My dear friend Kendra, also known as my pseudo-therapist, was talking me through some stuff today and gave me a great idea.
She said that instead of dwelling on the bad things (see last post), I should look at this time as a challenge and almost literally make it a game. She talked about how she does this at work, and honestly I used to do this at work too. I never got stressed out about work, because I just looked at deadlines as a challenge like this and never took petty lab-gossip seriously. I get so stressed about little things, but I was always proud of how I was cool at work like that. It really ended up making me a better employee.
So for me now, it will kind of work like this: set out one or two challenges for the next two weeks. You have to really work your mindset like it’s a game, like being slightly competitive at Monopoly but it isn’t the end of the world if you lose one day. You might actually have had more properties this game than the last one at least. Then you work at it but don’t get so hard on yourself.
Okay, I actually hate Monopoly….moving on…:)
So MY challenges are these:
- Challenge: Swim every day until my arms hurt and then on the day I can’t go, just do more mini-walks and treat that day the SAME as a swim day (as far as not judging myself and using coping skills….which I often give up on when I can’t swim). It’s not that I only feel worthy when I swim, not at all, just that it helps me FEEL so much better and I shouldn’t deny myself it because I am not deserving of it, because I AM!
- Challenge: I have this huge fear going on about getting a panic attack or not being in control of myself and using negative coping mechanisms when I don’t even want to anymore. Then, they often happen out of the fear itself! So when I panic or feel the urge to “mess up” (my code word), I don’t want to overthink it. I am just going to do as many DBT skills as I can, write them down, and SHOW PEOPLE what I did. I plan to add that to the bottom of my blog entry every morning for the day before and/or e-mail it to B every night if that isn’t good enough. He is being gracious enough to let me do that, nice man. 😉 I also have a spreadsheet thing that is printed out that I mark the skills down on during the day. I used to do that a lot and it is SO helpful. Then you can see all the skills you have to choose from and feel proud when you check one off!
- Challenge: Let the past go. Move on from HERE. Just focus on myself.
I know I say a lot of things about what I am going to do on this blog, but this one I really am. 🙂 I need some accountability, somewhere to check in and just send this progress out into the world. I am referring here to writing down the skills I used at the bottom of each day’s entry for the day before. A big goal for me will be not having to be perfect with this, just setting out the good things I did do. Kind of like my worth journal.
My worth journal, FYI, is a journal I do whenever I am feeling worthless (a HUGE problem for me, especially being unemployed). I write down: Worth for Today .
And then I just list everything that I accomplished, from swimming to applying for X amount of jobs, to researching or working on school applications, to cleaning and cooking (after that I write WHY it gives me worth…because I helped my mom who works full-time so she doesn’t have to do it). I will also write, “I coped well with _________” because I think using DBT skills counts for something! You can write down helping a friend, anything! I write down my volunteer work with the dog rescue a lot.
I know we should all feel worth just for being US, but honestly, I can’t always do that. I can rarely do that. So this helps me a lot. It shows the big things I accomplished and the little things.
What positive coping skills are you using lately?