Right now, everyone is going through various levels of distress / instability and we each need different levels of ‘coping’ to get through these tough times. Coping essentially helps you tolerate or deal better with stress (in whatever form it manifests).
Coping helps you feel better physically, psychologically and mentally, it impacts your ability to perform better.
Like I mentioned earlier, as individuals, we each have various levels of ‘coping’ that helps us get through or rids us of whatever situation one might be facing. It could range from anger, through loneliness, sadness, nervousness as well as a wide spectrum of emotions.
It is important, that one deal with these feelings in a healthy way.
Healthy coping soothes, distracts and actually helps you deal with your stress. Other times, coping could actually change your entire mood.
For example – Imagine after receiving some bad news, the joy of your children’s laughter or just being with family would definitely make a difference … Honestly, just think of something that works for you.
For me, I have found any of the following works for me in dealing / coping with emotional stress:-
Exercise:– This is my all time favorite coping skill. I try to walk every morning (6,000steps is what I have as daily target, of course, I don’t do this daily). Before the lock-down, my coach would come in thrice in the week, hopefully, i will soon fall back into that flow BUT until then, I’ll keep on walking
A warm bath:– I would usually have a cold bath BUT after a warm bath, I feel calm, soothed and would just probably take a nap to clear my mind
Giving myself a pep talk:– Lady… You are worth it. No-one can make you fell any less who or what you are.
Meditation:– I try this when I walk, not sure how much I have mastered this BUT honestly try it…
Listen to Music:– I actually do this more than I meditate basically because I love music, music of any sort. So I listen to music when I walk, when I potter around in the garden, lying down in bed, doing anything. I listen to music.
Gardening:- Pottering around in the garden, talking to my plants, weeding and watering them. Sometimes playing music for them as I bask in the soothing beauty of nature (try it, don’t thank me. Just enjoy it)
For work related stress, I try to develop a different set of coping mechanism which hopefully work different from my emotional coping skills. Over the years, I have had a mix of :-
Managing Time:– Knowing when to check personal email, social media interactions especially what’s app (with its various groups and notifications). I think this is very important and should be of note to everyone.
Seeking support:– My family is my greatest support system. They are my all time cheerleaders and the have my back always and I honestly can say, I wouldn’t know what to do without them. You need to find your support somehow.
Establishing healthy boundaries:– Work is work. Yes, we spend a lot of time together and we could be family for all its worth BUT whilst we are at work, we are colleagues and most time shouldn’t cross the line.
Creating a to-do list:- I do this a lot especially when I have a full day and guess what, I actually strike off each activity once its done and I continue with whatever else I have on my list. This is something I have actually recommended for so many people, such that at some point, my admin manager got post it notes for the staff, so that they could always have reminders around them constantly especially if they have a lot of deliverables.
You will note, that I have broken my stress cues into two (emotional and work related), this essentially is because these more often that not at all, is / are, where I experience most, if not all, my stress and as such would need to cope in ways that work for me.
Excitedly, I found these online and I could actually identify some of my personal coping skills, so thought to share, as any of these could work for someone dealing with any level of emotional stress:-
Here are some examples of healthy emotion-focused coping skills:
Write in a journal
Listen to music
Take a bath
Play with a pet
Spend time in nature
Clean the house (or a closet, drawer, or area)
Read a book
Play a game with your kids
Cook a meal
Engage in a hobby
Practice breathing exercises
List the things you feel grateful for
Re-frame the way you are thinking about the problem
Use progressive muscle relaxation
Picture your “happy place”
Give yourself a pep talk
Squeeze a stress ball
Put on lotion that smells good
Look at landscape photos that help you feel relaxed
Think of something funny
Look at pictures that remind you of the people, places, and things that bring you joy
Take care of your body in a way that makes you feel good (paint your nails, do your hair, put on a face mask)
Use a relaxation app
Go for a walk
Going through this list personally, I actually found there were much more things I actually did unconsciously, coping BUT unconsciously…
My hope is that someone finds this useful and can actually deal better from reading or going through this.