Coping strategies focused on improving your mood that you can do on your own are sometimes described as self-soothing or self-care coping strategies. Effective self-soothing coping strategies may be those that involve one or more of the five senses (touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound).
by Ross Trowbridge.
My name is Ross Trowbridge. I have Borderline Personality Disorder and I am not ashamed. First off, I want to preface my article by saying that I once was. I have an emotional intensity disorder that causes instability in moods, impulsive decisions, inability to maintain interpersonal relationships, and more. But I haven’t always had this diagnosis.
Sometimes when you help a friend, you might forget to look after yourself. It’s important to take care of your own needs while you’re helping out your friend. Make sure that you don’t give up things that you enjoy, and if you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed, take some time out to relax.
If you’re concerned that your friend isn’t behaving normally, it’s important to encourage them to talk to someone trustworthy like a doctor. If you think they are likely to hurt themselves or someone else, find help immediately – even if they don’t want you to.
While many of us place a lot of worth on external achievement, there are many variables beyond our control that influence the outcome of a situation. Even if we do our best and do everything right, we might still feel “not good enough” because those external variables mean we didn’t get the gold star.
Other people might have different ideas about what “good enough” means and looks like, but you have no control over that. There will always be someone who is more talented, more accomplished, more X and more Y than you are. The only person it’s helpful for you to compare yourself to is the “you” from yesterday.
When stressed, our inner critic is usually loudest. What is needed is a kinder, compassionate and soothing self. Try soothing words of comfort to say to yourself, such as “I know this is a difficult time for you”, “You are not alone”, “I believe in you.”
Self-soothing techniques include: taking a warm shower or bubble bath, going out into the warm sunshine, lighting scented candles or oil, listening to calming music, playing with or petting your pet, wrapping yourself in a blanket, and drinking hot chocolate slowly.