Tag Archives: coping mechanisms
August 2022 is almost a thing of the past. Time is whizzing past my head at an astonishing speed and the year will be gone if I blink. I spend too much time being upset at what is going on in the world around me, helpless to do much, if anything, to stop it. I find myself grateful for all the things I have to insulate me from too much grief.
Listening to music, playing in my art room, reading books, talking with friends, gardening and time to myself all help me deal with what is going on around me. If I can’t FIX what’s happening, at least I can make it so I’m not contributing to it. I have more than enough to handle in my OWN little world.
I hope that you, also, have things that help you cope.
I guess you can tell by my posts that I’ve been enjoying listening to a lot of music lately. Music is magic, in my opinion, transporting us to another place, either taking us back to where we were when we first heard it, making aches, pains, concerns simply drop away, or take us to the place the singer takes us in a new song, or their take on a classic that makes us hear the words in a different way.
I’m lucky because I have a lot of coping mechanisms that give me some relief from the hostility and frustration and helplessness I feel about what is going on in our beautiful world or to keep me calm in the face of any unpleasantness or concerns I feel about what is going on in my personal world.
- Music – if I’m outside by myself, I sing. Inside, I watch music videos with my headphones on, or listen to songs on my MP3 player
- Reading – I’m in the middle of “Forgotten in Death” by J.D. Robb, “Life Force” by Tony Robbins, and listening to a video on Cryptocurrency.
- Art – finding it on the net and sharing it with you, or playing in my art room
- Animals – playing with our dog, Amber, and our cat, Abby.
- Exercise – yoga stretching
- Gardening – getting my veggie garden going and working in my flower planters
What coping mechanisms help you?
With all that’s going on in the world, it’s hard to keep your head above water. It would be easy (and understandable) to simply give in to all the ugliness and pain and be crushed under its weight.
I’m finding ways to get through –
- Do what I can to help
- keep up with enough news to know what is happening
- Immerse myself in the beauty that ALSO abounds in our world – the arts, books, music, stories of what others are doing to make our world a better place, talking to our son, hugging my husband and our pets, reaching out to friends and family
- escape to my art room to try to create something healing for myself, and maybe others
- look for plants for my early spring veggie garden
- start to plan to get our yard in shape after the winter
- exercise to try to make myself stronger physically
- ACKNOWLEDGE that there are many, many things I cannot control
What do YOU do to cope?
The world is such a challenging place now. We do what we can to help and reach for inner strength to cope. Love is a big part of that. Reach out.
Our son is really into meditation and it has really helped him.
He used to have quite a bit of frustration. At times it would erupt – one time resulting in broken bones in his hand when he ‘punched a chair.’ (The chair won.)
Over the years he has practiced meditation, even going to places where he could receive instruction in how to do it better. He has taken bits and pieces and made his own form now. He practices every day now, getting up early so that he can practice before he starts his work for the day. I don’t know if he does it again in the evening or not. It has made a world of difference for him. He is content and happy now, able to handle even really frustrating situations with an amazing maturity.
He has tried to get ME to try it, and I have. I’m a dismal failure. I guess I don’t want to do it badly enough. I simply cannot turn my mind off, rechannel my thoughts, or use any of the many suggestions he has made. I envy him and now look to HIM when I need help dealing with things.
The best thing I’ve come up with is finding Art – like that above – in which I can lose myself. Music is a huge help, too. Music I loved in the past transports me to where I was when I first heard the song. I’m finding new music and new artists I find amazing. Frustration, anger, and depression simply melt away. Books help. I dive into the worlds of characters I love, leaving my concerns somewhere else as I immerse myself in their lives. Yoga is becoming a coping mechanism, as well. It’s really hard for me to totally relax, but I come really close when I practice my yoga stretches and poses. When I finish, my mind is calm and my body feels looser.
The world is a very complicated place now. I hope you can find something that works for YOU.
I’m enjoying feeling better. My snark bucket is filling and I’m finding myself smiling to myself more now – an ominous sign, according to my husband.
I come by it honestly. My dad used to say, when I came out, ready for a date, ‘Nice dress.’ I learned early on that his comment meant that he thought it was too short, too tight, too ‘something’ for me to get his approval. It took me a long time to stop looking myself over to find out what was wrong and simply accept a compliment that came my way when I grew to adulthood.
Being raised by my parents was a gift that keeps on giving even now. Being able to stand back and see the humor in any given situation is a lifesaver for me. Instead of building tension inside at all the things I find upsetting, I can say something sarcastic in the privacy of my own mind, making me smile, rather than losing it.
My mother taught me practicality and strength. Her favorite quote was, “It’s better to do any reasonable thing quickly, rather than search hesitantly for the ideal.” I loved it when she got angry at a situation. She could stand on her feet and say what she thought (the length of her words and sentences depended on the degree of her anger.) She could completely undermine someone with a few words while the smarter ones in the group appreciated it wholeheartedly and the less smart tried to figure out what she had said. :0) )
Coping mechanisms are crucially important in our world today. I hope you have a bucketful to help you, too.
I have learned lately that facing your weaknesses is important. I also dealt with a deep fear and made it through. I had the help of wonderful, caring friends, but you are essentially alone when actually dealing with things.
I had a month of trying to face that my husband might have to live alone. I am now taking some positive steps to make things easier for him in case we face this again for whatever reason. The fact that I am making a list of steps I want to take, setting things up differently that I handle routinely, listing reminders for him, has largely calmed me down.
I have let a lot of the fear go.
I don’t think – if I have to face a similar situation again – it will be as bad.
Taking care of what I CAN will help both of us going forward.
We’re having a glorious day of ‘nothing-we-have-to-do’ today. My favorite. :0)
I’ve been playing on the Internet, finding some wonderful things to share with you.
Our weather is pretty quiet – 22 degrees F., breezy, and gray. Snow is forecast for Arkansas today, but north of us. I selfishly would like it to go away altogether, except for places that really need or want it.
I’ve just wished Michael, my miracle-worker hair stylist, the happiest of birthdays today.
I’ve been listening to lots of music lately, something that really lifts my spirits – heartwarming stories of talented people striving for their dreams. I feel really lucky that – around the have-to’s – I can lose myself in beautiful music that makes my heart sing, or dive into a well-loved book, visiting favorite characters again or finding new, interesting folks to populate my world for a time. I haven’t spent much time in my art room lately. I’m enjoying not having to push myself to meet self-imposed deadlines on gifts for awhile. I have some ideas rabbling around in my head, though, getting ready to push me up there to try a new technique.
I hope today is a happy day for you.
I’m watching the news less and less as the days pass. It seems it can’t get any worse, and then it does. I find myself angry, frustrated, and depressed. Another of life’s character-building exercises, I guess. I can’t DO anything about it, so I’m now trying to keep up with what is actually happening and then shut it off and live elsewhere, at least in my own mind.
Happily, I have a wealth of coping mechanisms and they are getting a good amount of use now. I thought I would mention a few of them, in case YOU are having some trouble coping, too –
- I’ve been using Pinterest lately for two reasons: 1) to listen to music from people I haven’t heard before. It’s inspiring to find so many talented singers. When I hear them, it seems as if their voices fill me up. 2) I’ve also clicked on interesting things and have discovered some really talented artists using various media who take my breath away. (Since I don’t mind others knowing what I’ve clicked on, I find it great that once you click on something, the program gives you more of that.)
- I’ve been reading a lot. Instead of relegating things I enjoy to the “end of the line” when I’ve finished ALL the ‘have-to’s’ and ‘shoulds’ on my to-do list, I’m consciously taking time to dive into a great book. Right now I’m finishing a re-read of one of Nora Roberts’ trilogies, The Guardians.
- I’m also making time to play in my art room. Right now I’m experimenting with the impasto technique – lots of texture laid on with a palette knife. So far, I’m awful, but who cares? :0)
- I’m getting better at looking at exercise as a stress-reliever. I’m doing 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, plus doing yoga stretches every afternoon. I’m trying to put this in the category of ‘my time,’ although basically I’m a slug and have to push myself to get up and get at it.
If you have something that helps you cope with stressful things, I would be very interested in hearing about It. We’re all in this together, and it’s good when we can help each other.
With all the pain and suffering going on in our world today, I’m conscious of trying to stay emotionally afloat. I thought you might be having some trouble from time to time, too, and thought it might be good for us to share ways that we try to cope. These are some of the things that help me – in no particular order. I hope you’ll share what helps YOU.
- Writing this blog. I love finding things that I think are heartwarming, amazing, or wonderful to share.
- Trying to learn new art techniques and trying them in my art room.
- Working in the yard and/or square foot garden and taking pictures of successes.
- Reading books by favorite authors and/or discovering new ones.
- Refurbishing our yard art and working on making Christmas presents for friends.
- Discovering new websites and reading articles giving me new information and new perspective.
- Reaching out to friends and family
- Listening to music
- Hugging my husband and making him laugh
- Making a ‘SHOULD’ list and checking something off
One of my favorite ‘memes’ – or things by which I try to live is, “Today I will not stress over things I can’t control.” I have it printed and up with magnets on the file cabinet near my computer so that I am reminded.
We are submerged right now in all kinds of things we can’t control and it’s easy to become depressed and frightened. There is a lot of fear, hate, and hurtful labels flying around that only compound our negative emotions.
I am reminding myself to breathe a lot. Just one breath at a time, slow and deep. (Yeah. I’m nuts. I talk to myself a lot in an effort to retain SOME portion of sanity. :0) ) I’m doing my yoga stretches in the afternoons – again – s l o w l y – trying to end up relaxed and looser. If I get sleepy, I’m OLD – so I can give myself permission to take a nap, whether to cover up my head and get away from what’s bothering me, or a power nap just to recharge for whatever comes next.
I go to my art room. Sometimes I’m actually productive, but other times I just sit there, clean things up a bit (or a lot), consider possibilities, dream… I listen to music on my MP3 player or on my computer. That always transports me, lifting my spirits. When the weather gets better, I look forward to working in my flowers and my garden. (Now I am plotting and planning which plants will go in which squares in my raised bed, square foot planter veggie garden in the spring. I’m going to TRY to get some plants going on my counter in the garage starting mid Feb or early Mar)
I hope that you have things that help you cope, too. The world is a scary place now and SO much of is made up of things over which you have no control. My suggestion is that you control what you can in your everyday living to insulate and isolate yourself from things while you protect yourself physically and emotionally.
Things will get better eventually. One day at a time. Stay safe and well.
I am trying to look at things as ‘the-glass-is-half-full’ these days. (Sometimes the glass tips over, spills the contents, and then shatters on the floor, though.) I do believe that you can control your attitude about what is happening to and around you, putting the best face on it that you can, and then powering on.
Each person’s problems are different. The priority of dealing with them depends on how much they are affecting your life. Some vary in their intensity, allowing you to put some on the back burner to be dealt with some nebulous time in the future. Others are chronic, requiring that you either decide to essentially ignore them, or work steadily, day by day, on solutions. Still others require immediate action by you or help from others.
There are times problems are overwhelming. A quote by Brian Tracy is magnetically stuck to the side of a file cabinet by my computer. It says, “When you feel overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time, remind yourself that all you can do is all you can do.”
( I also include problems that are ‘overwhelming’ because they seem too large, too defeating for you to handle for some reason.) I am learning to handle these ‘one-bite-at-a-time,’ breaking the problem down into several steps or deciding to only handle one day at a time, dealing with things the best I can.
I am trying to learn to give myself a break, as well as give the same consideration to others who are ALSO dealing with problems. Certain words spring to mind – becoming more and more important the longer I live: listening; empathy; compassion; kindness. Some of my to-do lists are a compilation of ‘things-I-CAN-control’ offsetting all the things I CAN’T.