Some people know I suffer from anxiety and OCD and am also a carer (though I won’t be physically caring in 11 days time because I’m off to university). I had CBT and counselling but it didn’t really work for me and I therefore decided to find my own coping techniques for both my mental health issues and the experiences of being a carer (which involved a lot of stress!).
It is really important to have “Me” time. Time to yourself. To relax. De-stress and unwind. Harder to do with mental health issues, I know but it needs to be done to prevent a burnout. We need to nurture ourselves and take care of our needs too!
Here are a few coping techniques that I’ve learnt over years of being a carer and having mental health issues:
– Meditation. It has so many benefits. It allows you to feel in control, it relaxes your muscles and makes you feel calm. It’s easy to do and there are a lot of ways to do it. No way is the same. I prefer to lie down with my hands on my stomach. I concentrate on breathing in and out and count my breath. I count in and out and that counts as 1, I do this and count to 10, then I start again. I meditate for between 5-30 minutes depending on how I’m feeling. I need to remember to do this every night though!
– Finding a hobby – I like reading, photography, watching TV, blogging, listening to music…a lot of things. Find something that distracts you and let’s you have some time to yourself to put your head into a another place. It really helps!
– Go for a walk/run – Exercise benefits the brain as it increases serotonin (“happy hormone”). This should increase your mood.
– Talk to someone. There are many people you can talk to out there. Friends, family, helplines are all great. Social media can help too!
These are just some of the coping techniques I use. If you have any please let me know!