Helpful alternative activities for when you’re feeling down
Everyone has their down days and difficult times. Sometimes, what we most feel like doing to cope isn’t the best way to cope.
Instead, we’ve come up with a range of alternative activities that may be able to distract you from using unhelpful coping strategies. Swap them in when you notice your thoughts are becoming less helpful. You might need to try a few of them before you find out what works best for you, but always remember to think of others.
Diffusing unhelpful thoughts and emotions is ideal – but sometimes a serious distraction used mindfully can be a helpful circuit breaker to continue moving towards our values!
Remember everything in moderation. It is great to have a few of these as options when you need them.
- Exercise – run, walk, swim, punch boxing pads or pillows
- Take a cold bath or shower, or squeeze ice cubes – the cold causes pain but it is not dangerous or harmful
- Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it
- Go outside and walk around on the grass in bare feet and/or stamp your feet
- Clean the house or do some cooking
- Try not to be alone (visit a friend or go to the shops) or call someone you trust
- Draw a picture of what or who is making you angry, or write in a journal
- Allow yourself to cry
- Touch familiar things and say what they are out loud (to bring you back into your body and help you feel grounded)
- Learn HALT signals – am I HUNGRY, ANGRY, LONELY, TIRED?
- Eat gummi bears, sour worms or another sensory food e.g. chilli
- Play with a pet.