I've been a bit manic lately. Not terribly so, nothing scary, I didn't buy a bridge or sell a kidney or anything, but still possibly a little more agitated and flighty than normal (yes, I have a normal). I am so fortunate to have a friend who talks to me often enough to notice and close enough to be able to tell me in such a way that I didn't shut him out. I am really just barely above where I should be and I think it is mostly due to sleep disturbances and the change in daylight hours, so I slept a bunch today and feel much better tonight.
But anyway, I did some research (that always calms me. No, really, I'm odd that way) and started what they call in the psych ward "coping strategies." Something that I had forgotten about is how important it is to have a plan for dealing with things that annoy you. If you don't deal with them in a healthy way then they become this monster that is out of control and instead of a cup of chamomile tea to fix it, you need a shotgun and an alibi. This is one of those things that are helpful for everyone, not just the crazies, like me.
So here, for your entertainment and enlightenment are my tips for quick coping:
If you are irritated, put into words exactly what it is that bothers you. Sometimes it is as simple as the tone of voice someone used. So, repeat the offender's words in a pleasant tone, then respond. Maybe it is a situation that someone else is irrationally upset about. Point that out to them (only if it will help) or at least to yourself and then move on.
If you are scared, pretend that you are there with the kids and need to reassure them that everything will be fine. This helps me so much! I am great at making even the scariest situations seem navigable if I have to calm the kids. I'm never lying to them, just assuring them that I have handled a lot and can handle this.
Remember the Golden Rule. Take three deep breaths and only speak when you can say something respectful. To yourself or to others.
Keep a mental or written checklist of problems and how you will solve them: Impulsive? Make yourself take 24 hours to make any decision that can hurt yourself or anyone else in any way. Sleepless? Don't let it go more than a day without a plan. Feeling worthless? Talk to someone about times you have helped others or, better yet, go help someone who will appreciate it. Talking too fast or too much? Take deep breaths while the other person is talking to keep yourself from interrupting, even if it seems like they are taking forever to finish their sentence or story.
Most importantly, find someone, anyone to talk to about it! Hopefully, you can find a friend to talk to who loves and understands you. Otherwise, a therapist would be great. In my case, seeing a therapist would just make things worse since I'm stressed about money and shelling out $100 or so an hour would not help!
So, that's all from psychiatrist Kolbi...