The Coping Kete

No. 95: Doing Something Else

This week, to attain, maintain or regain my sense of wellbeing…

…I will practice doing something else to shift my mood when I need to improve the moment. To prepare myself, I will make a list of random activities that I am familiar with. For example things like baking, reading a book, walking around the block, washing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom, doing a cross-word and making a card for someone are all pretty common activities that many people could do at almost any time.

It is important these are activities I am familiar with as learning something new is incredibly difficult during times of stress and distress.

When I notice myself getting stuck in an unhelpful mood or chain of thinking that I can’t really do much about right now, I will practice doing the items on my list. I will focus my attention on the task at hand, noticing my movements, the space around, various sensations and my desired outcome. If worried or distressed thoughts find their way into my mind, I will notice and observe them there as I carry on with what I am doing. In this way I will practice connecting my attention with the world outside myself when my inner world is getting too intense, without pushing my internal reality away altogether.

This week I remember that no matter how I feel, I can always compel my muscles to move. In this way I always have power over my circumstances. 

Once I have figured out which kinds of familiar activities help me to focus on something else when my emotions are not serving me well, I will add those activities to my Personal Coping Kete.

When I am finding it hard to counter-act unwanted thoughts or express distressing moods, I can use these activities to distract myself until some of the heat has come out of them and I am able to look at the situation more objectively.

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