Trying to Understand Myself

I am trying to work towards a better day for myself. It’s on a daily basis that I work for this because to be able to just wake up and face the world, or meet the world, is not something that I can just wake up to. It has to be worked for.

Today for example I am aiming to try and be out for as long as possible, to be out of the house, functioning, and just not cocooned on my couch where everything would surely get worse.

Except I am sitting here, unable to be productive, and thinking of turning to destructive behaviours. I’m not sure why. I feel very restless and very chaotic in my mind. I feel like I won’t be able to accomplish anything.

*TW* So all that I can think of right now is walking over to the store, and knowing they have Easter candy on sale, getting me a bagful of goodies and going home and stuffing myself until I feel sick.

I’m not hungry. But I am frustrated and feeling restless so I know that my thinking of food is all emotion mind. I can’t even really afford to buy anything since I’m broke but I’m moving money around in my head and finding ways that I can get what I want.

I wish I knew why I was falling to this…

DBT Group: Week Eight – Part III – Taking Care of Your Mind by Taking Care of Your Body

Module: Emotion Regulation

This is the third of three parts for Week Eight.
Covering the P.L.E.A.S.E. Skills (Treating PhysicaL illness, Balanced Eating, Avoid Mood-Altering Substances, Balanced Sleep, and Get Exercise.

The first two parts of Week Eight covered the ABC Skills, (B) Building Mastery (click here for post), and (C) Coping Ahead (click here for post).
Week Seven was split into two parts as well for (A) Accumulating Positive Emotions – Short Term (click here for post) & (A) Accumulating Positive Emotions – Long Term (click here for post).
I think each of these skills deserves its own post in order to more fully explore how important these skills are towards managing our emotions, helping us to reduce vulnerability, and towards living a more fulfilled, positive life 

Homework Take-Up:
Handout:
Emotion Regulation Handout 20 – Taking Care of Your Mind by Taking Care of Your Body
Worksheet:
Emotion Regulation Worksheet 14 – Practicing PLEASE Skills

Emotion Regulation Handout 14 – Overview: Reducing Vulnerability to Emotion Mind – Building a Life Worth Living
(A) – Accumulating Positive Emotions
– Short Term
– Long Term
(B) – Building Mastery and a sense of competence
(C) – Coping Ahead to better manage emotional situations
(P.L.E.A.S.E. – Treating PhysicaL Illness, Avoid Mood-Altering Substances, Balanced Eating, Balanced Sleep, Get Exercise) – Taking care of your health and well-being physically deserves as much attention as taking care of your mental health and well-being

Starting with:
Emotion Regulation Handout 14 – Overview: Reducing Vulnerability to Emotion Mind – Building a Life Worth Living
Fourth Box (Overview): (P.L.E.A.S.E. – Treating PhysicaL Illness, Balanced Eating, Avoid Mood-Altering Substances, Balanced Sleep, and Get Exercise)
Moving to:
Emotion Regulation Handout 20 – Taking Care of Your Mind by Taking Care of Your Body

When taking care of your mind and emotions it can become all-consuming, and we often forget or neglect taking care of our bodies. We don’t realize how important taking care of our physical health is just as important as taking care of our mental and emotional health.

It might seem like a no-brainer to some, but I can personally attest to not realizing how much gets affected mentally and emotionally when I falter on taking care of myself physically.

For me, I get so lost in my mental health and trying to get my emotions in control, that my physical well-being often is almost completely neglected, or I do a half-ass job. One thing greatly affects the other; my lack of physical self-care brings down my mental and emotional health, and my trying to take care of things mentally and emotionally means my physical self-care takes a backseat.

For example, it was a long time before I realized that when I don’t sleep well, it has a significant impact on my anxiety, and I am much more susceptible to panic attacks.

The P.L.E.A.S.E. Skills cover the basics of taking care of your physical well-being.

PL – Treating PhysicaL Illness
If you are unwell, and are not taking care of yourself, your moods can be greatly affected. Whether you’re suffering with a cold, or managing a chronic condition like diabetes or arthritis, if you don’t take care this can lead to a higher susceptibility to having extreme emotions, or a faster breakdown in not being able to properly use your skills.

E – Balanced Eating
It’s extremely important to watch what you eat, when you eat, and even how you eat, particularly if food is a sensitive issue for you due to disorder, or if food is linked to other conditions like diabetes or IBS, or even inflammation in the body. When we skip meals and don’t eat regularly we can become moody, grumpy, more likely to snap at other people, and have much less patience with ourselves.

A – Avoid Mood-Altering Substances
Avoiding illicit drugs, and alcohol is especially important in being able to keep our emotions more manageable and our ability to cope with them. Mood-Altering Substances can keep us in Emotion Mind, it can lead to poor choices, and lower our inhibitions that can keep us safe.

S – Balanced Sleep
Getting enough rest is extremely important as well. Not sleeping well or enough can lead to a further reduction in maintaining any of the other areas of physicality that help us stay healthy in our bodies as well as our minds. It’s best to go to sleep at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every day, getting however many number of hours that you personally require. Even one night of restless sleep can negatively impact us and lead to a snowball effect where our bodies then have difficulty with eating balanced meals, if at all, whether we turn to mood-altering substances to compensate for our lack of proper sleep, whether we manage any chronic conditions we may have, and ultimately lead to our emotions and mental capabilities suffering as well.

E – Get Exercise
Exercise is important because when our bodies are in good health this can help us with any chronic conditions we need to manage, but also exercise, when our heart rates are increased, releases endorphins. Which can help with our moods, and even help alleviate some of the symptoms of depression.

Any of these things on their own is important to take care of when we take care of ourselves but altogether taking care of our physical well-being allows us to be at our optimum level to tackling the day before us, up to and including, how we handle our emotions, or not.

Take care everyone!

Bye for now!

Skills, Handouts, and Worksheets from DBT Skills Training Manual, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan. Copyright 2015 by Marsha M. Linehan.