| Purse – Rebecca Minkoff |
I normally don’t talk about celebrities or their lifestyles on this blog but the situation with Kanye West has been on my mind since it happened. Mr. West suffered some sort of mental breakdown in November 2016. Of course, no one really knows what occurred besides his close family and friends. However, I really got to thinking about how easy it is to seem okay but not actually be okay.
I’ve previously shared my issues with social anxiety after many years of keeping it a secret. Never once did I think I should get help or talk to anyone about it. Once I realized I had an issue I pretty much decided to figure it out on my own. Sharing my secret about my social anxiety was scary and relieving at the same time. I had no idea that so many other individuals felt the same way. It felt good sharing my social anxiety “hacks” with you guys so I am back to talk about stress and my coping skills.
Negative Coping Skills
We all have some level of stress in our lives and I am sure we all deal with it differently. I didn’t learn to deal with stress until I was an adult. As a child, I pretty much avoided my issues, kept everything to myself or covered up my feelings. My family wasn’t big on sharing feelings and having open discussions. We all handled our issues (and still do) the same way.
My maternal grandmother, Mary Elizabeth, never got upset. She was the family peacemaker and made sure that everyone was happy. Dealing with other people’s stress was nothing for her. It was amazing how she was always able to stay so calm and even tempered. She was a firm believer in “not being upset or “not getting mad”. I know my grandmother meant well but that way of thinking made me feel as if I wasn’t ever allowed to be upset or mad. I should have been encouraged to feel a full range of emotions.
Because I wasn’t able to express myself verbally I turned to writing. At the age of 18, I started to keep a journal. Every day, no matter what I wrote down my feelings and it was an amazing mental release. My overall goal is to know myself, figure out what makes me happy and balance the good and bad.
Better Mental Health
I still struggle with avoiding problems and store hurt feelings occasionally. However, I am self-aware and I do my best to address my feelings head on. In addition, I’ve adopted the following coping skills:
Exercise – If you’ve been a long time follower of my blog and follow me on social media then you know that I love to work out. I seriously enjoy hitting the gym. Working out makes me feel good and it’s easy to dedicate my time towards a good feeling. I’m not the biggest fan of waking up at 4:15 am but I love having that euphoric feeling I get after a great workout.
Healthy Eating – I grew up with very strict eating habits. My brother and I never had fast food or junk food. My mom did not play when it came to our diet. It’s not too much of a stretch that I’ve maintained most of those eating habits as an adult and improved upon them. Good nutrition allows me to function properly.
Friendship – I have an amazing BFF that listens, advises and supports me. She has always been my listening ear during tough times. I can call on her at anytime for anything. My brother who I call “the man whisperer” always gives me the best dating and relationship advice. We weren’t close as children but as adults, we’ve become BFF’s. I am trying to convince him to start a relationship podcast!
Blogging – Last but not least blogging is my professional hobby, is that even a thing? Blogging has improved my confidence, helped with my social anxiety, and been a great creative outlet. At times this professional hobby is a source of stress. My work towards a balanced professional and creative life is never ending. I no longer beat myself up when I can’t do it all; I do the best with what I have.
Maintaining Good Coping Skills
It took time for me to figure out my coping skills. I started by removing what didn’t make me happy and doing more of what did. The more you utilize your coping skills the easier it is to maintain them. Waking up at 4:15 am is a struggle but getting my workout in feels great. Meal prepping each week is time-consuming but meal planning frees up time for blogging. Each of my coping skills go together to keep me on track and stress-free.
What coping skills are you practicing? Are you concerned with maintaining good mental health?