If It Gives You Joy

So a few months ago, I decided I didn’t really care if I lived anymore.  I didn’t want to kill myself, and I didn’t really want to die, but I was just so exhausted and felt so hopeless about the future that I just thought “hey it’d be kind of ok to not wake up sometime,” or “next time I go into surgery, I’d be ok with not coming out of it…”  That sort of thing.  And I knew I needed help.  Because I wanted to want to live!  So I did some searching and found myself a new therapist.  We’d just moved into a new area and the old support group wasn’t really as accessible.  And I think I found a good one.  So far anyway 😉

The last couple weeks I have been REALLY struggling with anxiety.  Like RED ALERT anxiety.  I just visited with my doctor again a few days ago and we’ve adjusted some meds… so far so good.  But I was thinking tonight that I’d like to write about coping skills because sometimes I forget when I’m in the midst of that panicked hopeless feeling.  Obviously, different things are going to work for different people… but these are some of the things that have worked for me over the years:

1- Pull out the coloring book and some crayons.  There’s just something satisfying to me about coloring in the lines and maybe it’s partly about connecting with the kid inside, but I love to color.  And there’s all sorts of great coloring pages you can find online now.  Pinterest is a great source for coloring pages.  And markers, colored pencils… those are fun too, but good old crayons… they just smell right!

2-  The other night when I was freaking out, I decided to TRY taking a bath even though I wasn’t sure I could sit still.  But before I got in the tub, I grabbed a skin brush and dry brushed my whole body.  Dry brushing has a lot of great health and skin benefits, but something about the physical stimulation I think helped pull me out of my brain a little bit.  I was able to settle down and enjoy a bath (with some nice relaxing bath salts) and I really felt better afterwards.  Plus my skin was super soft- BONUS!

3- Sometimes I just need to wrap up in a nice warm blanket.  I think I can understand why babies love to be swaddled.

4- Music and Dance.  Sometimes you don’t need both, but for me, it’s nearly impossible to feel crappy when I’ve been dancing.  So if I have the energy- then this is a great soother for my heart.  I used to bellydance so sometimes that’s what I do, and sometimes I just put some good club type music on and dance around the house like I did in my single, clubbing days.  That was fun!

5- Aromatherapy.  If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend the book The Blossoming Heart by Robbi Zeck.  She profiles 56 different oils and shows you how you can use these to heal emotional wounds.  At one point http://www.naturesgift.com used to sell the book with a kit that included 2ml bottles of each oil in a small case.  I take this case with me EVERYWHERE.

6- Make a phone call.  Calling my 3 year old niece makes my heart sing.

7- Laugh.  Have fun.  Find Joy.  This is where I post some obligatory links to some favorite videos… because… they make me happy!

Supernatural is full of funny videos- this one is just fun and one of the many reasons I love this fandom:

Dr. Horrible is a favorite, and here’s a clip of a favorite song:

 

Watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s musical episode, “Once More With Feeling” always makes me smile.  (Not too many great links for this, but here’s one anyway):

 

Pretty much anything The Piano Guys do makes me happy, but especially watching Steven Sharp Nelson play the cello because HE is just so darn happy!:

 

And one last video because it inspired the name of the post:

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