4 Coping Skills for a Rough Patch


I've been riding through a rough stretch. The difficulty has included a range of normal life stressors + mental health issues + insomnia.

Many of you have experienced similar tough times. Trouble has a way of finding us, doesn't it?

Here are four coping skills I've learned that could help you, too:

1. Cut social media ties for a time. If you are in a battle for sanity, you don't need to be on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It's hard to avoid comparing your life's messiness to other people's highlight reels. So don't. Even if you are a writer, artist, business owner, etc., you CAN take a break. Decide how long you need off. Then cut the cord.

This was the "away message" I posted on Facebook before I unplugged.

2. Try your hand at art projects. You might find yourself at a loss for words during a tough time. So don't talk or write. Make art. It helps.

I drew a face, then made a frame. Then I took photos of my shadow looming over the drawing.

3. Spend more time with animals. I love equine animals (horses, ponies and donkeys), cats of all kinds, and the gentler breeds of dogs. Why do I love hanging out with animals? Because they don't judge, they are excellent listeners, and they are So. Fricking. Adorable. If your heart is heavy, animals will take a load off it.

Here I am greeting a sweet pony named Applejack.

4. Hang out with friends old and new. Old friends know you well, and they can speak into your life with honesty, grace and love. New friends know almost nothing, so you're free to talk to them about other things besides The Big Thing, a.k.a. your rough patch. I'm blessed to have old and new friends, and both groups have turned out to be agents of healing in my life. 

Me and a dear friend, Meredith, celebrating our birthdays.

Your turn. What are some of your coping skills for hard times?

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