IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER TO YOURSELF CALL 911 OR PLEASE GO TO YOUR NEAREST EMERGENCY.
I’m not professionally trained, I only share my experiences. All that I can offer some suggestions that have helped me when shit has started to hit the fan. Over time, you can identify which symptoms are precursors.
Take at least five deep breaths. If you need a visual aid, this GIF is really helpful (thank you to the original creator). Do this at least 5 times.
Did breathing help? Yes? Then you might benefit from a short mindfulness exercise. If you can’t do the practice, that’s okay. Sit there listening to this, and focus on keeping your breath in line with the GIF. Do this as long as you can, or until you’re back to baseline.
Breathing sometimes doesn’t fully do the trick. Distraction may be appropriate.
- Check your self-care. Have you showered? Did you eat breakfast? Has it been a while since you talked to anyone? Was sleep bad last night? These small things can seem pointless, but after checking in with what your body needs, it can bring us back to baseline. Remember HALT: hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Check in monetarily and take care of the basics. If you have chronic pain, has an injury flared? Do you have an at-home treatment plan?
- Write everything out. Whatever thought(s) are going through your mind, jot them all down. This can be in journal, on paper, or if you’re only means is something digital, use any writing program. If you have a smart device, use notes or your email etc. If it’s not too painful, hang on to the finished product but don’t read it for a few days. Once more baseline, it can help figure out what issues need attention.
- Do something productive. Clean a corner of a desk, make crafts, clean out the fridge, brush a pet, lightly dust etc. Even finishing the smallest task can create a sense of ease.
- Get that heart-rate up. If you’re able, go outside and go for a walk or run for at least 30 minutes. If outside isn’t possible, you can walk up and down the halls if you live in an apartment complex, try dancing, or do a favorite workout / pilates / yoga regime. Listen to your body, not your thoughts.
- Bring that heart-rate down. Watch something non-stimulating, read a book, play a game, take a warm bath, etc. Give this at least 30 minutes.
- Go to a public place, or be with someone you trust. Being around others, even if not interacting, can help you be in the moment. A park, library, museum, gallery, movie theater etc. anywhere you feel safe.
Try doing more than one of these activities. Remember: time takes time.
If your state decreases and know you’re a danger to yourself or anyone else, this means it’s best to go somewhere helpful. Go to your nearest emergency room, or call 911.