Scooby Doo & the Art of Coping Part II
Coping is a survival tool that helps us to manage situations when we are faced with high stress, anxiety, physical exertion, illness, grief, fear and confusion. Coping means different things to people but one thing we can all agree on is it’s a step towards altering the mechanics of the situation. For some people coping means doing something and ‘barely getting by’, or to others it is managing the present. But by changing our view, emotions or cycle of problem solving we are a step closer to finding a productive way of solving and bringing closure to the issue.
To me, coping is an action both physical and mental that is carried out in the form of a goal oriented task or cognitive process that lessons the physical stress and relieves the psychological stress from the self enabling a state of conscious present, awareness to promote problem solving focusing on the significant details of the issue in order to bring closure as quickly as possible.
As fancy as that may sound, sometimes gorging on a cheesecake is a fine coping skill that suits me just well. =)
Other times it is more like a coping plan of action that includes elaborate things like grocery shopping, eating, clothes shopping, manicures, pedicures, grooming, girls night out, eating, taking naps and long walks, luxurious bubble baths, eating and bakery shopping. (yes, like clothes shopping, bakery shopping gets its own category because I love going to bakeries more than anything).
It’s very important that you find what coping method works best for you. Sometimes my night terrors are so bad I just want to spend the morning crying or curled up in my bed in fetal position gnawing on my blanket but I can’t because I have bills to pay and unfortunately VISA doesn’t let me pay in magical dream coins (which have yet to be invented 😉 ) so it’s a rough morning, and because I have to be cheery, friendly and helpful at work it turns into a rough day because of the amount of energy it takes to fulfill social standards. With this energy consumed and having to shelf my fear and anxiety it becomes suppressed and lays dormant, but only for so long. With these things happening it feels like your basic needs aren’t being met and it drives you bonkers!
My own coping methods that seem to work quite well are:
1) Scooby Doo & the old Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers (they are low stress, low drama, funny and predictable)
2) Grooming (bubble baths, eyebrows waxed, manicures, pedicures, etc)
3) Good, wholesome food (I like Balkan yogurt with honey and pumpkin spice on top) or sometimes some baked goods like pie or cinnamon buns help. Other foods like a balanced meal.
4) Hot chocolate (I’m sure Carnation’s net worth is 20% thanks to me)
5) Reading (submerse myself in a good book!)
I have one golden rule for stress and coping: I refuse to think of or discuss anything stressful while fulfilling or meeting a basic need. Basic needs: food, warmth, shelter, love, sleep, grooming & cleanliness. This means if I am showering, cleaning my home, doing laundry, trying to get dry and warm after a cold rainy day, spending time with loved ones, eating, having something hot to drink, sleeping, or haven’t been home all day and need time to myself, I will not be dealing with issues during these times. I spend the rest of all 16hrs a day worrying. I see nothing wrong with taking 8hrs for my own mental health.