With my last post being about self-harm, I thought I should talk about other ways I cope with shitty moods.
At some point most people will be advised by mental health professionals to do one / all of the following in order to cope with a variety of symptoms:
- Listen to music
- Go for a walk
- Socialise with friends
- Do something crafty
While all those are nice ideas, professionals don’t seem to understand that when someone is feeling the worst they ever have…it’s impossible to do almost all of them, and the others are generally unhelpful. At least this is how it is for me.
The list of ‘ways to cope’ most social workers spew at me are helpful for when I’m not feeling that bad – probably a 3.5-4/10 on the mood scale – but any worse and they’re useless.
Today I wrote out lists of what activities might help me in various stages of ‘I feel like shit’
1st: I don’t feel too bad
~ watch a movie
~ sit with a pet
~ eat junk food
~ watch my partner play a video game
~ clean out a pet
~ play a game
2nd = I feel Bad
~ walk a dog
~ take a camera on a walk and snap photos of the world
~ listen to music
~ eat chocolate
~ look for random stuff on Pinterest
3rd = I feel really bad
~ tickles (I love being tickled, it’s really calming for me, and I can also tickle myself)
~ read old blog posts
~ watch the fake jellyfish (see pic below)
~ listen to sad music
~ see if Pinterest holds my interest
4th = This is the worst
~ write out a list of my thoughts over and over and over (see pic below)
~ listen to sad music
~ just sit in the sensory corner and be
A little more about the sensory corner
This is a little corner of our little room where I have things to focus on / meddle with. When I’m at my worst I can’t concentrate on anything, so in this corner there’s a glitter lamp (like a lava lamp, but cheaper and filled with glitter!), one of those things you probably had as a kid where blobs run down a track, fake jellyfish that bob about in water, and a torch that projects dinosaurs onto the walls.
The torch is actually one of the most useful – not just because dinosaurs are cool, but because it provides something to fiddle with.
Most these products are targeted at very young children…but they can also work to soothe, distract and give me time to sort my head out. They’re great for focus. Sometimes they don’t work, sometimes they do. Worth a try.