Everyone goes through tough times in life, and implementing healthy coping skills is essential to help us work through times of anxiety, depression, loneliness, or grief.
Personally, I have found it beneficial to list things that make me feel better when I am faced with difficulty. The idea here is to create positive feelings of accomplishment, rather than turning to self-destructive behaviors which only make things worse.
Spend some time thinking about things that comfort you and jot them down on paper. Even things like taking a hot bath can be included if that makes you feel better.
Here are a few ways to cope during tough times that are helpful to me.
Any kind of exercise has a positive effect on my mood even if it’s just a short walk. And any kind of movement is better than none at all, right? Need to let off some steam? Work it out using a punching bag which is great for mental as well as physical release.
I find writing to be very therapeutic. Writing out my feelings always makes me feel better. And what you write doesn’t have to be perfect – just get your thoughts out of your head. A list of words or fragments of sentences that describe how you feel can be very helpful.
Take a listen to some of your favorite songs. But choose wisely, pick songs that are uplifting and motivational. The wrong kind of music can make you feel worse. Listening to nature sounds can also be soothing.
Art and coloring
When I am involved in an artistic endeavor, it’s hard for me to think of anything negative. Give adult coloring books a try using colored pencils. Pour your thoughts and energy into the picture in front of you. Coloring can be especially helpful for anxiety.
Almost anything can be photographed, indoors or out. Set up shots of things you find interesting or beautiful. Try to find enjoyment during the activity as well as afterward, when you view and perhaps share your photos.
Sometimes when I am feeling out of control, cleaning helps me to feel more in control. I always feel better when my living environment is neat and tidy. Cleaning helps to keep my mind away from negative thoughts when I am focused on the task.
Pets bring unconditional love to your life every day. My dog has really helped me with transitions in my life like coping with my children getting older. She is my running buddy and a devoted friend. I call her my furry daughter! Pets also make perfect companions if you are experiencing loneliness. There is nothing like the love a dog or a cat will return to you if you take good care of them.
Is there something else you can add to this list that will help you feel better? If you are going through a tough time, please consider trying just one thing. If not now, come back to this list or your own list later. Anything is worth trying if it helps you feel better, right?
With lots of love,
*Please seek professional help if you have been struggling for more than a few weeks with any of the following:
Weight loss or gain
Anger and/or irritability
Trouble with concentration/memory
Lack of libido
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