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Coping Trick Toolbox Starter Kit.

Eat a spicy meal to reduce PTSD flashbacks, anxiety, or intrusive thoughts.

Smell orange essential oil to ease mania & related impulsivity or racing thoughts: vaporize in a diffuser, hold jar of oil beneath nostrils & breathe deeply, create a diluted room spray, etc. (Caution: orange essential oil agitates skin with direct, non-diluted contact.)

Smell lavender essential oil to ease anxiety, especially chest pains or nausea. (Safe to apply to skin or clothing.)

Smell peppermint essential oil to ease trauma-related symptoms, including panic attacks, physical anxiety, hyperarousal, intrusive thoughts, & flashbacks. (Peppermint may cause the eyes to water or skin to feel agitated. A blend of 60% peppermint & 40% lemongrass can also be effective if peppermint alone is too strong.)

Creating a feeling of calm safety: pick flower petals, especially rose petals, & rub between fingers, slowly, tenderly, gently, gingerly, while focusing on deep breathing.

If you are struggling with anxiety for no specific reason, make sure you’ve eaten a meal or healthy snack recently, & take a supplement like 5HTP or L-tryptophan (but do not take those 2 together!).

If you are struggling with depression for no particular, addressable reason, make a hot cocoa Kratom drink, setting a specific intention for where you’d like to direct your day moving forward, shedding the disappointments of the day thus far. (You always, always have permission to restart your day & reset your mindset—always!)

When feeling a lost sense of identity or aimless sense of inadequacy or worthlessness, take some meditative mindfulness time (requires patience, love, & compassion for self) to browse your Scrap Book of Achievements & Experiences, which you’ve invested to create on your stable (or manic) days.

When feeling lonely or worthless, take some meditative mindfulness time to browse your Letters of Validation, which you’ve invested to create along this healing journey for these inevitable “down days.”

When feeling manic or overrun by thoughts, ideas, or energy, invest time in dancing (intuitive body movement) without limitation, followed by deep breathing & light stretching (yoga). After this release & re-grounding/centering self, pick one singular task to focus on: do whatever it takes to release the need to do more in that moment; validate & affirm that you are enough & that focusing on this one particular task is exactly where you need to be; block out all distractions, internally & externally, whatever it takes.

Play with your emotional support animal when feeling incapable of experiencing joy, or unworthy of happiness. Pet PookieBear gently & roughly to ground yourself in this perfectly imperfect present moment. Follow him around the yard, releasing all need to do or be anymore more than you already are in this perfectly imperfect, precious, present moment.

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