How to Cope When Your Emotions Run High (or Low)

Today is #BellLetsTalk Day in Canada. This initiative encourages everyone to spread mental health awareness so that we can all help end the stigma. For every text, call (Bell customers), tweet, and Facebook share, Bell donates 5¢ to mental health programs. I take this opportunity to share the following tips and hope that this will help you in times of distress (in addition to Caitlin’s de-stress tips!)


Many times when our emotions run high (or too low), we can barely do anything to help ourselves. With a mood disorder, we tend to feel like our emotions take over and control us. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

My personal counsellor has given me ways on how to cope through the difficult times. And a year ago, I asked several ladies on different forums what they do to help themselves calm down or gain energy. I put these together and added my own activities. I know that it’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it to do:

Steps on Getting Over a Rough Patch

1. It’s okay to cry and let your raw emotions run its course.

  • cry
  • yell/scream (not to someone)
  • punch your pillow

2. Let go of the feeling

  • do slow/deep breathing exercises (close your eyes, inhale through nose, hold, exhale through mouth)
  • hug someone/cuddle your pet
  • say, “I can’t give them the satisfaction of making me upset”
  • pray/meditate
  • tell yourself, “It happens to everyone; it’s just my turn for something bad to happen to me right now”
  • Remember: you’ve made it through other bad times; you’ll make it through this too

3. Distract yourself

  • sing/listen to music
  • watch TV or a movie (favourites help a lot!)
  • do homework
  • go for a walk
  • swing or slide at the playground
  • talk to friends, family, etc.
  • hang out with friends
  • sleep (I personally love this. Makes me feel refreshed after)
  • write a song, poem, story, or in a journal
  • draw, colour, paint
  • work out, swim, dance, run, do yoga (another personal favourite!)

4. Keep moving forward

  • eat ice cream
  • QTIP: quit taking it personally
  • have a glass of wine (if you’re of legal drinking age)
  • lift your head higher

Remember, we all go through roller coasters of emotions. Don’t feel guilty for getting upset about something, no matter how small. Just think of how you’ll recover and bounce back from that feeling. Don’t ruminate and wallow.

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