Whether you're trying to manage eating disorder symptoms or alcohol/substance abuse problems, creating a "coping skills" toolbox--a place to keep things that can help you feel calmer and more grounded is a practical and helpful tactic in supporting your recovery goals. Instead of using symptoms and negative behaviors, turning to your toolbox can give you other options that immediately engage your five senses and include healthier distractions, self-soothing strategies and making different choices in the moment!
What you will need for your self-regulation and coping toolbox:
Tactile (something to feel) - textures, warm or cold objects, stuffed animal, stress ball, the ground beneath your feet
Visual (something to see or look at) - flowers, photos, art, vivid colors
Auditory (something to hear) - music, focusing on sounds in the environment, meditation guides, books on tape
Olfactory (something to smell) - essential oils, perfume, candles
Gustatory (something to taste) - gum, mints, sweet or sour candies
How to Distract yourself when you have the urge to reward yourself in negative ways or when you have self-destructive urges:Read More
Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.