I was reflecting more on my last post about negativity. I think it also stems from me not participating in my coping mechanisms.
For those of you new here, I have bipolar two disorder, which is a less severe form of bipolar one. Although it is less severe, there are delusions I must tackle everyday and mood shifts and constant shifting of ideas and thought processes. I work through this medicated and after eight years of therapy, I stopped going once my therapist retired so I use the coping skills I gained in therapy at home and wherever need be.
I have been taking my meds and would like to lower my lithium (mood stabilizer dose) which will be addressed at my next doctor’s visit. But I haven’t been working on my coping mechanisms, which are tools in my ability to cope with the emotional and physical and mental hardships of being bipolar.
These can range from blogging (which I do often), working out (which I do way less often after three foot, leg, and knee surgeries), to art. It was kind of nice having an art class on my class list last semester so it forced me to be creative each week which I do think helps aid my bipolar disorder. I haven’t finished moving into Diego’s yet so all my paint is at my parents’ house and all my canvases and some paintbrushes are here.
My mom asked me to order what I wanted from Amazon for my birthday around $60.00 worth of things so I ordered a nice pen set, the mildliner highlighter set that is in pastel, a mechanical calculator for my budget, and a reverse coloring book which is where you draw the lines of a picture rather than color in the lines. My birthday is February 6th and I will be turning 24. I don’t have high hopes for my birthday this year because my birthday is the day of the Super Bowl like it is every other year so I won’t see Diego all weekend on my birthday and my parents said lets do my party on Saturday, the day before my birthday. But in all honesty, I despise my birthday and end up crying for some reason.
Back to coping mechanisms! It is easier said than done to work on coping mechanisms. Coping mechanisms is basically the more therapeutical term of self care, which I imagine to be more spa days and bubble baths with lots of candles. Which is so not me. Not that I don’t like a good massage, but self care like that is EXPENSIVE and to do that every day or a few times a week is unrealistic.
But coping mechanisms is whatever your form of self care is that is positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement, or use of vices. For example, I used to be a big gambler and Blackjack player and my vice was to go to the casino. It became an addiction pretty quick, thus I stopped going and it stopped being a coping mechanism for stress. I am a year and three months sober from gambling and I’ve turned my love of money into a love for saving money and budgeting. I have a budget planner and cash envelopes and sinking funds and honestly if I could change my blog to any other niche, it would absolutely be about budgeting because I am now as passionate about that as I was gambling.
Some self care coping mechanisms of mine…
-Playing with my dog, Poncho
-Blogging or writiting
-Budgeting / Planning
-Coloring / Drawing
-Washing my face
-Cleaning the house
-Making my bed
-Taking a long shower
What are some of your self care items that you do? Let me know in the comments.