Considering this is a ridiculously stressful time, I thought I’d share some of my coping mechanisms for when the Weasels get too loud… with the proviso that these work for me, your mileage may vary, and also that The Samaritans have a butt-load of good advice on their website about signs of stress and how to cope.
Have hugs, and know that you can get through this.
“And then what?”
It’s something that has got me through both good times and bad.
It helps with the good: instead of “what if this goes wrong?!” it’s “what if this goes RIGHT?”
And it helps with the bad: if I’m not feeling well and all I can see is grey, then it’s “ok, so how are any of these disaster scenarios going to help? What’s going to happen next?”
And I usually find I’m better off ignoring whatever idiocy my brain has suggested, and just plodding my way along my path: I knew what I was doing when I set out, and I’m not going to listen to the weasels.
It’s just a way to bring everything back to reality when the anxiety spirals start to get too bad, and the catastrophising is getting out of control.
It’s the practical. It’s the grounding. It’s a simple “this is the likely consequence.”
One thing at a time
Even if it’s getting out of bed: covers off. Then legs out. Then upright. Then actually out of bed.
Even one of those steps is a step further than I was previously – even if I then don’t get any further. (Usually, I do… if only because I’m cold and want tea!)
Open the website tab, even if you don’t start looking at it yet. And then it’s open, and at some point when I next get distracted from what I’m doing, I’ll click on it and take the next step.
It’s taking the first small step, and then the next, and then the next. Don’t think about the whole if it’s too overwhelming. Just do one thing, then another.
It’s all progress.
Even something is better than nothing
One bowl washed is better than none.
One item tidied is better than nothing.
One page read is better than none.
Even starting a task is better than not starting.
The proviso to this, of course, is being able to pack it away or have it not get in your way once it’s started. I ration my spoons for larger tasks that have to be done all at once!
Not “it’s going to be ok.” I can’t promise myself that.
Just that it’s ok to panic. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be feeling how you’re feeling.
Just let it pass. Let it through. It’s ok.
Weather the storm.
Curl up in bed, if that’s the safest place for you.
Bury yourself in a book.
Have a shower.
Just be safe. Hiding is ok; the world is crap, and it’s ok to just retreat for a bit if that’s what you need.
It will be ok. You will get through this.