What do you do when you're distressed?
I wonder if any of you could share ideas of soothing activities that you do when you're feeling particularly upset/anxious/distressed etc. I'd be very grateful for suggestions. Multiple professionals asked me what I could to in my free time that would be soothing and/or otherwise helpful and I have a hard time coming up with ideas. Maybe some of you wonderful people could share your favourite soothing activities with me?
P.S. I am aware of the big distraction list, but I find most ideas on it either pretty eccentric, or somewhat vague in their description.
I snuggle with my dog.
That uh. Might not be useful if you do not have a dog that likes to snuggle though.
I like to do things that are fairly repetitive like knitting or drawing patterns - especially good for those dark nights coming up. I also like to get my hot water bottle and try and watch something on Netflix. I don't tend to do them often, but brain training and puzzles can help a lot when distressed. Cooking and baking can be helpful too, and I like to make aromatherapy type things like candles and sprays. I've often found gentle yoga soothing too. Outside the house, I like to go for walks and take not very good photographs of things.
A friend of mine collages some amazing pictures, and another friend is really good at felting.
I don't know if any of those ideas grab you, but I hope you find a selection of activities that bring you peace. Even running a bubblebath and lighting a candle and relaxing for half an hour can be incredibly soothing for some.
If you are like me and only have a shower you can get bath bombs especially made for the shower. Otherwise a bath bomb.
I find that joining postcrossing very good and a distraction. If you dont know what postcrossing is it's a postcard exchange website. I tend to write the same thing though for everyone.
The other thing that sprung to mind is adult colouring books. You can get them on a variety of topics eg zen/Harry Potter.
If you're artistic then painting can be good. If you like the idea of painting but not up to doing a painting from scratch then an painting by numbers kit is good.
Other than that I have thought of is putting a face mask on and nail varnish.
This is my huge list, some things are personal so might not suit you but I hope there's something there that does.
Go for walk
Go on the bus
Browse online for books
Youtube - e.g. Miriam Margoles, Lewis Capaldi, Saturday Night Live, This Morning Funny, jimmy kimmel youtube challenge
Dot to dot
Have a shower
Games on phone or online inc f&d board
Make a card/write to someone
Talk to someone
Read childhood book
Listen to music
Put on a film
Shop for foodbank
Go to library
Sit in cafe or just a bench
Psychologist relaxation thing
Squiggly shape colouring
Lie on floor, listen to white noise, cover eyes
Loud music in bathroom
Watch Goosebumps/Kimmy Schmidt
Word game anagram thing
Play with/cuddle/photo cats
Audiobook or podcast
Comic on library app
Repetitive sounds and movements
Write on arms
Head massage thing
Self help sheets
Look through boxes of old stuff
High street shopping
Listen to Matilda soundtrack
Watch Most Haunted
Plan a trip
Look through penpal book
Sit in hidden garden bit
Proper face wash/eczema care
Buy a magazine
Re-read things from past positive jars
Watch Waiting For The End video
Check if Wishlist books are in library.
Vote on Qwertee.
I think I have missed out some as I have different updated lists. My go to soothing when I'm really, really distressed is white noise/thunder sounds through headphones. It can then help me to focus on something like reading or colouring.
Oh, wow, thanks guys, that's a lot of awesome suggestions! Sorry for not reacting earlier, my laptop died on me.
Auror, snuggling with a pet is great. I don't have a dog though. I have two cats but like most cats they aren't always in the mood to snuggle. When they are it's super soothing though.
Soft kitty, actually drawing patterns sounds like a great idea, as well as doing puzzles! What kind of puzzles do you like?
Unfortunately I am horrible at knitting and cooking and I fail so miserably that it frustrates me to the point of wanting to set the world on fire, but thank you for sharing.
not_so_insig, I looked into postcrossing and it sounds like a great idea, as well as painting by numbers and coloring, thank you very much!
one_step_closer, now that is one awesome list! You're a star, thank you so much, for sharing, this is super helpful! This is like a lifetime of nice activities.
I hope some of those things are useful. I meant to say when I read Dawn's reply about painting by numbers, you can get colouring by numbers now too. I have one of those books and it's good when you don't want to have to stress over choosing colours and just be told what to do.
How have you been recently?
Also if it's darker, different lighting can be good. I have a glitter lamp which is quite soothing, or there are colour changing lights or projectors etc.
A glitter lamp must be very lovely.
To be honest, I am super low and even very simple things feel difficult at the moment. But I looked through your list and found some activities that help me to keep afloat, so thank you very much! I printed out your list with some minor corrections and posted in on the wall as "The list of things to try before doing something destructive or crawling under a blanket to wallow in misery", and so far it worked like magic.
I'm sorry you're feeling really low and finding everything is an effort, that's not a nice place to be. I'm glad you've managed to adapt the activities to you and that they are working for now. Please keep trying, I hope things get better for you soon.
Cuddling an teddy bear or other plushie is another thing. I have the exact same bear as I had when I was little (not the original one though) in my flat so it comforts me. It also helps when I am having an flashback.
Another thing I thought of is a cartoon that you enjoyed when you were little or an favourite tv programme. For myself it would be Keeping Up Appearances but you probably have an different programme.
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