Coping Routine Versus Coping Ritual
Routines are just that: routine. Mundane. Repetitive. Boring. Unappealing. Monotonous. Tedious. Tiresome.
Routines emphasize doing.
Rituals focus on being.
Routines can be done without mindfulness.
Rituals require mental intention that involve your spirit & emotions, along with your physical body.
Routines involve repetitive physical motions.
Rituals involve showing up on a deeper level.
Routines help improve/meet external needs.
Rituals help improve/meet internal needs.
Coping in Summer
We used to begin my mornings by going outside first thing. The warmth of the sunshine mixed with the chill of the fresh, morning air helped ground us, regardless of what parts were present. (Noise-cancelling headphones made this possible.)
Mornings can be extremely challenging: trauma memories resurface while sleeping; the deeper the sleep, the harder the following day is for my health battles.
As the seasons now change, the sun is hidden beneath grey clouds until late morning, & that chilly gloominess will only increase as winter approaches. This means it's time to adjust my daily coping routines!
Coping in Autumn
While summers held hours spent outdoors in the early morning hours, autumn will hold cozy mornings in my bedroom.
Before I rise from bed, I journal. In the darkness before putting up my window shade, & in the calm before I attempt to fully engage my being in the day, I am able to check in with myselves (all parts of my consciousness), which always improves the quality of the day moving forward.
After rising, I begin the day with a cup of tea at my desk, slowly working on whatever projects are nearby, physically or mentally. During this time, I express gratitude, feeling the emotions of it as well as the factual logic of it. I also try to clean my room a little during this time, as it is less stressful than trying to do it in the evenings as I was attempting during summertime.
Once the sun peeks out, usually by noon, I spend some time investing in grounding coping tricks until the sun's warmth becomes too intense or I begin to grow an appetite.
I sometimes have a small snack during the morning hours, but my real breakfast usually happens around lunch time.
Coping in the Afternoon
Lunch is my first meal of the day. I eat anywhere between noon & 3 PM.
Immediately afterwards, my entire body crashes into a relaxing sleep-type mode. I use this time for self-hypnosis to check in with my alternate states of consciousness. If I skip this part of my daily routine, my evenings are utterly awful. It's super important to rest & check in with myselves!
Coping in the Evening
Another adjustment to my daily coping rituals is adding a more substantial evening/bedtime routine for optimal coping & healing journey success.
To nurture our littles (child parts of consciousness within my dissociative identity) & improve our ability to feel at home within this body, we are adding a new piece to our bedtime routine! On hard trauma days, like today, we make a hot beverage, such as a chai tea latte or oreo hot cocoa, & a small warm snack, such as a blueberry muffin in a mug (*all snacks available at Walmart).
I am already loving this self-care that speaks to so many different parts of me in such a loving, gentle way.
We are maintaining our bedtime routine of sleeping with binaural beats playing with music audibly (not just background noise). Here are a few I especially enjoy:
Whenever I grow anxious, since bedtime & sleeping hold many triggers for us, I start listing things I'm grateful for. It always helps ground me.
Before going to sleep, we always braid our hair to avoid tangles with all the inevitable tossing & turning that takes places as trauma memories surface. This has been a mandatory practice for a full year now. On the rare days I forget, the following morning begins with frustration as I grab at my tangles with a hair brush, revealing the importance of having an effectively-etablished coping routine.
Personal Peeks into Daily Coping Rituals
I share personal peeks into my daily coping routines on my Instagram story! Even if you don't use Instagram, you can view the stories & posts from a computer or a phone. ^_^
Thank you so much for joining the Kristin Chronicles Healing Journey as I learn to successfully live with dissociative identity disorder (DID) & post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
✨in Light & Love✨ 🌟Namaste🌟 ~Kristin Windsor~