*This is a repost of an old article and I have updated it to reflect a COVID-19 world we now find ourselves in today.
My Tips on Coping with Mental Illness
At some point we find strategies to cope with the many issues that come along having a mental illness. I know being Bipolar for the last thirteen years I have found things that help with my depression. I am still working on better coping strategies with my social anxiety but I am always a work in progress. Now more than ever this is important to the world that we are living in with the coronavirus.
I want to talk today about some of those coping strategies that I have found effective. I will also talk about some strategies that the experts recommend.
1. Use self-talk – This is one isn’t my recommendation but it makes sense as a coping srategy. I am my own worse enemy and sometimes it can be effective to use self-talk when your depression takes over. You can also use it to convince yourself to get out of bed that day. Talking to yourself can mean the difference between letting depression take you over. It is also very effective against anxiety. Talking to yourself to get up, take a shower, brush your teeth, and eat breakfast is more important as we self isolate. Talking yourself into still finding a routine is paramount in these times.
One of the worst parts of my social anxiety is the catastrophic thinking that goes through my mind. Self-talk can be effective in changing the negative thoughts. I always spend so much time worrying about the possible outcomes of any social interactions. It starts to control me and that it drives me to stress. Which always leads to panic attacks. Talking myself into positive thoughts is one strategy that can work. I have recently talked about the dangers of anxiety in a COVID-19 world, in one of my recent blogs that you can find here.
2. Think Positive thoughts. – I can attest to how thinking postively as a mental health coping strategy. Thinking positive thoughts is so simple and it is an effective way to cope with mental health. Positive thoughts can change your day. It can change a single minute, and it can mean the world.
3. Get More Sleep – Sleep is the most important part of mental health. I can trace all my issues with my Bipolar Disorder to my lack of getting real sleep. My sleep has gotten so bad, that I can’t sleep without the aid of Seroquel. I would love to get eight hours of real sleep a night but my reality is more like four hours.
Sleep hygiene is so important. I wrote a blog post a few months back that will be very helpful with this area. Sleep Hygiene – Top Ten Sleep Tips
4. Listening to Postive Music. – I love this one because it is so effective. It is why I dedicated a whole series on my blog to music that changes my mood. . Find some music that can help you get through the worst of things. I have a playlist dedicated to this coping strategy.
5. Postive Social Contact – This is something I am bad at in my mental health. It makes sense. The more we interact with other humans in a positive setting it can mean real change. One of the worst things I do with my social anxiety is isolating myself in my own little world. I will spend weeks not leaving my house. Meeting people has changed, but you can still be social online. Sites like Zoom have made it safer and secure to set up meetings between friends and loved ones.
It’s hard to describe the feeling that comes with when I finally leave my house for a few hours. It means the world to get out and interact with the world. This is one coping strategy that I will have to work on in my own mental health.
6. Writing and Sharing your story. – I can’t imagine a world without me writing in it. It took me so long to get to a place where my writing is a part of me and now I will fight for it forever. It is what makes me get through each day. Its my greatest coping strategy.
Finding ways to cope within the confines of your mental health is one important strategy. It won’t always be easy. I went through so much trial and error. But I have laid out a few good ways to cope.
I offer this challenge to my mental health bloggers. Write a post about your own mental health coping strategies.
Always Keep Fighting.
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