When we feel overwhelmed or stressed, it can be tempting to tell ourselves (or each other!) Just relax, calm down! When we are stressed or freaking out, that is easier said than done.
That’s why preparing a “coping tool kit,” a set of strategies for dealing with stress can be really powerful. It's like having a first aid kit, but for your mind! This can also help in breaking the stress-causing acne, acne-causing stress cycle. (Stress also impacts almost every other aspect of your mental and physical health! So of course, your skin responds too!) While it takes more than stress to cause acne, it doesn’t help!
Your tool kit should contain simple easy things that help you feel peace in your heart, breathe, and soften your muscles. Coping strategies like deep breathing, drinking a cool glass of water, listening to a favorite song, looking at a photo that you love, enjoying a mint, breathing in the scent of a candle, can all help with a quick mental reset. And just like a first aid kit should be ready and waiting to help on the spot with a physical injury, a coping tool kit works best when you don’t have to come up with ideas or materials when you are in the middle of feeling stressed or experiencing a crisis. Set aside some time, when you are feeling ok to come up with a list or even gather some materials for your coping tool kit so that it is ready the next time you find yourself impacted by stress or other unwanted emotions.
Also, like a first aid kit has materials for different injuries such as a bandage for wounds, or an ointment for a burn it is helpful to have different categories of supports in your coping toolkit. A well-rounded coping toolkit should include: physical, emotional, social, and “on the fly” coping techniques so that stress, sadness, nervousness, anger, and overwhelm can be treated from every angle. Here are some ideas:
- Deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth
- Take a walk around the block, run, dance
- Choose some pleasant scents such as mint, eucalyptus, lemon, or others to breathe in
- Mindfully drink a cool glass of water or hold and sip a warm cup of tea
- Pet or gently hug your dog or cat
Emotional and/or Social:
- Identify your feelings, write about them in a journal
- Listen to a musical playlist that allows you both to sit in your feelings and brings you relief
- Scream into a pillow or sing the words to your favorite song out loud
- take a break
- Call family or a friend
- Make an appointment with a counselor
- Create or do something that gives you joy_ go solo or with a friend!
On the Fly: On the fly methods should be something you can do quickly and at the moment even if you are at work or school. Depending on how you feel, doing something “on the fly” might be best followed up by something that allows for a little more time later.
- take 5 deep breaths
- stand up and stretch
- send a quick text to a friend
- say a prayer
- Press your hands together as hard as you can
- complete a 2 minute guided meditation
Now, unlike a first aid kit, yours will be personal to you, and might not look like anyone else’s and that is perfect! It should be “filled” with strategies that suit your coping style, that help you to experience your emotions, acknowledge them and maybe even let them go or move through them.
Stress, like acne, is a part of life! Most people experience acne at one point in their life, and everyone is guaranteed more than a little stress. But that doesn’t make it easy or fun! It completely stinks and it can feel like there is nothing to be done but live through the stress. But as my favorite skin doc says, “Stop that Stinkin’ Thinkin’” and instead go to your coping toolkit as a resource to help put a stop to the stress/acne cycle. You deserve it, because you were made a masterpiece.
Getting your child to comply with wet wraps can feel like can be a battle! Which if you think about it, is a little ironic, because by administering wet wraps you are helping your child’s suit of armor, their skin defends itself against the outside world! So let us talk strategy, determine some “weapons” for your arsenal, and let’s realign so that you and your child can go from enemies to allies.
Do you freak out when you break out? I know I have! It is natural when we have a break-out to look in the mirror and think things like “These pimples are gross!” “I hate my skin!” “Things are never going to get any better!” Even though it is natural we think this way, it is harmful too.
Stop picking, popping, poking your pimples!
I know, it’s sort of like eating the whole bag of potato chips…we all know we aren’t supposed to do it, and yet, the temptation is SO STRONG! So…how do you stop?
Start with choosing an alternative activity!
We had so much fun at our first annual Heart + Sole Walk and Back To School Family festival! We want to thank all of our sponsors and everyone who came out to support our mission to make the world a more kind and understanding place for those with skin conditions.
As a Child Life Specialist working with teens and kids who have special skin, there is one question I get A LOT. “How do I talk to my teenager, when they tell me they don’t like how they look?” Parents are so worried that they will say the “wrong thing.” And truthfully, I have spent …
We had an amazing time celebrating the launch of our brand new SKIN DISCOVERY BOXES, a very special collaboration with our friends at CeraVe! CeraVe’s tireless pursuit of therapeutic skincare for all is truly more than skin deep and we couldn’t be more thankful. We celebrated in style thanks to our friends at Star Cinema …
A Children’s House for the Soul believes that it takes a village to support a child and family impacted by skin disease and birthmarks and that we are all better together.
Open House and Ribbon Cutting/Bring A Children’s House Home: On June 5th we began a very exciting new chapter of our A Children’s House story in the form of opening up our new beautiful space to serve children and teenagers with skin conditions and birthmarks and their families. This space includes a salon, a library & craft space, a teen room, and more! We also debuted our incredible new custom mural from up and coming local artist Eli Pallaert.
Our Family Trivia night was oh so much fun, and a huge success! We had so much fun getting to reconnect with all our friends and enjoy some laughs while snacking out on pizza and snowcones!
In honor of Vascular Birthmark Awareness Month, our childlife specialist Lindsay O’Sullivan had a great conversation with Jose about growing up with his special masterpiece skin!
In this interview, Ally shares about her experiences growing up with Ichthyosis. Ally shares how: Meeting other kids with special skin can help kids to feel less isolated and give them a very special sense of comradery and understanding. Parents don’t have to do everything perfectly to be the perfect parent for their child and …
What a wonderful time to relax, enjoy friendly company, and share their hearts on being a mama to a kiddo or teen with special skin. It was truly so special! These mamas were made a masterpiece!
Vascular birthmarks are very common in children. These birthmarks are made of blood vessels in the skin and can occur anywhere on the body. They may be pink or red in color, blue or purplish, flat or raised. Since they are vascular, sometimes they will feel warm to touch and may change in color with …
We have some exciting updates about our Capital Campaign! Learn about our short and long term plans for our own space.
You Can’t Teach What Has No History “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of …
In honor of Ectodermal Dysplasia Awareness month in February, we sat down with two of our dearest friends Zach and his mama Susan! Zach is an avid golfer, an Aggie, and is affected by Ectodermal Dysplasia. Susan and Zach teach us about ED and the importance of finding community. They also had helpful tips and …
Join us for a fun and inspiring interview with this incredible lady Ana Maria! Ana Maria Triana is 15 years old and the author of How to Conquer Alopecia Universalis. Ana Maria gives heartfelt advice, shares wisdom beyond her years, and will leave you feeling full of compassion and confidence. A Children’s House for the …
In honor of the upcoming National Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) Awareness week, we wanted to share this great piece from our friend, Rachael Wrobel about how her mama mothered her well, even despite the challenges of EB.
I am fortunate enough to be Mama to three little girls. Shortly after my eldest daughter’s first birthday (about 4 years ago) I noticed her hair was thinning. I was told by many it was just typical baby hair loss until it just couldn’t be described at “typical” any longer.
After the last several months of this pandemic, I think we are all well-versed in how important it is to wash our hands so that we don’t spread germs. But with all this hand washing and sanitizing, dry skin, eczema breakouts, and contact dermatitis have become even more troublesome. What can we do about it?