For my personal coping mechanisms, tricks, tips, places to go, here are a list of what works for me!
During a panic attack:
If you begin to feel sick and nauseous or you can feel a panic attack come on, find somewhere quiet and private nearby unless entirely comfortable in your surroundings and company.
Attempt to control your breathing, personally I like counting (1 in, 2 out) all the way up to 10. – Headspace is great at this.
Combat the numbing of the arms by finger stretching, whilst counting. Stretch your hands out 10 times, then pull back each finger twice on each hand repeatedly to try and regain feeling.
Close your eyes if your vision begins to get blurry. Imagination helps transport you to somewhere comfortable.
Meditate if the panic attack persists, or palpitations persist or you are feeling anxious and need to return to a calmer state. Honest guys on youtube (thanks @Marina !) or Headspace, are great places for this – come in 10 minute bursts so that you can just pop your headphones in and go off for a short amount of time if out and about.
When alone, sad, anxious or something is so on your mind you need to explode a bit:
http://thequietplaceproject.com/thequietplace – this place is a god send. Open it and find out.
The Book of Happiness – Something I made whilst in my 2nd year of uni, a book where I write down the positive parts of my day, even if I’ve had a crap day, to try and pull out the best bits is all worth it to make you realise things are ok. Next time you feel a bit crap, give it a look through.
Hobbies are vital. Hence the ukulele, writing, reading, belly dancing, baking and constant obsession with exploring all kinds of music. Take the things you love doing, and do more of it, and double that! When you feel a bit crap, resort to something that is connected to making you feel happy.
Exercise is proven to help, even just a walk somewhere or to refrain from taking public transport unless you have to.
Things to make you feel better about yourself and your surroundings:
Surround yourself by positive people, and things that make you happy (and purge the people who make you feel bad in yourself, or judge the things that make you happy. Those are friends not worth having.)
Tell a friend. I know it’s a habit to think you’re a burden or get on people’s nerves, but honestly, I’d rather a friend came to me and told me if they felt they really needed someone there in that moment, or if you are concerned for your wellbeing or are having dark thoughts than to never know.
The Love Yourself List – something off the blog which will get recalled, when feeling especially self-conscious in yourself, write down a list of all the things you don’t like about yourself. Then try as best as you can to write down the positives to each of those things.
Allow yourself the odd indulgence. I have a treat fund in my bank account (just don’t go overboard!)
To keep track:
Write down when you have panic attacks. Helps diagnosis.
Keep a sleep tracker to monitor when you wake up, what state your body is in during being asleep, how deep your sleep is. Helps diagnosis. Also good for tracking progress with medication and therapy, and whatever coping mechanisms you fancy trialling out and seeing what works for you.
Keep a note of when you have your medication. Use a medication reminder if you have to. Especially for when you plan on weening yourself off the medication or to monitor if the medication is actually working for you in case you need to trial another one.
Online counselling: Relate are extremely helpful and approachable, can be contacted through email or online chat.
Accept this isn’t overnight, expect to find motivation difficult at times, accept that you will still get bad days. Bad days happen. But tomorrow is always a new day, glitches happen.