Coping skills can be a difficult thing for a lot of people. One of the biggest things I do at my job is help people with their coping skills. It’s also one of the things that I find hard to do for myself. What are my coping skills? What tools do I have in my toolbox for anxiety and stress? I know what I tell others; I don’t always follow what I tell others nor do I make sure that I have those tools easily accessible in my toolbox.
Stress and anxiety can creep up on us and if we don’t have a good set of tools to pull from, situations can really be a struggle. Right now, my largest stressor is my son and my career. My son has a diagnosis of PDD NOS and is on the autism spectrum. That diagnosis in and of itself is stressful, but he is also having a bullying situation that has reared it’s ugly head again and it’s not just the bullying it’s the fact that my son feels like he is being punished and not the bully, even though it is to keep him safe. It breaks my heart to have him be so upset about having more eyes on him.
My other stressor is my career. I think I hate what I do! I think I need a break from working with people directly and listening to their issues and helping them learn to cope. I need a job where I love to go to work and look forward to it. It doesn’t have to be easy, but it has to be something I believe in and want to do. That is something I have never had, other than subbing, and that is not something that is sustainable for me as a career. If I were independently wealthy or had another income coming in, I would totally do it, but I need to have more income and more job stability. My next step is to take the time to think about what will truly make me happy and figure out how to make a career from it.
What are my coping strategies when I have life stressors happen or when my anxiety rears it’s ugly head? I know that one thing I can do is breathe. My mantra is “Just Breathe”! I need to make another sign for this for my water bottle, for my planner, for anything that I have with me all the time; maybe even my office. I also need to make time to meditate and have an actual mindfulness practice, not just practice mindfulness when I am stressed or anxious. I need to make time for creativity and allow it to work it’s magic. I need to take time to research what else is out there for me to do for a job. I need to take time to think about what will make me happy and see if there are any jobs that allow me to do that. I can’t just sit and wait for a perfect job to fall in my lap. I need to take action.
I’m all for manifesting and praying, but I don’t believe that it’s only manifesting and praying. I believe that to get what you want out of life, you need to be an active participant in your life, not passive. I believe that having coping skills allows you to move forward and not feel stagnant. I believe that having coping skills gives you some control in a situation that can otherwise uncontrollable.
Breathwork and meditation as well as creativity help relax me. These activities make me happy. They are also activities that can help me see things more clearly and hopefully help me see things in a different perspective.
What are your coping skills? Do you have them and more importantly, do you use them?