How I Learnt to Cope

I recently found myself in need of some fool-proof and positive coping mechanisms in my life. Ways in which I could independently deal with the physical, emotional and spiritual after effects of an unexpected life event. I realized that I need to have more than one way of dealing with stress/sadness/loss/ or any other unwelcome negative feelings. Also, that I needed to do this myself. I may have amazing friends and family to lean on but I would have to carry the responsibility for my own recovery and wellness.

I didn’t cry even though I felt it would help me. I didn’t lash out because really there was no one and nothing to blame, sometimes life just does what it wants to do irrespective of your plans, thoughts and feelings. I was surely in denial for two whole days and acceptance came slowly but when it did I was ready with a plan to move on. Here are somethings that worked for me.

  1. Do a physical activity – the options are endless. Now would not be the time to try something new like learning to roller blade. Just do an activity you enjoy, something that feels normal.
  2. Reach out to friends and family – a phone call or a coffee with someone with whom you can be honest and vulnerable. A meetup with a friend or colleague not associated with your current situation who can help take your mind off matters and who makes you laugh.
  3. Do something creative – bring out that adult coloring book and pencils, bake bread, or cook chili, dance (even if it’s front of the mirror), bead or knit. Anything that connects you to your creative side. It’s all about taking the negative emotions and channeling them towards something positive.
  4. Pray – pray to whomever or whatever you believe in. And trust in the timing of your life.
  5. Allow yourself to lose control and indulge for one day – shop, watch TV, eat ice cream, open up a bottle of wine, read TMZ or People, spend hours on FB or Instagram. Know that all of these are most definitely going to make you sick in some way or another at the end of the day.
  6. Do small home projects – reorganize your wardrobe, clean out the storage closet, refresh bed linens, rearrange furniture. I like to take out all my pretty jewelry, reorganize it and admire my good taste.
  7. Make some plans for the near future – make a list of home improvements needed, imagine a future holiday, plan a dinner party or a movie night with friends, register for an online course at Udemy or edX, or Coursera. Take some form of action on long wished-for events – look up real estate if you have been wanting to move, browse job postings if you have been wanting to change jobs, look for ways to save for your retirement, or just plain find some hacks to save money.

This by no means an exhaustive list, just a few things that worked for me. Look out for the positive things that can help you deal with the uncertainty in life and the chaos it can bring.

TRUST

​ Today I Ate a Salad for Breakfast

I did it! I took the leap of faith and asked the kind lady at the cafe to fill up a bowl of green goodness loaded with proteins and various crunchy things and set down to eat breakfast. I have been watching and hearing people eat salad for breakfast and my reaction has always been “good god!” or “yuck!”or something equally childish. Then my fantastic California-based cousin mentioned eating salad for breakfast and my mind started thinking. I love my cousin and think she’s one of the smartest and most amazing women out there. Trying to eat low carb and also kind of vegan gets annoyingly boring very quickly. But once I got over the barriers in my head the rules that said salad is acceptable for lunch and dinner. It wasn’t too hard.

This made me think of the limitations we put on ourselves the ideas we hold dear sometimes not even understanding why and we limit our dreams, our abilities, the joy we could get at this very moment if we just put down the bagel and picked up the salad bowl.

How do you break the habits and patterns?  Either you have the self-awareness, the daring do or you have fabulous people in your life who will push you, make you try new stuff and widen your horizons, make your world varied and just a bit richer.

And you thought this post was about salad?

What habits and patterns-3