It is this time of year that really gets me thinking of what people do to get through tough times. It can be a difficult month for so many people. What I have noticed is that people seem to use the word “coping” like the f-word, like a bad word, like a descriptor of a mental state of messiness (f^@%ed). But that is not true at all. Coping rocks! Adversity is an opportunity to put your skills to the test, to grow, to increase your adaptability, to learn that you, indeed, can do it. Read on, learn some new stuff, try some new stuff and surprise yourself with your ability to deal, even when you thought you couldn’t.
Life is messy.
Coping is happiness
What changed my life, and the lives of so many of the students that I have learned from in my counselling practice, is that when you accept adversity, or barriers, as learning opportunities in your life you flourish. You start to rock this life because you learn to bounce back with all those wonderful skills you build.
Yes, there is always a moment when life knocks you on your ass, and you just lay there and whine, complain and use every word in the profanity realm (yes, I do that too). Then you go, “okay, that happened”, get sick of your pity party and then start doing something about it.
“Adversity can change you for the better, if you let it”
Perspective Shift! YOLO!
So let’s start looking at coping differently…
“In psychology, coping means to invest conscious effort, to solve personal and interpersonal problems, in order to try to master, minimize or tolerate stress and conflict” (Brougham, Zail, Mendoza, Celeste & Miller, 2009)
Coping is a good thing. Try to stop using that word to describe a bad mental state. Coping means you are rocking it. Coping happens at many levels. Sometimes it is small, sometimes it is big. It about doing something, not how big or small.
“Problems are not problems. Coping is the problem.”
Success and happiness depend on how well you can cope with the untidy, confusing, embarrassing, crappy or messy situations of the day. In the book, Peoplemaking, Virginia Satir, a legendary social worker, talked about problems not being the problem. Expecting life to not have problems is a big part of the problem.
Put on the Work Clothes and Kick Butt!
Start with accepting that if you want things to be different, you have to do things differently. Also, accepting that we will always be out of our comfort zone when we are growing and becoming our best selves. So let’s take on these “problems” and build our ability to bounce back and take on this life you have.
Here are some ideas that I uses daily, and highly recommend:
Work first Play Later
- The Art of Delayed Gratification: The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment (got you curious don’t I?!?!) – one of my favourite psychology experiments. Watch it Now!
Feelings Are Not Facts!
Get Some Sleep!
- Thoughts racing? Here is a great resource to help you with adding some z’s to your thought bubble 🙂 Check this out!
- Check out this TEDTalk to learn strategies to calm your busy mind.
Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)
eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success