A friend of mine wrote a blog post a couple days ago in which she asked the question, "How do you cope with strong negative emotions?" She listed her tried-and-trues and asked us to comment with our own effective-healthy ways of coping. Here's my list. (I divided it into two because I realized most of them had one of two functions for me.)

When I need to process or vent:
• journaling
• cleaning my room
• talking honestly to my mom or sometimes my dad
• Skyping/texting/phoning with a close friend or sister
• screaming
• writing a letter
• going for a drive
• drinking a mug of tea someplace quiet
• taking a bath

When I just need to distract myself or cheer myself up:
• turning off my laptop and getting absorbed in a book
• making a care package
• Skyping/texting/phoning with a close friend or sister
• taking a shower
• listening to oldies
• watching an episode of Xena
• cleaning my room
• going for a bike ride
• working on my to-read list of bookmarked classic feminist writings available online
• being helpful
• taking a nap
• drinking a mug of tea someplace quiet

Make your own list in the comments and then we can steal from one another. Yes, I like that idea.


Q 7/30/2011 6:14 PM  

I think I'm bad at coping, because my mechanism appears to be continuing through the motions. Because what I usually need is social interaction, and I'm not very good at getting that.

Otherwise, I read cheerful books or watch episodes of TV shows I like––the first two seasons of Merlin, for example, are free on Hulu. Happiness.

Or I sleep. Often when I feel troubled I'm really just tired.

Shana Lyse 7/30/2011 6:46 PM  

Yeah. Sleep. That can help. Especially during finals. Journal, definitely. Sometimes writing fiction helps. Sometimes I'm too distracted to write.

Get away from the environment or place where whatever is bugging me occurred. Leave my room. Go to the mall... Just an attempt to mentally distance myself from the situation, I guess.

Kez 8/01/2011 3:52 AM  

I journal. I talk it out with someone (my mum or my husband). I listen to music. I usually exercise (unless my emotional pain comes from physical pain - then I struggle). I turn the computer off (sometimes when I'm in a strange mood the internet isn't a great place to be). I also sometimes just go and have a nap if I can. It might be considered hiding or hibernating, but 9 times out of 10, my bad emotions come from being run down or in a bad place. It's like pressing a reset button and sometimes I literally wake up with a better attitude (and sometimes the words for any apologies I need to make haha).

Holly 8/01/2011 6:15 PM  

Q - Yes, social interaction can do a body zang good. I used to have a socializing quota for that reason. Merlin. Never heard of it before, but I love fantasy TV...must remember.

Shana Lyse - Changing location, mmm.

Kez - TRUE, so true. Napping can feel like a cop-out to me sometimes, but exactly, it works so darn well...

geekspawn 8/19/2011 12:18 AM  

There are really only three things that tend to help me, and in order of effectiveness, they are lying flat on my back with my eyes closed and listening to very very loud music with a nice beat, shaving my legs in a steaming-hot bath, and drinking a glass of water, which sounds funny, but it's true. Some of my most tempting blowups have not occurred thanks to sitting down and focusing on just drinking a full glass of room temperature (MUST be room temperature) water very deliberately.

It does mean you have to pee quite frequently on bad days, though, and your legs dry out eventually from excessive shaving. But hey, whatever works.

geekspawn 8/19/2011 12:21 AM  

Oh, and I'm with Kez on the napping thing, although it's turned into an incredibly bad habit for me; I do it far too much out of depression and it tends to be a waste of life. In moderation it is helpful, though.

Holly 8/23/2011 7:06 PM  

geekspawn - I love hot baths for their own sake. The glass of water -- that sounds like a quirk a famous artist or a character in a book would have.

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