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This year the theme for Mental Health Awareness Month was “Back to Basics,” which makes me think about the basics of how we cope. Often times in treatment I hear the following statement, “I don’t know what to do, I have no coping skills.” Most people have coping skills but they are not aware of them, and often times we need to utilize them prior to hitting rock bottom. We have to work on changing our mindset regarding waiting until we are at our absolute worst to seek support, and instead seek support the moment a change, or struggle begins to be noticed. It is pertinent that we acknowledge, validate, and cope even when small triggers ensue to allow us to stay on top of our mental health care.
Let us get to the basics of how we cope! Below we are sharing 10 perspectives on coping, from 10 of our employees.
“Being intentional with scheduling my week, I schedule time for Pilates, to meet with friends, and days where there is nothing scheduled so I can watch Netflix, be on the couch, and do nothing but watch a storyline unfold.” –Brigit Aroz, Clinical Director
“Gratitude list, I list 3 things a day, and I challenge myself to not repeat the same 3 things, that’s how you strengthen your gratitude muscle and it helps with perspective and gratitude in the future.” –Monica Olivares, CADC II
“The beach is my coping, I go on a Friday night and I go by myself, then I take myself out to dinner and go home. I call it Beach Therapy! I also swim at the gym three days a week. All of these things center me and bring be back to calm.” –Kathy Belanger, CADC I
“Grounding techniques at the beach are my favorite and breath work. I also enjoy making Charcuteries boards, I like the detail and time that goes into it, and then I get to enjoy them with a group of friends, family, or co-workers. Time by myself and time to connect with others.” –Shelly Pine, AMFT & Case Manager
“Unwinding in my backyard watching the sunset, because that color isn’t in a crayon box, as I do this I ground myself bare feet on grass or dirt to receive the ions from the earth. My backyard is my coping zone, I ground or I grill in my backyard kitchen, plus can’t get in trouble in my backyard.” –Danny Abagian, Case Manager
“I do urge surfing, I ride the waves of my emotion and visualize my emotions as a wave and let it pass over. I acknowledge the emotions, and the visualization allows the emotions to pass by.” –Mary Dunnavant, Case Manager
“I do box breathing in three intervals, check on my anxiety and if it is still there I do it again. This is also something I utilize with my son, which allows me to get him to a calm state so he can tell me what he is feeling, or tell me what he needs, which helps me as a parent too!” –Christiane Arevalo, LMFT & Huntington Beach Program Manager
“I like to do puzzles and coloring, walk my dog and play with my dog, and baking, it all helps with relaxation and decompressing. I like self-care to be me time.” –Jacqueline DeLuca, MSW, ASW
“I like doodling, zentangle, and painting, these are some of the things that help me with mindfulness and comfort. Movie night too, it helps me to take a break. Now, if I’m in a stressful moment and I instantly need some relief I’ll count down from 100 by 7s.” –Kelsey Gavin, LMFT
“I like to spend time with my pets, my birds, cleaning up and teaching them new words which is self-care for me. I like gardening, and using the safe place technique. I self-soothe with the senses, smell essential oils, and I exercise to get my body moving. It all helps to calm myself and regroup.” –Stephanie Giammichele, AMFT & Case Manager
If any of these coping skills resonate with you try one out today! If not, find what works best for you.