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In this three part series, we wanted to examine Coping Strategies and how you can use them to become a more resilient and mentally healthy person.

Read the first part here.

In the second part, Liam looks at some of the more obscure coping strategies, and how you can implement them into your everyday life.

 

There are many ways to help you cope with mental illness. No matter what you struggle with there are ways you can put yourself in control, rather than be controlled.

In our last post, Introducing Coping Strategies, we mentioned a few of the standard strategies you could put in place such as sleep, meditation, medication and exercise. But these are all well known. As we are all programmed differently we may need to look and experiment with more obscure methods in order to find the right balance. So let’s check out a few…

1. Fill A Page

Mental illness can create many thoughts in that brain of yours. Sometimes this may become overwhelming. Why not try a quick way to get some of those thoughts out. The concept is simple, and will take a very little amount of your time. Grab a pen, grab a piece of paper and just write until the page is full. The important thing is to not stop and think. Just write what comes immediately to you. You might start with writing the same word repeatedly, it might not even make sense, but who cares. We aren’t looking for a novel, its just filling a page with ink!

This is not journaling, it’s nothing you need to share and punctuation can be thrown out the window.

 

2. I’m Grateful For…

It’s easy to forget gratitude in life. The ability to breathe unaided might be expected from most of us but it’s still a gift of life. It’s easy to take things for granted. So how about writing a daily list of what you are grateful for? This can be anything big or small, might be one thing or might be 10. You may write the same things each day, you may write more one day than others. It’s about thinking differently and encouraging your positive side to break through.

Give it a try, the list may grow and grow!

 

3. Your First Words

Getting up in the morning isn’t a very positive experience. You’re groggy, probably want that extra snooze time and it takes a little time for you to fully engage with the world.

It’s time to mix things up.

The start of your day normally has an impact on how the rest of your day goes. Don’t let your first words be “I’m Tired”. Instead, get up, go to the nearest mirror and tell yourself and the world “I’m going to have a great day”. Maybe add a smile in there too!

 

4. Buy A Plant, Or a Wilson

There’s often a lot of pressure to talk to others when your mental health deteriorates. But maybe you’re not ready to talk. Maybe you’re not ready to hear opinions. Sometimes letting something out without receiving anything back can help. Now you could get a pet, but that that’s a bit drastic. Instead, buy a plant, give it a name and be kind with water. Talk to it, it might feel a bit odd the first time but stick with it.  

Ever watched the film Castaway with Tom Hanks? His best friend was a football called Wilson. If you haven’t watched it, watch it! Warning though, it gets slightly emotional so remember to keep a tissue nearby.

 

5. Obscurity

The number of strategies out there in this world is huge, and you’d be here for a while if we listed them all. What’s important is too experiment and explore. Take yourself out of your comfort zone a little and test waters you wouldn’t normally test. Try different things and create something which works for you. Try to keep track of what you are trying. Keep a journal and note down how each makes you feel. Maybe rate them out of 10. Whatever works for you.

 

Coping Strategies won’t find you, you need to find them!

 

Look out for our next instalment in this series on Coping Strategies…

If you have something you want to say about mental health send us a pitch to cai.burton@freedomofmind.org.uk

Keep your pitches to less than 150 words and tell us what content you want to make and why you want to make it. It can be anything, from a poem, to an article, to a video, to a piece of artwork – we’re just after stories to tell. We can keep things anonymous if you’d like and we’ll help you to edit your piece then get it up on the blog.

 


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