christian gives them peace too, so i am all for what works.
10-11-2019 02:46 PM
Re: Coping Box
@LadyCaroline So spot on !! You have some interesting insight there as a Health Worker. I sometimes feel that I don't trust people to help properly, but often "help" seems to be just talking to counsellor/social worker. After so many years of "talking" with these people, I sometimes get the feeling that meeting with me justifies their existence and that they just collect "trauma stories". Practical help is difficult to find and I often don't know what is realistic / practical / available. I am a carer AND have MH issues. I am under the care of a psychatrist ......... but I feel there is something missing as I age and have more years behind me that I've been dealing with loss and trauma. I like the idea of using these forums to talk with others. I've never thought about "coping" as really meaning "covering up symptoms" ........ so very true. I can also feel myself descending as I've probably been covering up my feelings for so long. Loss has now overridden my ablity to find joy ......... (sorry for all the negative)
11-11-2019 07:32 AM
Re: Coping Box
Great idea, this.
And also good to see what some others do to manage their bad times...
My coping box has different things to deal with different stages of my lows.
One thing I do is always make my bed as soon as I get up. I'm less likely to get back into a bed that's made up.
(Except for the very worst days that I don't get up)
Breathing. Just big deep breathing. Now that I've learnt about mindfulness exercises I try to do one of those..
A small job around the house. Usually it's to wash and hang out a load of washing. Gets me outdoors even if only for a few minutes and helps give the feeling of having accomplished something for the day. Or clean out a drawer. Just one.
Sometimes I find sound so unbearable, even my favourite songs. For these times I have made up a list in Spotify of acoustic guitar...very soothing. And if even that is unbearable I wear earplugs. I'm curious to know whether other people find sound so unbearable?
On better days I try to get out of the house. Op shopping salvos vinnies etc. Local shops for a coffee. Also gives a feeling of having done something.
I do like arts and crafts, drawing etc the last couple years I've lost my energy to do this but working to get back to this now as I'm having some time away from work.
The beach. Always soothing. I love that first glimpse of the water as I'm getting close. And that feeling as I step on the sand and look out, and draw in that first deep breath.
I've lost my energy for the creative type things I used to do- at the moment im away from work for a few weeks and trying to get back to drawing. Which will hopefully help get back to the other things I used to enjoy doing.
On some of the really bad days I sit in my recliner and my cat Dora joins me and sleeps on my lap. She's not a very affectionate girl but she does love to curl up with me now and then..
The garden. I'm not really much of a gardener but pulling out a few weeds gets me outside and occasionally I might stay out there a bit longer..
That's all I can think of for now. But the overall idea of it is to keep it small. Simple things. Sometimes can lead to bigger things but something small is something.