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Hi CBers,

So one of the things on my to-do list today is to make a list of self-care or self-soothing things I can refer to when I'm going batshit. I have a couple already, like sit in the sun, buy a plant, etc, etc, but, I was wondering which activities you do to make yourself feel better.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

-Alice

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Reminisce about the times that put a massive smile on my face. For example, there was a time when I purposely sneezed in my best friend's face (I know really disgusting and childish, I was about 14 then) and the knee jerk response from him was priceless! That always makes me laugh.

Shower. Something I never really appreciate for the longest time but it does actually make me feel physically good.

Watching a film/playing a computer game/listening to a music album I really would like for the bad days.

Help around the house. Helping other people helps you.

Listening to really up beat music, something which is the epitome of positivity. For me it's the Polar Bear Café soundtrack, the only anime I've ever liked.

Do something to improve my situation such as learning a skill like HTML, working on passing my theory test. This takes a lot of effort though because too often I'm not in that mood - that goes along with the depression of course.

Do some yoga. Really simple. Doesn't require a lot of thought or movement - or energy! But it calms me down and gives me a feeling of zen for a while.

This is all from a piece of paper I have, I call it my 'Depression Survival Guide'.

Oh, and I always listen to extracts from the Ricky Gervais Show on YouTube. Karl Pilkington is an amazing guy with some really funny thoughts and stories, Steven Merchant has a great sense of humour and Ricky Gervais has a brilliant laugh.

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I was trying to think of something today. I wanted to treat myself, but not with food.

It isn't really soothing, but I am getting a manicure. 

I like music. I forget about it but I enjoy listening

I have a soft blanket that I like to bundle up in when it is cold

 

 

 

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I agree with the comedy.  I like Eddie Izzard.  He's smart funny.

beyond that, I tend to go to sensory stuff.  Music, bubble bath, looking at pictures from a better time or really good trip I went on, walking outside in nature and paying attention to the scenery, depending on what i'm soothing i have a weighted blanket to calm me down, use a lotion with a scent i really like.  There's a longer list - this has some of them - http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/self-sooth.html.

See also http://creativityintherapy.com/2016/05/create-a-sensory-self-soothing-kit/  I like their ideas, though I'm not sure you need to do the box.  Maybe it helps though?  Haven't tried it.

my last main one is meditation of some flavor.  I have an app on my phone with a gazillion options, so I choose one and see if I'm able to follow it.  I can't always  

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Sometimes I just have to ride it out because if I am feeling out of control, angry, and/or more, my mind can't calm down enough to try to do anything (ie ideas listed in above posts).

What works for me is to sit by myself, with absolutely no noise (one ounce of noise will set me off again), maybe just stare at the TV.  Sometimes I fall asleep, and when I wake up I am doing a little better (some of the times).

My 2 cents.

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Depends what batshit is. I don't know what that is and from experience it is different for each person that has goes into such states of batshit. 

I don't call my skills in this area self-soothing, because for what I use them for they are the opposite, which may be counterproductive for you, so I don't want to share things that might make the situation worse. 

Above suggestions seem wise, if it is legitimate soothing you are after. Kind of wish I needed that, but I have the opposite problem. 

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  • 3 months later...

Animals are among the best for me.  No matter how down I am, my stupid cat will always find a way to amuse me.  Dogs and other cats too, but my cat especially.  Animals are just so weird and silly, I can't help but smile.

Also, certain types of exercise.  Running is often a no-go. If I'm starting to get depression, then the weighed down feeling will just make me feel slow and weak if I run.  Climbing or really grinding away on the elliptical with motivating music are more likely to help. 

If the batshit is total irritation at everything, ready to throw plates out the window because I'm mad at them for being dirty kinda stuff, then often the only answer is taking a break.  Maybe even a nap.  Me, alone, dark room, ugly cry to release tension, fall asleep.  Exercise can help with this mood sometimes too.

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  • 1 month later...

There is a birdfeeder in my tiny backyard. Watching and especially listening to the birds calms me down. Also looking at trees. Looking at the leaves, seeing the leaves or the branches against the sky, watching leaves move in the breeze. This keeps me afloat while I am down. I love the bridfeeder. Seeing the living creatures doing their various things brings me out of myself.

When I am hypo/manic, I spend hours "shopping" on the internet, putting things in my cart and then abandoning them. It gives me pleasure to go through the process of choosing things to "buy" but I stop myself before I spend a crapton of money on stuff I don't need.

 

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10 hours ago, theforest said:

When I am hypo/manic, I spend hours "shopping" on the internet, putting things in my cart and then abandoning them. It gives me pleasure to go through the process of choosing things to "buy" but I stop myself before I spend a crapton of money on stuff I don't need.

I have problem stints of compulsively shopping on Amazon, I don't think it's a hypo thing, but because I am insanely bored!! I do exercise caution & never buy on impulse. I spend hours putting together particular lists, reading all the reviews, looking at user photos, selecting the "perfect" item and then it gets saved into my Wish list for several days. Then I try to conveniently forget about certain items. During those several days, I click through the wish list and try to rate/assess how much I really need the item. I also try not to order multiples of the same thing....but when it says that there is only 1 item left in stock - I break down and make the purchase. :(

It's tough sometimes, because I know it is a feeble attempt to fill an empty void. I do this at cheap stores like forever21, target, h&m, grocery store makeup or thrift shops.  It also is a means of avoiding important tasks & chores. I feel like I am doing a "job" I get a bit of a lift when my coveted item arrives, and then the feeling of reward & distraction is quickly gone like within 3 days. Rinse, repeat...I guess there are worse compulsions...but I cannot recover from it. i try to make out with purchases under $100.

Is this super common for other people here too?? Do you really believe it is always a Bipolar thing?

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Sorry was a bit of main topic (above comment) Self Soothing ideas:

Listening to either stress-relieving classical music or upbeat music (depending on mood state/situation)

Sleeping in a quiet room

Showering/taking a bath

Sensory stuff like: Candles, scented soap, putting on lotions, trying makeup, giving myself a manicure.

Exercise (ideally intensive which is the most distracting)

Cooking or buying ingredients for a new recipe

Reading a trashy magazine (low level of concentration necessary)

Making a gratitude list (sometimes this doesn't work at all)

Reading a book of meditations about life

Making a Wish list or Life Goals list

Comedy talks on Youtube

Silly/cute animal videos on Youtube

Emailing a friend/family member or someone to tell them how important they are to you (i.e. focusing on someone else)

Journaling the emotions/thoughts out on paper

Looking at photos of good times, or organizing photos on laptop

Coming to CB when all the above fails!!!

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17 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

I have problem stints of compulsively shopping on Amazon, I don't think it's a hypo thing, but because I am insanely bored!! I do exercise caution & never buy on impulse. I spend hours putting together particular lists, reading all the reviews, looking at user photos, selecting the "perfect" item and then it gets saved into my Wish list for several days. Then I try to conveniently forget about certain items. During those several days, I click through the wish list and try to rate/assess how much I really need the item. I also try not to order multiples of the same thing....but when it says that there is only 1 item left in stock - I break down and make the purchase. :(

It's tough sometimes, because I know it is a feeble attempt to fill an empty void. I do this at cheap stores like forever21, target, h&m, grocery store makeup or thrift shops.  It also is a means of avoiding important tasks & chores. I feel like I am doing a "job" I get a bit of a lift when my coveted item arrives, and then the feeling of reward & distraction is quickly gone like within 3 days. Rinse, repeat...I guess there are worse compulsions...but I cannot recover from it. i try to make out with purchases under $100.

Is this super common for other people here too?? Do you really believe it is always a Bipolar thing?

I do a similar thing, obsessively search for items to buy online. I don't make wishlists though, and its always things I need but can't buy due to my income. If I do buy them, I feel very guilty for allowing myself to have things I need, because I usually only buy food as a punishment. 

I do it more if I am bored, and especially if my anhedonia is bothering me, and I have tried other activities that are meant to be enjoyable and are not for me because of my depression.

Anhedonia is my worst depression symptom (well aside from suicidiality) and I don't have much tolerance for it. The tolerance I do have just makes it worse, because its very difficult to find a meaning and purpose to live when you can't enjoy anything, or adequately stimulate your brain and senses, at least for me. 

Its also just a routine and habit, which I get stuck in easily. Void certainly helps none, and I have quite a large one. 

I also do it when I am irritable/frustrated and feeling hopeless when nothing I do helps me at all. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Hopelessly Broken
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1 minute ago, Hopelessly Broken said:

I do a similar thing, obsessively search for items to buy online. I don't make wishlists though, and its always things I need but can't buy due to my income. If I do buy them, I feel very guilty for allowing myself to have things I need, because I usually only buy food as a punishment. 

I do it more if I am bored, and especially if my anhedonia is bothering me, and I have tried other activities that are meant to be enjoyable and are not for me because of my depression.

Anhedonia is my worst depression symptom (well aside from suicidiality) and I don't have much tolerance for it. The tolerance I do have just makes it worse, because its very difficult to find a meaning and purpose to live when you can't enjoy anything, or adequately stimulate your brain and senses, at least for me. 

Its also just a routine and habit, which I get stuck in easily. Void certainly helps none, and I have quite a large one.

I completely agree - anhedonia is my worst symptom at the moment. Things that typically give others pleasure don't often work for me. My therapist says to do these things "positive things" anyway, which sometimes is impossible.

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Yes. It is more depressing than doing nothing most of the time, because at least then you aren't necessarily effected by how other people gain something you can't experience. 

It actually contributes to these types of skills not working also, for me. Distraction just draws more attention to it. 

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