Hello reader,

How are you doing?

In this ongoing pandemic and falling economy,

Are you working from home? Or have you been temporarily or permanently laid off? Or were you not working in the 1st place?

Did you have enough savings when this all started? Or are you running out of money? Or are you having to cut costs?

I just want you to know that you’re not alone. This situation is affecting all of us, some more than others, and it can be difficult to cope financially and psychologically to what seems to be the new normal, but hopefully we reach the light at the end of the tunnel soon.

Humans adapt to change, because change is the only constant. When things change drastically very quickly, it can be difficult to cope, and some of us may resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms. I have searched some healthy coping mechanisms that will help you deal with the rising tides of your emotions:

1. Self soothing: this is basically comforting yourself with things that relax you, like drinking a cup of tea, or lighting a lavender candle, or squeezing a stress ball, or listening to an audiobook or guided meditation. The idea is to awaken your 5 senses.

2. Distraction: When you feel very stressed or you find yourself going down a spiral of worry and overthinking, distract yourself with a movie, a game, or anything that will slow down your mind.

3. Opposite action: When you feel that you’re complaining too much or feeling pessimistic, try to read positive affirmations or inspirational quotes to uplift your mood.

4. Emotional awareness: Expressing your emotions through journaling or poetry or any form of art helps release and organize your thoughts and emotions and helps you better understand them.

5. Mindfulness: Anxiety is fear of the future, depression is sadness over the past. Mindfulness is living in the now. Yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and going for a walk will help you practice mindfulness.

6. Ask for help: If you feel you are unable to cope on your own, reach out to a trusted friend or a therapist to help guide you through your turbulent emotions.

What are the limitations of some coping mechanisms?

1. Self soothing: Sometimes it’s better to stay a bit disconnected.

2. Distraction: You can’t do it for long and it doesn’t resolve any underlying issues.

3. Opposite action: The more emotional you feel, the harder this is to do.

4. Emotional awareness: Though great for anger and fear, but hard to do in every situation.

5. Mindfulness: This takes a lot of practice, and beginning is the hardest.

6. Ask for help: Therapy is expensive, and many people don’t have a trusted friend they can talk to.

Are all coping mechanisms healthy?

There are many ways to cope that are unhealthy, such as avoiding confrontation, being over productive to supress thoughts, not dealing with underlying issues by isolating yourself, binge watching tv shows, retail therapy, and some people (hopefully you’re not one of them) resort to drinking or drugs.The reason why these are unhealthy is because they are addictive, and their effect is temporary and you feel worse afterwards.

What if I have anxiety and it’s really hard to cope?

Why is it easy for some to cope but difficult for others?

This all comes down to resilience. When we were children, if we had overbearing parents or helicopter parents or were raised in an over protective environment, we most likely weren’t given the tools to develop resilience in the face of adversity. Catastrophe strikes and we start running, only we have nowhere to go, because we are being quarantined, so we’re stuck with the thoughts in our heads, and with our families who we can’t seem to get along with, and we’re separated from our friends who were our social support system. We find ourselves scrolling through social media for hours and feeling worse by the minute, but we can’t seem to stop.

It is enough to have 1 healthy adult role model in your life growing up to develop resilience. What does that mean for those who aren’t resilient? It’s going to be hard, but you can reparent yourself. You can learn healthy coping mechanisms and practoce them. Find someone who will help you and guide you through it. You can do it!

What is the corelation between coping mechanisms and stress relief?

Basically, the objective of coping mechanisms is to decrease stress so that you stop being in fight/flight mode and adapt to the change happening. So anything that decreases stress can be used as a coping mechanism, as long as it’s not getting you to avoid any underlying issue you can deal with.

How do you know which coping mechanisms to use when?

You can use emotional coping mechanisms when you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed.Problem focused coping mechanisms are used when you are dealing with an underlying issue such as family problems, lack of productivity, sleeping 16 hours a day, procrastination,…

How do I (writer of this blog) personally cope?

Different things work for different people in different situations. Now it’s your turn.

What are some things that help you cope?