It is hard to stay on track and think of what to do for yourself when things get tough. It is best to have a plan ready for when you need it. Consider 3 general areas: what to do, what to think, and what to avoid.
- Make a list of what you can do when you are upset that will be good for you.
- What will help you relax? Examples: breathing, muscle relaxation, music, reading, watching a movie, exercising, taking a walk, etc.
- What do you like to do when in a good mood?
- List all the things you like to do so you remember what they are when you need to think of something to do.
- What can you do on a regular basis that will help you throughout the day? Examples: avoiding too much caffeine if feeling anxious, monitoring thoughts and feelings, practicing mindfulness and staying in the moment, having go to self-soothing techniques.
- Make a list of positive things to say to yourself when you are giving yourself a hard time.
- Consider things to avoid when having a bad day. Examples: I should not stay in the house all day. I should not stay in bed all day. I should open the shades and let the light in. I should not listen to sad music. I should not drink too much alcohol. Etc.
- Write this plan on an index card. Keep it in your purse/wallet (and on your phone if you can). Look at it often. Add any good ideas to it whenever you can. USE IT!