Caring for yourself is more than eating right, exercising, and coming to see the team of medical staff at Integrity Urgent Care. Caring for yourself can also mean taking care of your mental health, in a variety of settings and in response to different kinds of stress. By learning coping skills that work for you, because everyone will cope differently, you will be a better version of yourself in any scenario.
Unhealthy Coping Skills
It is important to first tackle the unhealthy coping skills that many of us use to handle our lives. By recognizing the unhealthy skills we cling to, we can refocus our attention to something healthier in the future. Examples of unhealthy coping skills are drinking too much or overeating, which should both be done in moderation and not as a response to stress or frustration. Some also sleep too much or vent too much to others, rather than focusing on how to fix the problem. The use of drugs to forget about the issue or avoiding it in other ways can also be unhealthy coping skills.
Problem-focused Coping Skills
When you need to face your issue or problem head on, you should use problem-focused coping skills. According to verywellmind.com, “problem-focused coping is helpful when you need to change your situation.” Maybe you are in a toxic relationship and you need to take steps to leave that relationship, or you are nervous about a new project at work so you take an online class to learn the skills that will help you learn what you need. Healthy boundaries, to-do lists, speaking with a professional or counselor, and sitting down to problem solve the issue are all examples of problem-focused coping skills.
Emotion-based Coping Skills
When you can’t or don’t want your scenario to change, you need to find a range of emotion-based coping skills to help you. These skills help you manage your mental well-being in things that cannot change and help you regulate your emotions/response to what is happening. Grief is the perfect example of when we use emotion-based coping skills, we cannot change the loss we are experiencing, but we can use skills to help us as we deal with missing our loved one. The list of emotion-based coping skills is endless and will look very different depending on the person who is using them. Some may like to go for walks or find a form of exercise to relieve stress, others may want to do something creative like painting or cooking. Many like to clean or garden to help during stressful times. For quick fixes, you may consider having a lotion in a calming scent you like, smiling, or looking at your favorite pictures on your phone.
Every person has to find a way to handle the stressors in their lives, whether they are small, whether they build up over time, or whether they are significant and life changing events. By practicing effective coping skills and having a few ideas tucked away about how to handle stress in your own personal toolbox, you will be better able to handle anything life throws your way. To learn more about mental health or to ask questions about a physical concern you may have, visit us today.