The Focus On You

*Self-Care & Lifestyle Blog*

Tag: coping skills (page 1 of 2)

2017 Needs New Coping Skills

2017 has really screwed with my ____________ (Fill in the blank).

Personally, this year has been hell on my productivity. For many of my friends there have been family struggles, health setbacks, career changes, you name it. I can absolutely attribute my troubles to the political climate.

As an empath, social media lurker and blogger, it’s impossible to stay away from the news. Sharing my content and connecting with my networks requires a heavy social media presence. Unfortunately, the consistent barrage of bad news is wreaking hell on my soul.

I honestly feel useless and unsure of how to help. I share information about food drives, donation efforts and whatever information is helpful and not “gossip.”

If you’re feeling exhausted like me this year, let’s create a new stack of coping skills.

Here is what I’ll be doing to cope in the next few months:

Preparation: For many people, being prepared can give you a sense of control. Prepared doesn’t always mean being organized and I am a classic example of this. My husband can vouch for this! Regaining a small sense of control in our lives is important when things are feeling out of control. Click To Tweet I have felt this lately, especially because of my earthquake trauma. When I feel edgy or unsettled, cleaning or organizing important papers helps me channel my energy effectively. Although there are many events in our lives we can’t prepare for, it can’t hurt us to have family emergency plans or first aid kits in the car. Our household has been clearing out clutter and donating them to hurricane efforts as well as stocking up on canned goods. Preparation and donating to others can increase your sense of purpose and eliminate clutter.

Movement: I have found it easier to unplug from negativity and bad news if I am outdoors or just moving. Sitting and binging on Netflix makes it too easy to pick up my phone, which goes against self-care and healthy coping. I am committing to more dog walks, bike rides after dinner, gym classes and weekend outdoor activities. The change of season is a perfect time to get fresh air, increase circulation to my organs and release funky energy that is undigested in my system. I recently watched a webinar that discussed the concept of “emotional digestion.” When our emotions get stuck or clogged, they become toxic in our system. It’s similar to food digestion. If we never expel what we consume, it stagnates and toxifies our system.

Challenge: How can you expel toxic emotions that haven’t been digested? How could movement help?

Asking For Help: We don’t have to suffer alone. Regardless of what we’re struggling with, how can we reach out safely to others? If all of our problems could be solved by asking friends and family, there would be no need for therapists. Think about it……Sometimes we have to share our frustrations or thoughts outside of our circles. If you’re having employment difficulties, wouldn’t you want to chat with someone who understands what you’re going through? Wouldn’t you lean towards articles or groups focused on this? I’ll be getting creative with my own battle plan and reaching out to my networks for clarity. I’m also venturing out with another therapy internship so I’ve been looking outside of my comfort zone for assistance. I recommend Facebook groups, local support groups and spiritual groups to be an added link of support. There are numerous Facebook groups for the recently divorced, infertility, career, health-related issues, grief, etc.

Remember, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed!

Most importantly, we have to remind ourselves that no matter what is hurting our soul, we matter. We matter to someone. We have a purpose and our purpose doesn't change based on a bad season of our life. Click To Tweet Our ancestors have struggled with 10 times more than us, yet they made it through with less resources. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know how to cope. We’re all learning as we go!!

Part 2: Coping Skills For Family Stress & Burnout

This post contains an affiliate link.

Last week’s post highlighted 3 coping skills (Taking Care Of Your Body, Setting Boundaries and Getting Organized)  that can assist you if you’re struggling with family stress or burnout (or both)!

These next 3 coping skills dig a little deeper.

Create A Buffer – If you’re feeling burnout from work, put something in between you and the source of stress. What do your lunch breaks look like? Are you eating at your desk? BAD! Change that please. Labor laws entitle us to these fabulous time buffers. Use it or lose it!

I have been lucky in my previous jobs that my bosses were understanding of my workload. I was able to safely express to them when I needed a break, a person to relieve me for one day or needed a day just to focus on paperwork. Sometimes those “paperwork only” days were the solution to my stress.

If you need a buffer from a stressful family situation, pinpoint who you can safely talk to. Text or call that person and let them know you’ll need them to listen, let you scream or just be there in general. It’s hard to turn down a close confidant who asks you, “Hey can I just vent for a second?” Buffers are also boundaries.

Maybe you need to skip a certain family event or gathering for the sake of your sanity. But if you’re unable to skip an event, have a buffer person handy so you can text them in case of emergency!

If you are only attending functions to please others then you are choosing resentment. Click To Tweet

Soothing Talk – Write down what you would say to a loved one in a similar situation. It’s funny how 99% of the time we don’t take our own advice. Have you ever helped someone in a similar situation? What did you tell them? Listen to yourself!

If your self-talk is becoming harsh or over critical, speak to yourself like you would talk to a child. No curse words. Just reassurance.

Refer to my post on self-talk for mental wellness.

Notice The Source – Before you get sucked into criticism or advice, notice who’s telling it to you. In the Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz talks about judgment like its poison. If a person is cruel to you, they spread emotional poison. When we react or plot revenge then we are using their poison within us. It’s similar to “stooping down to their level.”

Also, as you notice the source of criticism, think about that person’s story.

Is there a loss of love in their life?

Has struggle been a mainstay for them?

Are they under immense stress and are lacking in self-care? Although it may be hard to get these answers, remember this: Hurt people hurt people. Click To Tweet

Someone who is hurting from shame, abandonment, insecurities, or whatever, may feel more comfortable passing off that hurt to someone else. Don Miguel Ruiz calls it “misuse of our word.” He says that when you hear a bad opinion and you believe it, you make an agreement with it.

Within these last two posts I have highlighted 6 coping skills to help with burnout or family stress. Changing our thinking patterns, focusing on our needs and actively speaking up for our needs can help minimize these issues.

Be pro-active and get comfortable with these coping skills before you are forced into reactive mode!!

Which coping skills have worked for you in the past? How have you survived burnout? 

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