Coping Strategies to Promote a Better Mood
It is time to think about the New year and ways to replace old, negative behaviors with positive ones. Start by scanning your daily activities, do you create time for self-care? Taking time to monitor your mood and focus is important. Incorporate mood “check-ins” throughout the day and use these strategies to help calm feelings of anxiety or depression.
Creativity is a way to express the inner workings of our mind without words, and a great skill to reduce anxiety. I have worked with patients using everything from polymer clay to plastic blocks. Personal expression helps to validate feelings and has been found to effectively reduce stress hormone levels. Consider using these forms of creative expression.
Adult Coloring books have intricate designs to allow your imagination to get lost in the shapes and figures. You must concentrate on this task, and it can take your mind on a relaxing journey which leads to a sense of accomplishment and nirvana.
Clay can be a very power tactile expression of creativity and calmness. Squeezing, pulling, shaping and pushing on a malleable substance can provide a means for reducing stress. Feeling on solid, abrasive surfaces can promote sustained attention with ADD patients and redirect the mind away from anxious thoughts. Several of my patients carry “Stress Putty” which can be used virtually without others noticing it. It works to ease the tension of almost any stressful moment.
Consider using free hand painting or even doodling as a way of journaling without words. The use of colors is also a great way to translate feelings to paper.
Listening to music is a useful way to unlock creativity and let your mind take you to a peaceful, harmonious space.
Coping strategies can promote a sense of accomplishment and add to your self-care regime. Remember, these strategies are not limited to the list above. It is important to determine what works for you. The most important task of all is to get started!