A blog about chronic illness, chronic pain, and mental health. Most of my posts are reblogged. I am not a medical professional, and any advice you see here is based strictly on personal experience or opinion. Always feel free to send asks & submissions!

wheeliewifee:

I have spent most of my life in some form of therapy, and I am a MASTER of coping skills. I have lists of tips for every trigger and every self-destructive urge —but after my accident, I noticed that some of my tried-and-true coping mechanisms were not possible in my new physical condition. Since then, I have noticed the same problem on lists circulating on-line. So, I decided to write my own!

These suggestions are from a variety of lists found in my personal collection, the Dialectical Behavior Therapy manual, and on-line. Most of the things included I have actually tried and found effective myself. 

I have broken them down into 3 categories: Pain, Anxiety, and Depression. The “Pain” list is designed for flare days. It holds the least physically-intensive ideas, things that can be done while completely bed-ridden, and ideas that can actually help reduce pain (or at least distract you from it). 

PAIN:

  • Deep breathing exercises (inhale 5 seconds, hold 5 seconds, and exhale 5 seconds- carefully.)
  • Draw, paint, or color. (a tablet, Magna-doodle or even Etch-a-Sketch would work if you don’t want to use paper and crayons.)
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Pet a dog/cat/furry creature.
  • Turn on (or off) all of the lights.
  • Sit outside or under a sunny-lamp, even just for a few moments. 
  • Sip a warm drink.
  • Watch funny Youtube videos.
  • Read. (keep it light, easy to understand, and uplifting)
  • Contact a friend.
  • Stretch or do gentle yoga.  (Don’t push. Be very careful. Know your limits.)
  • Immerse yourself in a computer or video game. Use headphones if possible. 
  •  Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel without judgment; observe and describe. (example: I feel angry. My feet hurt. I am frustrated. I feel sad. I wish I were healthier. My pain is at an 8. I feel upset. - notice the thoughts/feelings and let them pass. Don’t fixate, justify, or analyze. )
  • Meditate.
  • Write a list of things you are looking forward to, things you are grateful for, or things you are proud of.
  • Trace a maze or mandala,with your fingers(or even just your eyes). 
  •  Make yourself as comfortable as possible. (sit on pillows, cover yourself in blankets, change positions, etc.)

ANXIETY:

  • Put together a puzzle.
  • Hold ice, splash your face with cold water, or go outside in the rain or snow. (be safe, don’t prolong exposure- only long enough for a sensation to “shock” your system.)
  • Clean or organize a space. (even a digital space, if you can’t physically clean!)
  • MOVE. However you can- from crinkling your face muscles to doing jumping jacks. Just MOVE.
  • Drink herbal tea or decaf coffee.
  • Write positive quotes or words on flashcards.
  • Get outside, even just for a moment.
  • Do gentle yoga or simple stretches. (see pain list for link and cautions)
  • DISTRACT. Any way you can: TV, YouTube, Tumblr, read, write, play word games, play a game, etc.
  • Throw balled-up socks at a blank wall.
  • Scream into a pillow.
  • Take pictures.
  • Browse on-line stores. Window shop or put together a “Wish List”.
  • Count. Backwards from 100, forward in 7’s, backward in 2’s, 1-10 getting gradually louder, etc.
  • Plant your feet firmly on the floor or press your hands on your seat cushion. Ground yourself.
  • Think of 3 household objects for every letter of the alphabet.
  • Shred blank paper.
  • Play with silly putty or play dough.
  • Pop bubble wrap.
  • Learn to swear in another language.

DEPRESSION:

  • Comb your hair, paint your nails, or wash your face. (performing a simple grooming task can significantly boost your mood).
  • Pet a cat/dog/furry creature. If possible, visit a shelter.
  • Write a thank-you note to someone you appreciate, or leave a NICE anonymous message online.
  • Make and listen to a playlist of happy and upbeat music.
  • Browse photos of fun memories and people you love.
  • Write a list of things you are grateful for, things you are proud of, things you love, or things you are capable of.
  • Rub lotion onto your arms or legs, mindfully and gently.
  • Draw random designs and color them in.
  • Take a warm bath, shower, or rub a warm, damp, towel over your skin.
  • Do something productive. Cross something off your to-do list! (organize files on your computer, clean a room, do a homework assignment, cook a meal, return a call, etc.)
  • Write (or add to) your “Bucket” list! (keep it fun and upbeat)
  • Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling, without judgment. Laugh, cry, scream, etc.
  • Observe and describe your feelings. (see pain list for details)
  • Treat yourself. Eat something decadent, watch your favorite show, indulge in something!
  • Make a mental list of 5 things you see, hear, and feel. Then list 4, then 3, then 2, then 1.
  • Call a hotline. (International, USA) They will let you talk. They will NOT call  911 unless you say you are in immediate danger. I have used this option many times and I recommend it. 
  • Contact a friend or family member.
Let me know if you have any ideas to add, and I will make a follow-up post! 
Take care of yourselves. 

(via chronicallykatie)

  1. schoolinlifeetc reblogged this from wheeliewifee
  2. drwhohipster reblogged this from wheeliewifee
  3. elegantmess-southernbelle reblogged this from wheeliewifee
  4. lenamazz reblogged this from spooniegoestocollege
  5. spooniegoestocollege reblogged this from emilyellenxx
  6. justaquickquestion reblogged this from sheathandshear
  7. sheathandshear reblogged this from wheeliewifee
  8. berrizcombo reblogged this from wheeliewifee
  9. al0tay reblogged this from chronic-illness-support
  10. elizarod reblogged this from wheeliewifee and added:
    Great coping ideas :)
  11. somepeoplebuildjaegers reblogged this from emilyellenxx
  12. emilyellenxx reblogged this from chronic-illness-support
  13. asecrettotheworld reblogged this from chronic-illness-support
  14. cgstar4 reblogged this from wheeliewifee
  15. lechatx reblogged this from wheeliewifee
  16. prettykitty-blr reblogged this from wheeliewifee
If you are not on anonymous, please specify if you would like for your message to be private. Feel free to just write (private) somewhere in your message!