The links above talk about a “coping bank” as a way to bank healthy ideas for coping with stress, to use as needed. It works like a regular bank, but with coping strategies instead of money.
I decided to call mine a Happiness Bank. As we’ve talked about before, it is all too easy to fall into the habit of sadness, unhappiness, or just… meh. My new Happiness Bank is a way to fall into the habit of happiness.
So here’s how to make your own:
- Write one positive idea on each piece of paper. These would be positive things that one can do to help one cope, instead of falling back into the habits / behaviors / crutches that no longer serve a useful purpose in one’s life.
- Put all the pieces of paper in a box, or use a bag or pouch so you can carry your bank with you. You can decorate your box / bag / pouch however you want. Hmm, pirates? Zombies? Muppets?
- Then next time you need a boost, pull out your Happiness Bank and pull out a slip.
- If the item on that slip doesn’t appeal to you (or you can’t do it right then), put it back and pull another one.
- Repeat until you find one that you will do.
- Do it.
- Repeat until cheerful or your next therapy session, whichever comes first…
Here are just a few of the things I’m putting in my Happiness Bank:
- dig in the garden
- hammer nails into a board
- play with clay
- read blogs – ya’ll usually cheer me up!
- go to the drugstore and buy my inner child a little toy
- play with Tom cat
- take a nap (if we all napped and played as much as our cats, we’d be so healthy! unemployed, but healthy!)
- read “Hamlet”
- read Terry Prachett
- watch Monty Python
- sing at the top of my voice
- go for a walk
- call a friend
- destroy alien scum with the Resident Sith Master
- play with fiber!
You notice, most of these will cheer up the inner child. And all without chocolate! Not that there is anything wrong with chocolate… but I do feel the need to branch out in my coping strategies. Also to fit into my pants. But I digress… Most of these don’t cost anything either. A few of them allow me to wallow a bit – Hamlet not being known for being cheerful himself, ya’ll – or express my anger without serious repercussions.
Next time I’m tempted to eat too much ice cream, overclean, or pick up sailors at the docks – not that I have ever done any of those things, of course, la la la – I hope I remember to pull out my Happiness Bank and try something different.
Okay, at least you know I’m all talk about picking up sailors…
So far anyway…
Of course, ideally, I would do some of these BEFORE I become the Melancholy Pollyanna – which really is a contradiction in terms, isn’t it? but I digress…
But one step at a time…
Is that one step closer to or farther from the docks and those lonely sailors?