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5 Ways to Cope with BPD and Self-Isolation

Have you been withdrawing from your life? Do you find it easier to keep to yourself and are self-isolating? In this article, we will talk about 5 practical ways to cope with self-isolation when you have borderline personality disorder.

Self-isolation can happen in one of two ways. For some, it happens when you feel overwhelmed and you want to protect yourself from the world. For others, it’s a result of feeling low and not having the drive to interact. Isolating yourself could make anxiety and depression worse and leave you with a sense of feeling like there’s no meaning in your life.

1.       Connect with Your Emotions

Emotions can be a signal; they can tell you something. Ask yourself what are your emotions telling you? What are your emotions communicating to yourself or others? Is there something you need to change?


 First, understand what your emotion is communicating to you, and then you decide what to do with that feeling next. An example could be, after reflecting you identify that feeling sad is triggered by a recent change in a friendship and a loss of meaning in your job. Once you identify what is triggering your emotions then you can choose what to do with it. This may mean giving yourself time to grieve a loss and focusing on new ways to create a sense of meaning in your life.


Another example is that you could be feeling afraid. After sitting with the fear, you realize that when you are around new people or crowds you feel highly anxious. Your emotion is telling you to isolate from others but you know that you need to interact with others and that this isn’t serving you. You decide that you are going to feel afraid and do it anyway.


2.       Self-soothing

If you feel overwhelmed and want to protect yourself from the world self-soothing can help.


You can use self-soothing to help connect to your emotions. If your emotions feel so intense and hard to understand use self-soothing. It can help to bring down the intensity so you can focus and listen to what your emotions are telling you then, engage in self-soothing again. Almost like a sandwich embrace.


Self-soothing activities are things that make you feel better in the moment. If you don’t already have a list, it can be helpful to create one. Sometimes you may need to use a variety before the overwhelm starts to come down. Keep in mind it's not going to make your emotions go away and the purpose isn’t to avoid or push away your feelings; the goal is to improve the moment so then you can have more working space to understand your emotions and figure out what to do with them.


A great way to think of self-soothing activities is to go through all the five senses and list things that give you a calming effect.  


3.       Create an Affirmation List

Affirmations can be used as motivation, can help you see the positives in your life, and can be used to work towards your future dreams. Find TikTok or Instagram accounts or websites that speak to you. Create lists or boards of affirmations that you identify with and switch some of them up regularly. Affirmations can be a way of validating yourself when maybe you aren’t getting it from the rest of the world.


Check out this blog for ideas on affirmations.



4.       Activity now Motivation Later 

You might think that you need to wait until the motivation or interest strikes and then you can do the activity but in reality, research shows that you actually don't feel motivated to do an activity until you've already done it. What happens is if you do an activity then you may feel motivated after to do it again. Over time as you continue to do things that bring you joy, you can eventually start to feel good from doing them.


Set small goals in doing activities that used to bring you joy. This could look like going to a coffee shop once a week or going to a yoga class. Start with something small that is manageable and is going to give you a sense of joy or meaning or used to give you those things. You may not feel the enjoyment initially, but I encourage you to continue and eventually, you can start to feel enjoyment again. Then as this starts to feel more manageable you can start to increase the frequency.


5.       Be Kind to Yourself

Individuals with BPD are often hard on themselves. Maybe you're comparing yourself to other people or comparing yourself to a different point in your life and beating yourself up for where you're at now.


Be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that it takes time to get out of isolation. You’ve already taken the first step by acknowledging that you are isolating and are trying to find ways out of it. Aim for reaching today’s best instead of focusing on the overall.


If you’re looking for more support about BPD contact me 


DISCLAIMER The content in this blog and all future blog posts is for educational purposes only and is not a replacement or substitute for mental health or medical care.



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