So what is in your tool box? No not hammers and screwdrivers I am talking about your coping tool box? As we age and grow we gather an amazing assortment of “tools” that we then can use on a daily basis to help us work through things. Life can get really tough and we all get thrown curve balls but if we can realise that we all have the resilience and useful tools that we can draw on, amazingly somehow we always get through. So what sort of things are hidden in your toolbox?……………… You know that saying what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Well what doesn’t kill us also arms us with valuable life lessons and tools to help us make it through. I think of tools in 2 categories, emotional and physical:
- Self-talk – Talk to yourself as a dear friend would, give yourself the advice that a wise mentor would give you and always be your own biggest supporter. When negative self-talk comes in knock it down.
- Evidence – How have you risen to challenges in the past? Thinks of times that you have overcome problems and know that you can do this again. How did you get through, what worked and what didn’t use those skills to help you this time.
- Catastrophe scale – Putting things into perspective is key. If you were to list your dilemma on a catastrophe scale 1. Being my friend said something that upset me and 10. Being a cyclone has knocked down my house…where would your issue sit. I hazard a guess that most of the time your problems are not at the high end of the scale.
- Focus on the now – Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future in not positive. Focus on what you are doing right now to distract yourself from your worries.
- Grateful – Thinking of everything that you are grateful for stops you thinking how hard done by you are. There is always something to be grateful for.
- Be brave – if you can solve your problem pluck up some courage and do it! You are braver than you think.
- Stop comparing – compare equals despair. If you find yourself getting worried because you are comparing yourself to others STOP! We are each here to run our own race, we are all unique and comparing ourselves to others is totally unproductive.
- Look after yourself – Sleep well; eat well, exercise and have a laugh. All are vital to managing well.
- Family and friends – Get out and socialise, chat on the phone (person to person not text), share thoughts and feelings. Family and friends (positive ones) are worth their weight in gold!
- Relaxation – Whether it is reading, music, exercise, movies, comedy, art, mediation, aromatherapy or beautiful scenery do something that you enjoy and relaxes you. We can always cope better when we are calm.
- Get help – seek help if you need to. It may be a trusted friend or you may need to seek professional help but don’t carry your burdens on your own.
So what tools do you draw on? How do you get through those challenging times?