Taken From: http://fav.me/d9cwkes published October 12th 2015
And no, I didn’t reread this, it’s a long post I did back in October on my deviantART account, which you can find the original sourced above. I was having a hard time coming up with words for this post, so I’m just dropping this BUFFALO here.
Daily prompt: Clock
A final point I will mention on what just happened from the previous paragraph: Having the type of OCD that I have (“pure O”) on the subject matter that I do, makes it treacherous and difficult to talk about. From stigma to general lack of understanding (‘Oh, that’s OCD too?’ ‘I’ve never heard of that before.’), sure, yet even more so because at this stage in my Recovery acknowledging it in any fashion, at times, can be its own type of trigger. I’ll just start babbling to myself about what it’s about, what some of my compulsions have been, ooo what could I say next, actually that’s OCD; Oooo prevention stuff, oh what about that! And that! And that!
I want to say more, and that seems to be the core pulsating sensation from the OCD, that I always want to say more, talk about it more, be open about it, talk about it, but in doing so – online and off – it genuinely pains me. At this stage, I feel lost and incapable of bringing awareness to the condition I am struggling with, whereas many others can be outspoken about theirs (and I do hope that is helpful for them and not something like the compulsions I have, where it just sets me back instead of moving forwards).
As I write this, I feel myself take on the role of the Observer, and I feel more controlled (of myself). So while I want to say more, as the urge is so often there, I will not. Back to the POINT of this journal, and why I do believe sincerely at this point in time that it is helpful, beneficial and not a compulsion to me.
ALL HAIL THE MAGICAL DIVIDER HEREEEEEE
This journal is all abut generalized coping strategies. Some of the coping strategies I use may or may not be listed here, and I’m also going to include some of my favorite mental health Youtubers (who often have their own videos about coping strategies), other linked resources to pages about coping strategies (such as alternatives to self harm), and possibly (if I can find them) links to larger and longer lists of coping strategies.
I will also mention some articles (may or may not link to them) that I’ve received through my treatment journey, about some topics such as mindfulness, meditation, the five senses, grounding techniques, journaling. I will also discuss more of these extensively in my own coping strategies journal, which will be all about what has worked for me, how I’ve practiced them over time, the things I encourage you to try and the style of my coping and recovery (which you guys actually got a peek into in my last journal).
A lot of these coping strategies that you will find linked, spoken of or featured here, will be repetitive as you explore more on your own (if you so choose), or go through the links or what have you. There are legitimately HUNDREDS of coping strategies in existence in this world. You CAN and WILL find what works for you. It’s a lot of just trying it out and seeing how it works. There are strategies you can use in particular moods – such as for anger, anxiety, depressed. There are ones you can infiltrate into every day life – art, for instance. And others you can use on fancy days.
The big things to keep in mind: It will take you time and practice to work on these coping strategies – and to master them, most definitely practice them when you are feeling WELL. We all know how difficult it can be to unlearn negative behaviors, and by engaging in more positive coping strategies, particularly when you are feeling WELL, will help you to reach FOR those positive strategies when you direly need them.
There will be relapses and lapses in Recovery. In terms of self harm, a relapse in recovery is where you re-engage with the negative behavior (whatever form of SH that is) and say ‘Ah, fuck it, I’ll just keep doing this’ and continue to self harm again.
In contrast, a lapse in recovery is where you slip up, you have a moment of intense emotion, you self harm, then you say ‘Okay, I had a bad moment there, it’s not something I want to do again, I’m getting rid of the tools I used, I’m continuing with recovery’.
That difference can be huge.
We all have good days and bad days. When the bad days come, know your warning signs and when you absolutely need to bust into coping strategies, getting professional help, being hospitalized, or what have you. If you don’t know your warning signs, look through warning sign lists online or ask around with other individuals you know who struggle or from Youtube videos or treatment staff and look at the common hits (if you’re sleeping more or less, if you’re eating more or less, if you’re more stressed out, is there structure to your day or do you have a lot of unstructured time, etc.) and begin journaling and paying attention to what your own warning signs are. A pattern will emerge in time, trust me.
Also, something I’ve been told in treatment, is that it often FEELS like you can go from 0 to 100 in a snap, but in actuality, there are often times warning signs of you gradually getting worse until you do, to put it humorously, spontaneously combust. What you can learn to do is see where the common warning signs are taking place, adjust and adapt your schedule to address them, cope positively, get support from others, and keep yourself safe – rather than launching into red alert world 100.
Along with this, there are things you can do to positively help yourself, keep yourself safe, things you can prevent yourself from doing or getting to, etc.
If mental illness is a part of your life, you may know how important it is to gather support from the community, to have professional help that helps you, to surround yourself in positive vibes and having hobbies, coping strategies, work, volunteer work, etc. Some of you may not have a mental illness, but we ALL have mental health. Learning additional coping strategies and packing them into your list of resources is just as important as anything else. We’ve all had different sorts of experiences through our lives, and one thing that works well for me may not work for you, but I do believe wellness, recovery and betterment does exist and can exist in our lives. It takes a lot of work, and even I know that my recovery is only just beginning. And, that’s totally okay. Let’s jump into this, shall we?
Outside resources that I myself am linking to you guys (although you are more than competent at finding more on your own!).
1. Different coping strategies based on mood, for self harm alternatives. sirius-project.org/2011/08/16/…
2. A list of coping strategies or stimulating activities you can try out if you ever get ridiculously incredibly bored. www.danielbranch.com/50-things…
3. Support websites or forums, although tread carefully as some users out there may be toxic and unhelpful towards your recovery.
4. Consider outreach help lines, texting lines, etc.
5. Consider having or finding a professional therapist to aid in whatever situation you may be struggling with. (My first therapy experience was to help with my procrastination in college).
6. You could check out blogs or articles that talk more about mental health awareness or coping strategies; such as Psych Central, help-guide.
7. You could also search for deviants, groups, forum threads, on DA that have additional resources, links, lists, and more! I’ll list a few at the end of this journal or somewhere in the middle.
B. MENTAL HEALTH YOUTUBERS
These are YT’s I myself enjoy and have been watching them often for years or jumped on their bandwagon some time in the midst of their journey. They may not all mesh with you, but it may be possible for you to find some who do. And, sometimes other YT’s whose main platform centers around other matters than MH can be helpful and beneficial in their own way to you. =]
1. Laura Lejeune. She has a couple of videos on coping strategies, and I do recommend the coping box/emergency box video in particular. She raises awareness for things like self harm, eating disorders, depression, anxiety. She’s also done a neat series about misconceptions featuring other YT’s on various MH issues.
2. Melissa C. Water or idranktheseawater. Really, really love her videos. She raises awareness for self harm, EDs, PTSD, suicidal ideation, Tourette’s, etc. Her mini movie series are pretty cool in my opinion, and she has playlists on her channel for alternatives to SI and other helpful stuff. =]
3. LikeKristen. Still a relatively young channel, but quickly growing speed. Kristen’s channel focuses deeply from a recovery stand point, for ED’s, self harm, anxiety, etc. She has a bunch of videos on self harm alternatives, coping strategies, how to help someone who may be self harming, the different forms of it, etc.
4. HannahVancouverr. She’s actually the YT I found who spoke about the difference between relapse/lapse earlier in spring this year in a video (who Kristen then referenced in a video as well) which is awesome, because I never knew there was such an important difference as this! She does lots of fantastic pro-recovery videos, she talks very quickly, but you get used to it. ^^
5. Kati Morton. If you haven’t heard of her, I’ll be surprised! She’s had lots of videos from over the years, is I believe a LMFT (therapist) and has videos about many different mental health topics, general advice for various topics, promotes mental health education, has some workbooks on her website and tons of stuff. Do check her out – carve out like half a day in your schedule ’cause god knows Youtube can suck up your time magically! XD
6. SiffaScary. She has videos about EDs, self harm, recovery, meditations, opinions, her own struggles, lots of things! I like checking up on her for new videos. She’s doing graduate work at the moment to become a mental health counselor I believe, if not just a counselor. ^^
7. Lastly, for this list, Autumn Asphodel. She’s covered videos about her own experiences, researched other mental health topics, covers transgender issues, DID, trauma. She has her own very well organized website as well.
My apologies, I seem to only know how to do MEGA LONG journals that take many hours to complete XD Ah well.
I’m going to try and list some variety of coping strategies and ones I think are surprising and interesting and different and not what I would have thought would be coping strategies. Some of them I’m getting from therapy prompts, a 300 list of coping alternatives, stress management articles, my own journal, etc. Again, for the ones that I particularly use, I may or may not list here and I’ll extend into deeper discussion in the next journal. Until then…. AWAAAAAY
Le Coping Strategies
(This is an arbitrary pack of coping strategies here, and I’ll continue doing this throughout the journal to make some attempt of organizing this out and so I know what I’ve already said.)
LIST #1: Called 20 Sober Leisure Activities —
arts and crafts shows
sports: basketball, soccer, football, etc.
child related organizations
collecting – coins/antiques
jigsaw puzzles (physical or on your phone)
garage sales/yard sales
hot air balloons
going to the beach
having picnics (with friends, family, etc.)
observing wild life
listening to music
going to parties or Planning parties
talking on the phone
teaching a skill
See? I wasn’t kidding, there’s a LOT of stuff. Oh boy, this journal is getting slowed down too, but I’ll keep on going!!
LIST #2: PLEASANT EVENTS SCHEDULE
: Being in the country / driving, walking, being along the country side, farms. : wearing expensive or formal clothes
: taking tests when well prepared : planning trips/vacations : talking to yourself :talking with a friend : buying things for yourself
: giving gifts :hugging someone :rearranging or redecorating your room or home :bademoticon: creating a sensory room/space for yourself
:bademoticon: going to a sports event :bademoticon: reading a how to book or article :bademoticon: reading stories, novels, plays :bademoticon: writing stories, novels, plays xD
:bademoticon: driving skillfully. Biking skillfully :bademoticon: go to the library :bademoticon: breathing clean air :bademoticon: thinking about something good in the future
:bademoticon: completing a difficult task :bademoticon: Laughing :bademoticon: problem solving :bademoticon: baking cookies from scratch :bademoticon: baking in general :bademoticon: cooking
:bademoticon: being at weddings :bademoticon: having lunch with friends :bademoticon: taking a shower :bademoticon: Taking a bath :bademoticon: writing positive affirmations
:bademoticon: being adventurous (especially with friends!) :bademoticon: having a frank and open conversation :bademoticon: working on your job :bademoticon: making snacks
:bademoticon: being helped :bademoticon: helping others :bademoticon: wearing informal clothes :bademoticon: combing/brushing your hair :bademoticon: taking a nap :bademoticon: being in the city
:bademoticon: singing to yourself :bademoticon: making food or crafts to sell or give away :bademoticon: being with cousins :bademoticon: playing chess or checkers
:bademoticon: putting on makeup :bademoticon: taking off makeup :bademoticon: treating yourself (a dessert, a hobby, etc.) :bademoticon: designing or drafting :bademoticon: visiting people who are sick or shut in :bademoticon: getting in touch with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while :bademoticon: cheering :bademoticon: reading academic or professional literature :bademoticon: wearing new clothes :bademoticon: sitting in the sun :bademoticon: Just sitting and thinking :bademoticon: seeing good things happen to your friends/family
:bademoticon: going to an amusement park, zoo, carnival :bademoticon: listening to nature sounds :bademoticon: introducing people you think may like each other
:bademoticon: watching the sky, clouds or storms :bademoticon: getting massages/back rubs :bademoticon: getting letters, cards or notes :bademoticon: writing letters, cards or notes (this reminds me of you, Sage ) :bademoticon: Giving speech :bademoticon: Reading maps :bademoticon: Gathering objects from nature :bademoticon: being in the mountains
:bademoticon: getting a job advancement, promotion or raise (good job! Celebrate it!) :bademoticon: hearing or telling jokes :bademoticon: enjoying beautiful scenery
:bademoticon: improving your health (diet, exercise, wellness) :bademoticon: writing papers, essays, articles :bademoticon: doing a job well (like a boss!) :bademoticon: having spare time :bademoticon: being noticed in a positive/expressive way :bademoticon: counselling someone :bademoticon: learning something new! :bademoticon: going to a drive in
:bademoticon: complimenting or praising someone :bademoticon: thinking about people you like :bademoticon: have daydreams :bademoticon: seeing famous people :bademoticon: being alone
:bademoticon: budgeting your time :bademoticon: being praised by someone you admire :bademoticon: having religious faith :bademoticon: exploring your own spirituality :bademoticon: doing a project in your own way :bademoticon: Crying :bademoticon: Being told that you are needed :bademoticon: seeing or smelling a flower :bademoticon: having plants :bademoticon: Using perfume or cologne :bademoticon: having peace and quiet :bademoticon: reminiscing on good times :bademoticon: getting up early in the morning :bademoticon: saying or repeating mantras
:bademoticon: meditations :bademoticon: doing favors for people (and also being assertive and say no to things if you need to!) :bademoticon: being relaxed :bademoticon: being asked for your advice or help :bademoticon: keeping in perspective other people’s struggles :bademoticon: sleeping well at night :bademoticon: being in a therapy or other support group :bademoticon: dreaming at night :bademoticon: brushing your teeth :bademoticon: walking barefoot :bademoticon: cleaning things :bademoticon: amusing people :bademoticon: being with someone you love :bademoticon: going to the hairdresser :bademoticon: reading magazines # sleeping late #starting a new project # giving yourself challenges that you can complete # building or watching a fire # confessing or apologizing # being with happy people
# asking for help or advice # smiling at people # watching the stars at night # playing in sand, a stream, the grass # having people show interests in your thoughts # expressing your love to someone # talking about your hobbies or special interests # having coffee, tea with friends # going to your local cafe # taking a walk # playing in the snow # visiting the cemetery # being told you are loved # being proud of family/friends # thinking about an interesting question # defending someone # winning a competition # making a new friend # reading cartoons, comic strips or comic books # looking at the moon # jump those puddles! # being aware of your surroundings # learning about other cultures/countries # just being with yourself.
Okay! That is genuinely all/most of those recommendations from that big ol’ list! Hope you guys have still managed to stick around
The last points I want to make will be a small little handful scattered about below! We’re almost there! =]
Final Points + Mentioning’s
❤ Participate in journaling. Journaling can be a huge variety of things; from what you did that day or wanted to do, following prompts from books or online, filling in your fave quotes, art ideas, letting out your thoughts and feelings, drawing, anything. It’s your own personal space and you can embark on anything that you wish to. It’s been shown that people who journal actively in their treatment are more likely to be successful.
❤ Separate your Identity from any diagnosis, struggle, what have you. You can make lists upon lists, tack them to your wall, do art focusing on your true identity, play around with different styles and activities.
** Practice grounding techniques: Things that employ the five senses that will ground you into the current, present moment. You could do some breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness, drawing, observing the world, listening to music, speaking with someone, smelling your perfume, etc.