Radical Acceptance Coping Statements

Radical acceptance is a key in keeping my brain level throughout the roller coaster of life.

Radical acceptance is acknowledging “your present situation… without judging the events or criticizing yourself.” Thinking about your situation without feelings can ease the troubled feelings that may arise from whatever you’re dealing with.

In order to remind myself that I can accept whatever comes my way, I’ve curated a list of “Radical Acceptance Coping Statements” that I remind myself of.

  • The present is the only moment I have control over.
  • The present moment is perfect, even if I don’t like what’s happening.
  • Feelings aren’t facts.
  • Here and now only.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other coping statements a person can use.

  • This is the way it has to be.
  • All the events have led up to now.
  • I can’t change what’s already happened.
  • It’s no use fighting the past.
  • Fighting the past only blinds me to my present.
  • It’s a waste of time to fight what’s already occurred.
  • This moment is exactly as it should be, given what’s happened before it.
  • This moment is the result of over a million other decisions.

Radical Acceptance Coping Statements

  • I/they did that because it was their ‘job’ at the time.
  • I know it is supposed to be this way right now because that’s how it is.
  • I don’t need to fight reality.
  • I acknowledge what is.
  • I/they have done what I could.
  • This is the reality now.
  • No amount of emotional or mental resistance can change what’s already happened.
  • The best way to prepare for the future is to accept the past and present.
  • I can accept (fill in the blank) if or when it happens in the future.
  • I am at peace with him/her/event/situation.
  • I can handle (fill in the blank).
  • I am, in fact, dealing with (fill in the blank), even if I sometimes think I’m not or think I can’t.
  • Worrying about it or having negative feelings about it won’t change it.
  • Everything has a cause.
  • I can let go of this.
  • Whether or not I accept this, it is still the reality. I can choose to accept it.
  • I can choose to deny reality and suffer, or accept reality and find more peace.
  • I can allow the world to be what it is.


Ultimately, shit happens, and there’s not always anything you can do about it … but you can accept it without criticism and judgement with a coping statement.

Do you have a favorite radical acceptance coping statement? Which one of the above strikes you the most? Can you write it on a Post-it note and tuck it away in your wallet for regular viewing? I bet you can.


This post inspired by a section in The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook.

Using a light box to help depression

screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-10-29-57-amAlmost two years ago I invested a smart $50 in my mental health purchasing a NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp from Amazon*.

Why use a phototherapy lamp?

The Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and even Kaiser Permanente have provided studies and solid information about the benefits of using light therapy for treating (not curing) seasonal affective disorder (SAD), clinical depression, jet lag, and even sleep disorders.

Using a 10,000-lux light for 15-30 minutes in the morning when you first wake up is a proven way to alleviate irritating symptoms of multiple light- and time-related conditions. By allowing your circadian rhythm a little “extra” sunlight, you may find yourself sleeping more deeply, feeling more energized, and experiencing fewer symptoms of depression. The negative-ion addition to my SunTouch Plus Lamp claims to mimic the negative-ion atmosphere of some of nature’s most calming places. **I like to imagine it’s turning my office-air into fresh beach breezes.**

pixabaymoneybagShould I buy a SAD lamp?

A therapy lamp is not for everyone; specifically those who live with bipolar disorder are steered away from this therapy as it can increase bouts of mania. If you’re concerned at all about what the light may do to increase your energy or mood, please check with your care provider before investing.


How do I use a therapy lamp?

I use my NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp daily before 10am. I try to use it as soon as I wake up, but often times that means multiple interruptions making lunches, putting on socks, and encouraging an almost-four-year-old to brush ALL her teeth. I sit less than 18-inches from it, and though I don’t stare at it while it’s on, I do glance at it frequently. The automatic timer has four settings between 15 minutes and a full hour of 10,000-lux energizing light so you won’t even have to keep track of your own time!

calmHow will a phototherapy lamp make me feel?

I notice a change in my mood (an elevating change) within days of consistent use with my lamp. I sleep more soundly, I am more alert when I wake up naturally (and when Moo wakes me up with a whispered “It’s wake up time, Sarah!”), and I do feel better.

Will a sun lamp make me feel better?

Phototherapy is not for everyone, and I recommend you speak with your healthcare practitioner before you buy anything that could alter your mood. If you are interested, the NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp is $52 on Amazon right now. My lamp is two years old and still functioning at 100%; it’s a workhorse worth the investment.


What else do you want to know about my therapy lamp?

I’m an open book and want to help you find your best depression and anxiety treatment options!



*affiliate links; if you purchase (any) cool products on Amazon through this link, I make a little money at no extra cost to you.

Therapy isn’t cheap, but this book is

advanced distress tolerance skills improve the moment chapter 2 from the dialectical behavior therapy skills workbook

Right now, I am without super helpful mental health insurance, so I am doing a lot of self-care and self-help. In three of the four seasons of the year, I utilize a SAD Lamp to help with my circadian rhythms and exposure to light. Every day I work through a few pages in  a self-help book in hopes of learning the as much as I can about myself and my situation.I also use an iPhone app which

Currently I’m using a book that was mailed to me in April during Booksgiving titled The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook (Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance). This DBT book is fantastically rated on Amazon (and on sale right now!) and after I finish my copy, I plan to do a thorough review and give away a copy of one of the most helpful self-care books I’ve utilized.

When you reward yourself with Burger King coffee

It doesn’t take much to soothe my wounds. Seriously, I can tide over near-tears frustration with a few tater tots and a cup of Burger King coffee.

After being told my insurance card showed an inactive status at a doctor’s appointment I’ve literally waited a month for, I didn’t cry. I didn’t cry!

I didn’t cry!

Last week I tried to see a new doctor in order to get this health business sorted out … and it was a fail. If I had done this appointment three months ago, I would have been a dissolved blubbering mess in the clinic, and I would have been even more embarrassed because I made a scene as a grown woman. The cycles of panic, anxiety, and depression are so so tight and nasty.

I’ve since discovered that I do have health insurance, but it’s through a different carrier, which means I have to make some important phone calls early next week to see another new doctor.

The day this happened, I didn’t give up after my appointment; I did the rest of my errands and I kicked the day’s behind. These little successes are only little to everyone else.

For me, any success is success.

On falling apart

Sometimes, thanks to my illnesses, I just fall apart. Yesterday was a fall-apart-day, and I spent it feeling sorry for myself.

I’m sick.

I’m tired.

I’m sick and tired.

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

This is a tiring life.

I don’t always struggle to find the silver lining in those grey clouds, but if the lining were bright orange, or even a beautiful blue, I think it would be easier.

Thankfully, Coop gets me, and though he had to preference something he said to me yesterday with “I don’t want to sound like a dick, but …” and he was right. I burst into ugly sobs when he told me what I needed to do, and my immediate thought was “but you are a dick!” He was right.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling sorry for myself and I went to bed feeling sorry for myself.

Today, I pushed for a different story.

When I woke up earlier than Coop, instead of lazing away in bed, I got up, rolled out my yoga mat, and did some modified sun salutations. I breathed deeply with the intention of opening my heart to a new day and a new mood. I hoped to #choosemymood instead of letting it infect me.

I notice that even as I write this (and sip on mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm my coffee) I’m sitting taller, more alert (could be the coffee) and I generally just feel better.

I chose my mood this morning. I’ll choose my mood again tomorrow.

What mood do you choose?

Is your house making you depressed?

Feeling blue?

Take a look around you right now. Is your coffee table covered in papers and books?

What about your bedroom? Is the hamper full of dirty clothes and your bed sits unmade?

Have the dishes been sitting in the sink for a week now? Could you lose your child in the playroom? Ever wonder if these things are related to your emotional state?

For me, it’s really a chicken and an egg situation: does the mess depress me or is the mess because of my depression? When I’m feeling blue, I surely don’t want to sweep, clear the dishes and put away the laundry. However, I know that doing those things also makes me feel productive and on top of things, i.e. less depressed.

Helium writer John Huetteman shares “housekeeping, whether living in squalor or not, is normally not given high priority as motivation to complete any task can be monumentally difficult.”

He also makes a great point when he reminds his readers that “the act of keeping a clean house can provide … an empowering effect during … helpless times. … cleaning house can be tantamount to a ritual cleansing during times of low self worth”. I absolutely agree with him on those points, but getting to the point where I’m motivated enough to actually do the cleaning is a big step.

While I was in college, if there was studying to be done, I would rather scrub the bathtub than flip through flashcards. I would cook elaborate meals but my German homework would go untouched. The house was spotless during finals week while I procrastinated studying.

When do you find your best cleaning time?



Your Messy House: Why It Could Be Making You Depressed – Glamour magazine tackles the problem of living in a messy house and dealing with depression

Clutter and depression – an interesting blog article about how destructive clutter can be in your house. Do you believe that clutter in your house is actually destructive for you? What about after reading this blog entry?

Is Your Living Situation Bringing You Down? – are there too many people in your house? Are there not enough people in your house?