February 20, 2021
How Using Coping Skills in a Support Group Setting Helps
In case you missed it, we talked about a few things last week.
COVID has been stressful. There have been a lot of changes that we didn’t necessarily want. Or, that has been easy for us. We now feel stress out over situations that we didn’t previously. This safety concern is at a whole new level. But you know what has almost been more stressful than COVID itself? The aftermath of COVID. All of the things that are part of our “new normal.” For some of us, working from home while our kids are virtually going to school. That, in and of itself, is a stressful experience. Kids are home more, and you’re home with them more. On top of that, your partner is home more, too. But, it feels like you still have to do everything yourself. Your partner doesn’t help you out. In fact, they’re even less helpful than they were before.
You really need to do something different, but what?
You know that only so much of this situation in your control. Sure, you can control what you do. And, you can (for the most part) control how you respond to these situations. But, even this isn’t enough. You’re still overwhelmed and exhausted. Your to-do list is a mile long. And, while we’re on the subject, your ‘to-done’ list even longer. Be real with yourself: you know that you cannot go on like this forever. Something has to change. Otherwise, you and I both know the potential consequences that are coming your way.
I have something that can help: building our coping skills with online therapy.
I know, I know. You’ve heard it 1,000 times before. “Coping skills will make the stress go away.” Or, “building coping skills will help you to never worry about anything ever again.” Well, frankly, that’s just not correct. Coping skills cannot just make stress ‘go away’, and make us ‘never worry’ ever again. That’s not what they’re used for. And, that’s just not realistic. The purpose of coping skills is to help us to manage the stressful situations we find ourselves in. And yes, that’s broad on purpose. “Managing stressful situations” looks different for every person. On top of that, there’s no ‘right’ way to manage stressful situations.
But, a coping skill will help us get through it.
A coping skill will help us to get back to our baseline so that we can address the situation with a clearer mind. A coping skill will help us to, quite literally, take a breath before we enter a situation. Picking our next action with a collected mindset can help us to determine what makes sense moving forward. What’s more, we can use different coping skills for different situations. This way, we can make sure that we set ourselves up for success regardless of what we’re encountering. So, whether it be keeping the kids quiet “while daddy’s working” even though you’re also working or not feeling like you’re being heard, you can find something that can help you through it.
And if the word “coping skill” doesn’t float your boat, think of it as self-care.
And no, self-care is not selfish. Self-care is truly something that you do to take care of yourself. This looks different for everyone. But, self-care is the time that you take for yourself to do the things that you need in order to be the best you. This how you fill your cup that’s emptied by your daily responsibilities and obligations. This is the small thing that you do for yourself that will help you to get through the hard days. Now, here’s one coping skill that you can implement.
Mindfulness can look a lot of different ways. For instance, mindfulness can be used in meditation. Mindfulness in meditation looks really focusing on the moment that you’re in. Not worrying about what you have to do by the end of the day. Not checking social media or emails. Just allowing your mind to be where you are at that moment. Mindfulness can be used during relaxation exercises. This looks like examing where you’re holding pressure in your body. Where you feel tension or tightness. And then, focusing on letting that tightness go. Noticing how the pressure leaves your body and is replaced with controlled energy.
In addition, mindfulness can be used in breathing exercises.
Mindfulness can be used to focus on the breath coming in, and the breath leaving you. Doing this exercise might show you how little you notice your breath. And, the relaxing effect taking intentional breaths can have on your stress level. Overall, the purpose of mindfulness is to help us notice when it’s time for a break. How do we know when we’re running on empty? What does overwhelm or exhaustion look like for us?
If this feels like something you can’t do on your own, we have an online support group in New York that will be a great fit!
We are offering an online support group for women in New York that can help you to navigate the stress that you’re feeling. This group will be held online every other week. We’ll meet between 1.5-2 hours every other week to work through the situations that we’re going through. The group will be between 5 to 10 people and will cost $50 per person.
- Reach out to me to learn more.
- Get to know me as your new counselor.
- Get through stressful situations with the support of other women.