There is a lot going on in the world today, which is taking a toll. It seems we are required to cope with it all, while under significant pressure to still produce, and pivot, and parent, the best we can. Sometimes our age old coping mechanisms may need a little reboot to help us make it through. If you are looking for a little change in those coping mechanisms, try one or all of these five:
TALK TO YOUR PETS
If you don’t have a pet, try a plant. If you don’t have a plant, try a pillow. If you don’t have a pillow, then you need to get one because your neck needs a little love. Seriously though. The helpfulness of talking to another person, a friend, a therapist, is well documented. But person or not, sometime you just need to relieve the pressure of the thoughts in your head. Or even just to break the silence in the room. Try talking to your pet/plant/pillow, it may feel absurd but you may be surprised how much it helps.
FOLD YOUR LAUNDRY
There are so many things out of our control right now, and it can feel overwhelming to sort through what we can and cannot do about it. Sometimes taking control of simple acts can bring a little order to the chaos. It may be folding your laundry, it may be rearranging your closet, or cleaning up your garage. The physical act of ordering your space brings satisfaction that may not solve the larger public health or societal problems, but it can quiet your mind and allow you to re-focus on whatever you need to do next.
SING OUT LOUD
Some of you already do this, and know with every fiber of your being the emotional healing it brings. But those of you who don’t, it’s time to become a member of the club. Whether it’s in your car, in your living room, or on the sidewalk outside your house, let it out and sing! Music isn’t something we are good or bad at, music is something we all Are. Our body provides music and rhythm as it keeps us alive, it is in us, and of us. It doesn’t require you to have any special talent, it only requires you to do it. So crank up ‘I Will Survive’ or whatever gets you going and let those vocal cords rip. It’s good for the body, mind and soul.
TALK TO SOMEONE UNDER THE AGE OF 7
Young people haven’t learned that things are not possible, they move through the world free of the boundaries brought on by age and experience. They have a way of helping us see the bigger world or the moment we are in, in ways that allow us to step outside of our reality. Conversations with the young, single digit set, can help us imagine things we didn’t know were possible, and reset our perceptions.
I’m a big fan of crying. I don’t think we celebrate it enough. Not only does it release oxytocin and endorphins (those feel good chemicals) but it also reduces stress. Crying can be an expression of sadness, anger, pain, or frustration. Holding emotions in without expressing them can lead to all sorts of consequences. Setting them free is key to a healthy approach to moving forward and meeting your goals.
ASK FOR HELP
As a bonus, if you need help, please seek help. Your mental and emotional health is key to everything you do. Taking care of yourself is your first priority, and allows you to care for others. Asking for help is a sign of strength and a good model for those around you to follow.