The Coping Kete

Monthly Archives: November 2011

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No. 72: Moving Away From Fixing Things

This week, to attain, maintain or regain my sense of wellbeing…

When I encounter problems in my daily life, I will practice reminding myself that “I do not need to fix the problem before me – I simply need to get through it.”

I can get through it by putting one foot in front of the other and continuing to breathe. As long as I am continuing to breathe, I am surviving it.

This way, instead of problems seeming like insurmountable challenges that I have to somehow solve (pressure!), they will seem more like challenges to cope with (less pressure).

When I talk about my problems with friends or family, I will also practice letting them know that I do not expect them to be able to ‘fix’ my problems. This can help them to feel more relaxed about supporting me through the difficulties.

Once I am comfortable with reminding myself I do not need to fix all of my problems, I will add this to my Personal Coping Kete as a way of soothing distress and helping myself seek support when I need it.

No 71: Requesting Assistance

This week, to attain, maintain or regain my sense of wellbeing…

…I will give myself the support I need to get through  difficult things by practicing the art of seeking help.

When I find myself feeling stressed or pressed, I will approach someone either in person, over the phone or in an instant message to let them know what is happening and ask for their help – either support, advice or practical assistance. If they are unavailable, I will go to someone else.

This week, when I feel something distressing, I will name the feeling and request assistance with it. 

So this week, I will practice saying things like “I am feeling stressed out right now, can you help me through it?” and “I’m feeling upset about something, can you talk to me about it?” and “I’m feeling worried right now, can you help distract me?”

In this way, I will get skilled at seeking support when I need it and allowing others to help me through. Notice that these small expressions don’t require the other person to actually solve the problem for you, but to stand beside you through the experience. People are often overwhelmed when they are asked to solve a problem, but they can find it much easier to stand with someone. Their presence and ability to listen is all that is needed.

I will practice with everyday situations that don’t involve a lot of high emotion first. Once I am used to seeking support with everyday things, I will add it to my Personal Coping Kete as a strategy for dealing with distress.

No. 70: Being Specific

This week to attain, maintain or regain my sense of wellbeing…

I will practice keeping my self-talk specific to help moderate my responses to things. Often I find my internal dialogue includes words like ‘always’, ‘everything’ and ‘never’ that generalise what I am experiencing in the moment out to all situations. This amplifies the emotions I experience as a result and makes things seem more significant than they really are.

This week, I will practice observing my self-talk during the day and using the most specific language I can find. So when I catch myself thinking things like ‘I always screw things up’ or ‘they never notice me’, I will turn it around in my head to be more like ‘I made a mistake just then’ or ‘they didn’t notice me just then’.

Rather than then allow myself to go down the path of remembering other times this has happened or might happen, I will focus my mind onto other specific things about this current situation. This might involve simply listing to myself the specific elements in play in the moment – from the temperature, to the environment, to the people around me, to my own reactions to these things – or it might involve listing the ways in which this situation is different from past similar situations. As my mind wanders onto other thoughts, I will remind myself that I can only know what is here now and bring my mind back to the task of observing and describing my current situation to myself.

Here I am in this moment, which I can only ever experience once.  

Once I am comfortable with noticing my self-talk and using specific language, I will add this to my Personal Coping Kete as a strategy for soothing distressing or intense emotions.

No. 69: Growth instead of Achievement

This week, to attain, maintain or regain my sense of wellness…

rather than placing pressure on myself to ‘succeed’ or ‘achieve’, I am going to practice being aware of how I am growing.

As I move through my day, I will come back to the thought that “I am a work in progress, constantly learning how to handle life.”

This week I will remember that anything that goes seemingly ‘wrong’, will teach me how to deal with it better next time, so it actually has value for me and will make me stronger.

Once I am comfortable thinking of the ways I am growing in everyday situations, I will add this to my Personal Coping Kete as a way of soothing unwanted or distressing emotions. By reminding myself of things like this in times of stress, I can work to make sure the expectations I am placing upon myself are realistic.