We are back to EMOTIONAL REGULATION this week. I like this module, and it is not too triggering for me either. I am a firm believer in returning to basics during a state of emotional deregulation, so it makes perfects sense to me that I must consistently make sure the base of my emotional pyramid is strong and stable.
The PLEASE Skill is about taking care of your mind by taking care of your body.
PL – Treat physical illness. This is about looking after yourself if you are unwell, seeing a doctor and taking meds as prescribed. I find I am grumpy when sick with a headache or flu, so I am more emotionally venerable. I also get very deregulated around my time of the month, but if I validate my pain and take care of myself I can avoid behaviours which I may not be proud of.
E – Balanced Eating. Okay I’m not going to lie here and say that this is something I do…. I have bulimia. But I understand the theory. Balanced glucose levels most certainly even out emotional responses to situations. Someday I might just be able to achieve this one!
A – Avoid Drugs and Alcohol. I was surprised at how much avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol has helped me to stay out of trouble. All of my suicide attempts have been after drinking too much. I simply cannot over drink until I get a handle on my emotional liability. I don’t miss it too much and certainly don’t miss the hangovers!
S – Balanced Sleep. Sleep is just so important in regulating emotional responses. This has some serious research behind it too. Too little and you are leaving yourself open to irrationality and too much has been proven to increase negative emotions. Sleep hygiene is a bitch but it works. Sleep is a big one for me. If I do not get enough sleep on a regular basis, I get irritable, short-tempered, my judgment is less good and I get upset much more easily. I have to work on it all the time.
E - Exercise. This is another no-brainier, if anyone knows the magic motivation skill for this please let me know! I try to walk/cycle everywhere, and love to run and do yoga.
I guess looking after the basics is the main reasons people go inpatient or into residential treatment, It re-sets a base level from which you can really start to therapeutically manage emotions and behaviours. Most of this is common sense, but for me at least its dramatically boosts my mood.