7 CALMING STRATEGIES FOR PERSONS WITH BPD
These calming strategies are used depending on what mood you’re in.
What you could do to get through it?
- Angry, frustrated, restless
- rip up a newspaper
- hit a pillow
- throw ice cubes into the bath so they smash
- do some vigorous exercise
- listen to loud music
- do a practical activity like gardening or woodwork.
2. Depressed, sad, lonely
- wrap up in a blanket and watch your favourite tv show
- write all your negative feelings on a piece of paper and tear it up
- listen to a song or piece of music you find uplifting
- write a comforting letter to the part of yourself that is feeling sad or alone
- cuddle a pet or a soft toy.
3. Anxious, panicky, tense
- make yourself a hot drink and drink it slowly, noticing the taste and smell, the shape of the mug and its weight in your hand
- take ten deep breaths, counting each one out loud
- write down everything you can think of about where you are right now, such as the time, date, colour of the walls and the furniture in the room
- take a warm bath or shower – this can help change your mood by creating a soothing atmosphere and a distracting physical sensation.
4. Dissociative, spaced out
- chew a piece of ginger or chili
- clap your hands and notice the stinging sensation
- drink a glass of ice cold water.
5. Want to self-harm
- rub ice over where you want to hurt yourself
- stick sellotape or a plaster on your skin and peel it off
- take a cold bath.
6. Keep a mood diary
Recording your moods in a diary could help you spot patterns in what triggers difficult experiences for you, or notice early signs that they are beginning to happen.
You could also make a note of what’s going well. It’s really important to be kind to yourself and recognize difficult steps you’ve taken, or new things you’ve tried.
7. Make a self-care box
You could put together some things that might help you when you’re struggling – a bit like making a first-aid kit for your mental health.
- favourite books, films or CDs
- a stress ball or fiddle toy
- helpful sayings or notes of encouragement
- pictures or photos you find comforting
- a soft blanket or cosy slippers
- a nice-smelling candle or lavender bag.
please note that this list of strategies most centered on BPD.