Coping Alternatives

Counseling is nothing new at our house. Some of our kids have hard backgrounds that need to be worked through.  Some of them have bad coping skills.  Did you know that a tantrum or a rage is a coping skill?  Lying can be a coping skill?  Sleeping can be a coping skill?

None are healthy ways to cope.  They need to be taught new, healthier forms.  Forms that actually work.

Guess what?  I have a poor coping skill.  Eating.  Eating junk. If I coped by hitting the carrot bag I wouldn’t count it as poor skill.  But ice cream, chocolate and chips (not necessarily together, but maybe) eaten in varying amounts qualifies as poor.

Lately I can add TV watching.  Which if you know me is weird, because I’m not an avid TV watcher.  In fact, if you put it on in the morning when I’m not fully awake you might get punched. Yet, I’ve been turning to it’s mind-numbing properties.  Not a good coping skill either. What goes well with TV?  Junk food of course!

Is ice cream inherently bad?  Nope.  Is watching TV?  Nope (unless you count the fact that it’s brainwashing us, but I digress).

Used as a coping skill are they bad?  Yep.  So why do we do it?

Well, let’s address the eating issue.  Eating can give us momentary pleasure hormones.  Sugar can give us energy.  But eaten in the wrong amounts and the wrong way will lead to a crash that will make us feel worse.  Instead of listing all the ins and outs, take a look at this article:

Stress and Emotional Eating.  What Causes Emotional Eating.

If you do a Google search, you’ll find many other articles like it.  I even found one about a bra sensor that can tune you into when you are stressed.  No joke!  Although it made me laugh.  Personally, however, I tend to know when I’m stressed, with or without help from my bra.

Therapists will tell you not only do you need to STOP the bad coping skills, you need to REPLACE it with good ones.  Or the bad ones will come right back.

I have a good friend that hits her bubble bath. Exercise is a great coping skill for me.  However, it doesn’t work when I only have a minute to spare.  In that minute the donut looks very appetizing.

Let’s get the ideas rolling, people!  Comment and let me know your thoughts.





5 thoughts on “Coping Alternatives

  1. Anne posted this on my Facebook link: I think it all depends upon why you find yourself needing the coping skill. Some of it may need counseling, others maybe just need a quick change of direction and well if you want to eat….grab a glass of water instead or an apple. Also, maybe some music that is soothing to you (used in the pickup while driving 1,000’s of miles this summer) and with Ipods, mp3’s you can easily shut out the world for a few minutes. Or what about using cleaning…being a mom something always needs to be cleaned. Not saying they will all work immediately but maybe what you really need is to develop a different habit.

  2. This is from Darcie: here’s a few that work for my kiddos (not necessarily both, but at least one): go for a walk/run outdoors, lift weights, yoga, pretty much any form of exercise releases the yuck for them (I need to try to see if this would work for me too!)…for my daughter reading, drawing/any crafty type thing that releases her creative juices, cuddling with me, looking at old pictures and talking about good memories (or any other bonding type activity with me that involves talking about the good times OR pretending that she was with us since birth and making up funny stories of what it would have been like if she was home with us since birth), reading a book together (in actuality, she enjoys reading childrens books that we read together when she came home at age 4) etc….I would like to see them journal more…cranking up [Christian radio]….OK, now for adults…hmm…I stink at this one so please feel free to give me ideas…I tend to organize/clean/get rid of stuff….being alone and stepping away from it all….journaling…I’m guessing exercise would be good (hope to try that soon!)…what is probably the most beneficial but I don’t do nearly enough of it is doing “holy leisure” time with God where I just hang out with God for extended periods of time – talking freely – listening intently – focusing on a specific phrase/song/verse(s)…..

    ….one more – connecting with someone “who gets it” is always wonderful too….

  3. This is from Judi: Playing piano, reading an engaging book, cooking something that involves chopping, baking something and giving it to somebody who will enjoy it : ). If all else fails, head to [the lake] for the day.

  4. This is from Peggy: I find it helpful to remind myself that too much of a good thing (chocolate, chips, etc) has the opposite effect from what I intended, and actually makes me feel worse. If I have a small amount, I get the benefits without the drawbacks. But it does take some conditioning ( over and over and over) Also, hot tea is a great way to combat stress

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