If anybody has watched Kati Morton on YouTube, you might remember her analogy of her we cope with stress. She describes it as waking up each morning with a certain number of poker chips. Stress or unexpected events take away your chips, and so if you suffer with a mental illness, you start with fewer chips and run out before the day is over.
Obviously things like sleep quality or big life change can affect stress tolerance quite a lot (I know I’m a million times worse if I’ve had a particularly bad nights sleep!) but I guess the question on my mind is how the fuck do you get more chips?
This crossed my mind at around 2pm, after I’d been unable to collect something I’d ordered from a shop (screw you machines that were out of order). I then went to 4 supermarkets and failed to get what I needed from any of them. I was anxious, had a tight chest, racing thoughts- you know, the whole party of feelings- and I knew it was ridiculous to be this stressed. Why was I feeling like the world was ending over small things? And why couldn’t I make the feelings go away?
I’d clearly run out of my imaginary poker chips.
Self care could earn me some more, as could recovery in the long term. Thing is, the in between parts of the recovery process aren’t stress free, so I need ways to temporarily boost my ability to handle things like today.
What do you do to tolerate difficulty?