A thread for sharing tips and tricks that keep you sane. Here are some things I do: Name It To Tame It A simple trick where, when you're feeling emotionally dysregulated, you name the emotion. Sounds maybe too simple to even be helpful, but there's fancy neuroscience around this: This one doesn't really have a name, but I picked it up when I was doing 12-steppy stuff. It's a to-do list and set of priorities I used to write out every morning. Sometimes I still do it, but not every day. 1. Recovery (write a list of things you're doing for your "recovery," meaning either going to a 12-step meeting, meditating, praying, calling another member/friend if you're feeling icky) 2. Self-care (exercise, hygiene etc) 3. Responsibilities (get to work on time, pick up the kids) 4. Relationships (call/text/email so-and-so, DON'T talk to such-and-such) HALT H - Hungry A - Angry L - Lonely T - Tired If you feel out of it or like you're going to do some impulsive thing, you check in with yourself. If hungry, eat. If angry, take a walk. If lonely, reach out. If tired, rest. Seems obvious but it has helped me and lots of other people out! Mood Trackers There's print-out stuff you can find, but I like my phone app. I use a free Android app called T2, which has me enter in info about my mood 3 times a day. You can look at the graph over time and be like "wow I'm doing better" or "wow maybe I should change something in my life." "Parts" Work This one is my favorite because it's actually fun to do -- in the way I was taught to do it (which is just a way to do it, not the way). It's based on internal family systems (IFS) theory, which assumes we all have multiple distinct selves within us. (Not to be confused with multiple personality disorder.) These selves have different triggers, different clusters of emotional reactions, different relationships to the other selves within us. Sound wacky? Totally is. And if it seems confusing and/or too wacky to want to get into, ignore this. Different strokes, etc. The way I do it is I start with an icky emotion that has come up. Let's say it's anger. My housemate pisses me off. I draw the angry part, a crappy little stick figure with angry eyebrows. I name the part "hater self" or something. I write its thoughts: "i want to kill so and so" and "if he would just get hit by a fucking car everything would get better" -- just letting the craziness flow. You sit back and look at it. Okay, that's that part. Usually something else comes up -- a reaction to it such as negative judgments toward that part. So I draw that and name it. The judgy one might be called "judgmental self" and the thoughts might be "all you do is hate on people, get a life" and so on. Sometimes I'll have the parts argue back and forth on the page, sometimes a new part emerges. For me, the quicker I access these two really awesome parts -- curiosity and compassion -- and tap into what "they" might say in response, the better things go. Overly complicated? Maybe. Fun? For me, yeah! *** I'd love to know what little tricks others have picked up and used along the way.