When it comes to coping with life, and with mental illness in particular, I feel so under-qualified to comment. Most of the time I feel like a wreck, merely bumbling through trying to do my best.
However, there are some things that help me, when I allow them to:
- Meditation: For me, this quiets down the noise in my brain and can slow down a limbic response. When I am having a good day, I feel like I get really deep into my (para?) sympathetic nervous system, and I do feel that it calms me on a deep level. There are some guided meditations that I listen to that aim to reprogram the unconscious mind with more healthy patterns. I don’t know if that is true or not, but it can’t hurt, right? I use an app called Insight Timer, and I loooooove it. It is easy to use, tracks your use, and has a TON of free resources.
- Exercise: I’m terrible at this one, but when I do move, I know I feel better. So many types of exercise feel like a fucking chore to me that I just despise them, but I don’t mind walking, kayaking or dance. Those are fun. Hiking is cool. I do like that endorphin rush thing.
- Writing: Here and in my journal, I am able to get my thoughts out of my head. I can express what I need to without fear of judgment or reprisal, and get some distance between me and the problem. I can see when I am having irrational, intrusive thoughts sometimes when I see them on paper. Or overall irrational thought patterns and habits. I also often find when I am upset with someone, I initially express my hurt better in a written form, followed up with conversation. It helps me say what I need to without it coming out sideways.
- Distraction: I read or watch the Golden Girls.
- Crafts: I crochet and loom-knit. I find the repetitive action soothing.
What helps you?