Saturday, 27 August 2016

Top 10 Tips for Coping When You're Not Coping

Hot Chocolate from Paul's Bakery, drunk in Covent Garden with a cosy scarf behind it

Part two of the mental health series over here on Babbles With Beth is all about ways that I've found help me cope when I'm really not coping. And as I spend approximately 90% of my time currently not coping, I feel almost qualified to post this little list of tips. And unlike a lot of posts telling you ways to cope and keep yourself distracted, this is going to be a realistic and honest list. I hate over the top bubbly posts that make me feel even worse for not coping and not being able to do 90% of the things on the list, so we're keeping it short, sweet, and easy to do. 

1. Don't let other people tell you what to do, and don't let their words make you feel bad about not coping. If you can't get out of bed for a day, don't. Binge watch a series on Netflix if you want. Let your batteries recharge, and you'll probably find that the day after, it's hell of a lot easier to get out of bed.

2. Eat and drink the things that make you happy. If the thought of eating a salad makes you want to die (slight exaggeration) treat yourself to that hot chocolate with all the trimmings, or a massive mountain of chips. If it makes you happy, that's a winner in my book.

3. Make yourself feel cosy. I always find that making myself feel cosy and warm on the outside lifts my mood, if only slightly. Make yourself a nice cup of tea, grab that cosy blanket, and cocoon yourself in your favourite spot with a book, sewing, knitting, social media, anything that will keep your hands and mind busy

4. If you have a pet, use and abuse it. Not literally, that would land you in a whole pile of trouble, but grab that fluffy (or scaly, each to their own) bundle of love and pour your emotions into it. 

5. Get out of the house. I know from personal experience that even when I have no energy, just getting out of the place that has all those bad thoughts and memories cooped up inside does wonders for clearing your head. Even if it's just five minutes down the road, or popping to your local coffee shop. Get yoself and yo brain out of that house.

Photo of an adult colouring book, orange pencil, and cosy blanket in a list of ways to cope when you're not coping

6. Say what you're feeling. Whether that be a professional, a relative, a friend, someone on the internet, or just shouting your words out into the air, get them out of you. Bad thoughts fester, and festering leads to a vicious cycle of not coping. 

7. Spend some time doing activities that you know you enjoy. Colouring, reading, sewing, lying on your bed and staring out of the window, whatever it may be, take some time for yourself. Oftentimes not coping can come as a result of neglecting yourself, and you are the main player in your own life. Make times for the things you enjoy.

8. Find a way to distract your brain. I'm not here to judge you, if that comes in the form of self harm or draining a bottle of wine, or merely just browsing the internet until 5am, get your brain away from the bad thoughts. But please, try to stay safe.

9. Revisit a childhood favourite. Whether that be a book, film, or place, it will most likely have good, comforting memories attached to it. Grab those memories, store them up, keep them close, let them remind you of a better time, drag them out again whenever you're not coping.

10. Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself sane. Leave that job, boyfriend, bad relationship (friend, family, or otherwise.) Move. Quit university/college. Start university/college. Whatever you need to do to get your motor started and you back up and running, do it.

What tips do you have for coping?