I'm sure this probably won't be a new skill but it's my go to.
I ask myself questions about right now I ask what year is it? were do you live? Are you hungry or thirsty? What are 5 colors in the room? How many green things can you see? What is your dog's name?
Sometimes I use it after a flashback but I also use it as a distraction. I'm not thinking about other stuff if I'm looking for everything that's green. It really helps me at work to stay focused.
Also making something to drink that I really like or going and getting a coffee and focusing on how the cup feels, and the temperature I'm my mouth, and the flavor, and the thickness of it, o whatever I can think to describe.
Or watching a TV show or movie I love but really watching it. Trying to pick out one thing I have never noticed before. It gets harder every time because I watch the same 4 movies over and over. Yesterday I watched one of my favorite doctor who episodes. And noticed a film trope they used. Made me smile because I never noticed.
This probably wasn't helpful I said mindfulness basically lol. Hopefully it was helpful I love this idea I hope a lot of people respond with ideas.
Routine needs to happen for me every day. I have a routine that's loosely based on an average hospital day actually. Routine is typically good for mental health across the board, and good sleep hygiene, diet, and daily exercise are more essential than the best of my meds, so my routine covers all of those
Mine is fairly precise: 3 main meals at fixed times, 2 breaks for snacks. Morning exercise after brekky (I switch those 2 in the warmer months). Something to occupy me, involving leaving the house and some human interaction, before and after lunch. Wind down walk before dinner, then quiet time before a guided relaxation and bed.
In the last day? I jacked up the exercise, because I'm in a bad headspace. That works for me as a distraction, emptying out my stress cup physiologically, and has the added bonus of improving my sleep.
Today, I also let myself cry. Didn't use to be able to. Now that I can, it's a little annoying because it tends to be spontaneous. But it's something kind I've learned to do for myself - cry when you want to - so I do that, and then quietly acknowledge the achievement of letting myself cry without judgment or consequence.
there is a thread under here that asks the same question from may. my answer then was drink a lot until i black out and make a fool of myself. very gratefull to say i no longer do that! there are days where my drinking is bad but it is no longer every day.
for now my go-to is to just sit in my closet with a lot of blankets and hot chocolate and watch movies. i like cartoons and science or nature documenteries. they are less likely of triggering me. or i write about what is happening. or hold ice cubes until they melt. or go bother my husband. ()
or i do math. start simple and get complicated. or do some thing with my daughter. or listen to loud music until my brain vibrates in my skull. things to destract and interrupt the thoughts cycles. the with self harm getting worse these days which i am pracicing wriing it all down what i want to do.
instead of doing it. it gets it all out of me. and i draw. it's not very good. but the purpose is not to be good. it is to try and communecate what of inside of my head to get it out of me in a constructeve way.
At work I've placed drawings and pictures of things that I like. I made some drawings of my parts. Also do the butterfly touch when I start fulminating about something. I also sometimes buy a pastry that I really like and eat it with coffee. And also bribe my teammates with food. It works.
I love to watch nature documentaries and also read about animal behaviour and stuff. Films and shows I also do sometimes, but it's a bit of a Russian roulette in matters of triggering. And I tend to get sunk in it so it isn't super good. I prefer to go to the cinema from time to time now that it's possible again. I'm also very technical about movies so it's hard for me to have a suspension of disbelief and I generally just get pissed when I have some problem about it lol.
Recently I got in a close combat class. It's a good way to get triggered in a safe environment. The aim being replacing the disordered movements you do when you're stressed with actually efficient gestures. There is a lot of silly jokes involved because you have to distract your partner and be distracted and forget the sequence of gestures to recall it by reflex. So there is a lot of mess and laugh. But also it helps regain a true sense of physical control and posture. It's a very complete sport in the sense you have to complete it with cardio and stretches. So I do a bit of shadow boxing and yoga on my own. I also have a punching bag which is reaaaaally nice to have the dark energy out!
I try to get to bed before midnight. Sleep has been the most difficult to manage, as I have GAD. I got a mix of medication that is working well, but generally I have to read myself to exhaustion.
I also live with roommates and despite it being a bit too much at times it's really structuring and reassuring. Otherwise I'd turn into a little bear that eats in trashcans.
I also make lists and ask myself what I can bring to my environment that is cool and cosy. Because of my trauma I always have this impression I'm not gonna stay anywhere and have to leave far away. So making myself a nice place is good.
One of my goals this year was to watch tv with my kids! We don’t own one but I finally figured out how to watch movies on my computer and enjoyed watching Totoro with my daughter. Good job on the coping strategies!
My coping skills, which I also consider self-care, include :
- reading fluffy fanfictions
- watching peaceful cottagecore videos (I highly recommend Nekoniwa's youtube channel)
- venting to a friend instead of hurting myself or bottling everything up
- writing in my journal
- taking a bath helps sometimes as I have to focus on the fact that I'm a bit too hot and that my muscles need to relax from all the accumulated tension
- organizing my closet or decluttering (with is a coping skill for both my anxiety and my OCD)
- taking a walk with goth music in my ears so my pent-up rage can get out through the song I'm listening to
- organizing my finances
- hugging very very veryyyy tightly the cuddly toy I've had for twenty four years now (I got it when I was six months old). It's been sowed back together everywhere and smells funny (I was it a few times a year but it's so old lol) but it's so familiar and comforting.