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Recipes for a good coping strategy.

It's been a little while since we last had a special discussion and I am super keen to challenge you all, particularly those of you who have a lot of skills already a bit more Smiley Happy

 

I've noticed a lot of us are getting pretty kickass at coping and distraction techniques. And i think @SarahS and @Alikki helped with their amazing infobus chats that helped us understand some of the things we can use them for. But how do we recognise when to use a technique, what techniques work well and what techniques don't work so well? And how do we explain to other people what they're for? 

 

So to kick this whole thing off answer this for me:

 

What is a coping strategy, what is a distraction technique? 

 

Re: Recipes for a good coping strategy.

What is a coping strategy, what is a distraction technique? 

a coping strategy is something you use to cope with a stressor, and a distraction technique is a certain kind of coping strategy.

when you get stressed or triggered we do certain things to manage that stress and reduce those symptoms. it could be a negative coping strategy like selfharm or a positive strategy like exercise.
distraction techniques are a way to cope with a trigger. for example you could watch your favourite TV show to distract from certain feelings and that distraction makes you feel better.
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Trying to make my misery
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Re: Recipes for a good coping strategy.

Excuse the bluntness, a coping strategy is a strategy or method that someone uses in order to cope with a feeling or event such as stress or anxiety. A distraction technique is a technique in which someone distracts themselves from something that might trigger them or when they feel triggered or stressed or anxious.
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Re: Recipes for a good coping strategy.

Bluntness is fine by me @N1ghtW1ng. So it seems to me that these two concepts are very similar, but we use them in different circumstances. Would i be right in saying that we can use the same techniques to help us through different situations?

 

What do you reckon @redhead 

Re: Recipes for a good coping strategy.

@Ben-RO I agree that the two concepts are similar. For example listening to music can be used to cope with or distract from an event.
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Guess what day it was!!! It was Wear It Purple Day!! Come on over and learn all about what it is and what you can still do!

Re: Recipes for a good coping strategy.

@Ben-RO I think it's a good idea to develop a whole variety of strategies to be used for all sorts of situations and triggers. Strategies should also be versatile and be adaptive for different scenarios. For example going for a walk when your angry or going for a walk when you are stressed by something someone said to you. And as @N1ghtW1ng said, music, it is a great example of a versatile coping strategy.
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Trying to make my misery
just a piece of my history
A little less victim a little more victory
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Re: Recipes for a good coping strategy.

I like where the convo is going so far.

 

I think i agree with what everyone is saying so far @redhead @N1ghtW1ng. I'd add that I think there's a bit of a sliding scale between coping strategies and distraction techniques and that they are really good and amazing, but we have to think about how we use them.

 

Coping is something you do to handle a stressful event or trigger. It can be a thing you DO or it can be a way you think, it can be something you deliberately do or something you do without even thinking about it or noticing, and everything in between.

 

There are also good and bad coping strategies too.

A lot of the time a coping strategy doesn't pull you away from the stressful event, but it helps you find ways to get through it and to handle the event in a way that you want to and that keeps you safe.

 

A distraction technique is similar, and you can often use the same strategy to cope to distract. I think if there's a difference, it is that a distraction technique is a way of not focussing your attention on something that is stressful or triggering or getting away from it completely.

 

Distracting yourself can be good or bad too.

 

It's different when we are dealing with stuff in the mental health world, for starters we should be talking to someone like a psychologist or counsellor about it, but here's an example that's not mental health related:  i am an amazing procrastinator. If i have some complicated work to do, I can be pretty good at doing all the other fun things that i want to do instead of the important thing. So basically i am using a distraction technique to get myself away from the distressing event of actually doing some work! The problem being, I actually want to do the work and it's important to me! So I am using a distraction strategy in a bad way by doing fun stuff and not doing the hard stuff that i actually need to do.  And unless i pay attention to myself, I might not actually even notice i am using an accidental distraction technique Smiley Tongue

 

SO, Instead i use a coping technique, I think about why I want to do the work and all the cool people i care about on the forums who will benefit from it. I also use an app on my phone and a technique called Pomodoro that reminds me to get on with it Smiley Tongue

 

 

Re: Recipes for a good coping strategy.

Great info @Ben-RO


Next question guys:
when do we need to use a coping strategy or distraction technique, and when don't we use one?
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Trying to make my misery
just a piece of my history
A little less victim a little more victory
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Re: Recipes for a good coping strategy.

Hm.... it's hard to say when you would need to use either because it's not a yes, here or no, not here kind of thing. Someone might be able to cope themselves with one situation that others would require one, does that make sense? I'm struggling with examples, but hopefully my meaning comes across.

Both have a wide range of scenarios, specific to each person, where they can be used. I feel that, with distraction techniques, they wouldn't be used as a more permanent solution. A coping strategy can help long-term, but a distraction technique is used as a more present-time thing. I'm not making any sense. Let me try again.
A coping strategy can be used to help in the future, coping with something to make it easy in the future. A distraction technique is something used in present time, something to distract from the now. It doesn't plan far ahead into the future, rather it is something that can be used to distract, but doesn't last. So, it can be used but sometimes when a more permanent solution is desired, they aren't the best to use.

If anything doesn't make sense, I can try to clear it up, just ask. Smiley Happy
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Guess what day it was!!! It was Wear It Purple Day!! Come on over and learn all about what it is and what you can still do!

Re: Recipes for a good coping strategy.

I like what @N1ghtW1ng said about using distraction temporarily and coping strategies more permanently.

I think techniques should be used when we are stressed or distressed. Distractions are great to move through a certain thing, but for a more permanent wellness you should address the issue and tend more towards coping strategies.

I think it's also a good idea to try to get to it early before it spirals out of control and you can't do anything. Stop the snowball before it gets too big. Learning and identifying triggers is a really good idea so you can put coping strategies in place and you don't hit full blown crisis.
But if your at crisis that's ok too. Use your best abilities and strategies to get through it and come down.
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Trying to make my misery
just a piece of my history
A little less victim a little more victory
-Icon for Hire
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