Monday, September 17, 2007
Audience Participation!!!
Unfortunately, growing up, it turns out I didn't learn what people seem to call "healthy coping mechanisms". When I'm feeling really overwhelmed with crap - which, sometimes, aren't we all? - I tend to use some coping mechanisms that are somewhat maladaptive. I've talked about them before.

One of the things that has helped in my search for ways to cope with stressful situations is a coping bank. I did a bank years ago but I seem to have lost it in the move.

I first came across the concept of a coping bank on

Here's the concept: Basically, put all of your suggestions on little pieces of paper (I print mine out on Avery business cards because I'm a total freak) and put them in a jar or a little purse. I keep them in a little pocket in my purse so that they're always available. When feeling overwhelmed, reach for a card.

If that card is inappropriate or doesn't sound like it will work for you right now, reach for another one (for instance, not all of them are things I can do in my car on the way home from work instead of driving through a McD's.) or perhaps I don't have sidewalk chalk on me at work...

Whatever you pick, even if it can delay the maladaptive behavior for 5 to 15 minutes, or get me out of a really flooded and unhealthy head-space, it is worth it.

There are quite a few good suggestions on the Something Fishy site, which, if you've never been to, I recommend HIGHLY! but honestly, the best suggestions I've ever received are from friends - so - here's my list.

I hope y'all will add to it and please, please feel free to take from it.

  • make a blanket fort (my favorite!) (flashlight, good book, blanket = fort!)
  • read A Light In the Attic (shel silverstein)
  • drive to the beach
  • fingerpaint
  • crochet a hat
  • get on the elliptical
  • write in my journal
  • listen to "angry chick music"
  • listen to "get up and dance music"
  • walk to the park (about 4 blocks from my house)
  • wash my car
  • take a nap
  • listen to chanting
  • practice yoga
  • call a friend
  • clean out my craft closet
  • draw with sidewalk chalk
  • meditate
  • paint a picture
  • make a collage
  • make a gift for someone
  • dance
  • put stuff up on ebay
  • water the lawn
  • pull weeds
  • fill my pill tray
  • learn Yiddish (just bought a Yiddish learning series on iTunes)
  • go to Borders and read magazines for free
  • roll coins
  • play solitaire
  • go see my niece
  • go through my inspiration folder
  • play in my fabric stash
  • make a totebag
  • dig up the side yard
  • post on my blog
  • get Michael to take me for a ride on the bike
  • get a pedicure
  • do a crossword puzzle
  • go to a yard sale
  • find a craft project
  • sign up for a class
Usually one of these things makes me delay anything that might have me kicking myself later. I swear - it freakin' works. Maybe it sounds corny - but it works.


Stumble It!


Blogger bit said...

This is fabulous! As a trichotillomaniac (obsessive hair puller) , I'm always looking for things to do instead of pulling my hair out. I love the idea of carrying around a whole bank of activities. Thank you so much for sharing this.

I don't know if these will help you, but here are some of my favorites:

- take a shower
- google pictures of cute animals (or whatever it is that you enjoy looking at)
- write a quick, silly poem
- write a note or email to a friend
- wind yarn balls for knitting

and so on. I'm looking forward to putting these together to carry with me. Good luck to you, Faith.


Blogger Faith said...

Hey bit~

I'm so glad you like these! I'm definitely adding the ball winding and the googling!

Good luck to you too!


Blogger goodmamajama said...

You'll have to practice Yiddish with Brian! He knows a little!

I love this idea and will be using it myself.

Love you.


Blogger Abby Hansen said...

How about...

--Go buy a lipstick.
--Go to Tiffany's and try on the biggest canary diamond you see.

If you're at home...

--Make up a dirty limerick.
--Read an advice column (Prudie's wonderfully snarky)
--Get the newspaper and write comic-book-style commentary in bubbles above the heads of, well, pick any rights-bashing right-winger you like. Then put it on the fridge.

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