Some days this is as good as it gets. Making sure that the air gets in and the carbon dioxide gets out. And that's totally acceptable. On days like this I find it hard to get off the couch. So I try and use my coping skills. But don't get me wrong here, sometimes my coping skill is just breathing and laying on the couch. It work for me at that time.
If you've ever been in therapy or worked in the mental health field, you've probably of coping skills. But if not, coping skills are basically what you do to get through the day. Some of us have unhealthy coping skills: smoking, alcohol, food (me!), sleeping. (me!) And believe me, I am not knocking those. As long as it's in moderation, then do your thing. We all have our own ways of coping.
That being said, sometimes unhealthy coping skills can just exacerbate the problem by hiding the real reason you even need to cope. Or by causing other problems, i.e. alcoholism, lung cancer. You know fun things like that.
To help us all out, I have created a list of healthy coping skills. So when you are feeling overwhelmed, check back and practice a little self care. I work nights, have three kids and am selling our house, so yeah I will be right there with you trying just to breath.
The (By No Means Complete) List of Coping/Self Care Ideas
- Reality Checks "It is 6/23 at 2:00 PM and I am in my room"
- Recognize the choices you DO have
- Get away from the stressors
- Help someone else
- Count down.."10..9..8.."
- Try and see a different perspective "I have not stepped in baby poop today. Life is looking up."
- Breathe in and out, count the breaths.
- Ask for help
- Say affirmations to yourself "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough. And gosh darn it, people like me."
- Take a drive or a walk
- Exercise (This apparently works for some people, not so much me.)
- Sing, loudly and off-key
- Naps (as long as it's not all day, I am hiding under the covers kind of nap)
- Google video's of babies laughing, puppies who can't figure out how to roll over, or nom, nom cats. Or even puppies AND babies!
-Go cuddle some babies, puppies or kittens. (Make sure it's yours or a friend's, don't randomly start cuddling babies in the supermarket. Trust me.)
- Read some of your favorite blogs (like this one, of course) , or a well worn book.
And the best one is to remember that it really is OK if some days all you can do is breathe. Don't beat yourself up about it. Just try again the next day, and the next and the next. And please don't hesitate to ask for help. This is a list of different organizations you can call, and you can even email me. I'd be thrilled to hear from you.
What is your coping skill? So we can add it to the list.