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Aug 21

Honest coping mechanisms for Anxiety/Depression/PTSD

With my laptop out of commission, I haven’t been able to write like I intended. However, my laptop is back at full capacity, so here we are. I wanted to write, I wanted to say something to the world now that I finally can. I would be lying if I said I was in perfect condition, unfortunately. I have been dealing with depression, anxiety, and my PTSD recently pretty badly. My sleeping, however, is getting much better; the best it’s been in years!

Unfortunately, as stated before, I feel my growth has plateaued. At least temporarily, I should say. However, that won’t silence me. I don’t want the fact that I not in a perfect state should prevent me from writing for you to read, for you to relate. This is a project, a collaborative effort. We are a family of roots growing to the stars, together.

After some thought, I decided to post some of my coping mechanisms I implement in my day to day life. Mental illness is insanely personal, and I know these won’t work for everyone. However, if it helps even one person, I feel I have won.

 

 

  1. Listening to music– I just recently discovered how important music is to the mind. I found that by silencing the world for a moment and allowing myself to focus on the music, allowing it to sink into my mind and give it a moment to breathe, it helped. Tremendously, in fact. I will take my headphones and fully immerse myself into my favorite music. My favorites at the moment are anything by Pvris or Halsey. Also, “Rainbow”, Kesha’s new album, is insanely beautiful and is something that has just recently entered my music rotation.
  2. Mindless phone games– This may seem silly but is something that really helps. I have a plethora of games on my phone that aren’t especially hard but do require my attention just enough to take my focus off the world. Card games are always quite enjoyable such as rummy or solitaire. In addition, I love the game “I love hue” which is a game where you must switch color blocks to create the original color fade. Most recently I have also discovered a pottery game where I can simply create pottery and paint it with designs and different colors. This is also insanely relaxing and therapeutic.
  3. Singing– Singing is something I have enjoyed since I was a small child. However, I am insanely insecure and that holds me back from doing anything with something I enjoy so much. Whenever I get the chance, I like to sing along to songs I know my vocal range matches and just belt out the notes whole heartedly. I funnel so many emotions into the music I sing, even if it is only for my ears.
  4. Watching something that will make me laugh– I believe that humor and laughter are so important for the pursuit of happiness. For me, especially, I find humor can put a smile on my face when nothing can. I really enjoy comedy stand-up on Netflix, especially. I like the darker humor, so of course, Louis C.K. is an all-time favorite. Some other favorite comedians are Bo Burnham, Iliza Schlesinger, Rory Scovel, Jen Kirkman, Jim Gaffigan, and many others I can’t think of off the top of my head. I also really love to watch funny YouTube videos. The authenticity of YouTube videos is what gets me every time. Some of my favorites are You suck at cooking, a comedy cooking channel with dry, blunt humor that gets you when you don’t see it coming, Good Mythical Morning, a daily morning show, CrankThatFrank, a react channel, Shane Dawson, does videos on many different topics, Grace Helbig and her group of friends.
  5. Breathing and mental coaching-When I’m in the moment of having an anxiety attack or having flashbacks, it’s hard to keep your gravity centered. It’s important to keep breathing, slowly moving from shallowed breaths to deep breaths. In through, your nose, out through your mouth keeps the air flowing at a pace that is manageable. I try to count to 5, if possible. In addition, I talk to myself in this types of situations, even if it is out loud. I use my own name as if I were helping a friend through an attack. “Katie, you are safe, you are not there anymore. That is over, it is not happening here. You are safe, you have people here and are in this location. Focus on here, you are okay and will be fine”. It’s important to understand that you have to take yourself seriously at times like this, which is something I finally figured out.

 

I’m sure there may be more, however, these are the first 5 I was able to think of and therefore are the most important to my healing. I find that the common theme, for the most part, are activities that are not hard or strenuous, but take my focus off the million things rushing around me at the moment. It focuses the wandering thoughts into one slow stream of attention, therefore allowing my body to return to normal. For me, this is what has been working best on the daily struggle of battling PTSD brought on anxiety and depression.

 

I hope that some of these may help others, even if one person gains some insight. Remember, you are not weak at times of panic. You are strong. You are warrior painted with colors of strength and courage, never forget that. You are fighting a daily battle others do not see, and no one can challenge that. Never let the world take the stars from your eyes.

 

Disclaimer: I am in no way handing out medical advisement with mental illness. I am just hoping that some of you could benefit from my personal experiences with these listed above.

–Katie

About the author

Katie

I am a survivor of two accounts of sexual assault that I only recently discovered were assaults, and coming to terms with this has been the rockiest road I’ve walked. I have let my assaults conquer me and take me down like a house of cards, unfortunately I refuse to be blown over anymore.
I joined this team to use my voice and experiences to help others start their journey to recovery and happiness. Neither of my assaults were easy to identify and are ones we are not always educated on, so I understand from personal experience how hard it can be to start the process to recovery, especially when you don’t see the beginning of the path. I want to be that path marker, let me help you start!
Never allow yourself to be silenced, your voice will always be yours and cannot be taken away from you. I love all of you. <3

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