Have you ever heard or used the expression “coping mechanism?” We often think of this as a negative thing or associate it with unhelpful fallback habits we turn to when we’re wigged out, but actually, strong coping skills are a self-care essential.
Let me explain. Having an arsenal of coping mechanisms is important when things don’t go as we’d like in life. Leaning on activities like exercise, meditation, listening to music, healthy eating habits, reading, social activities and outings, etc. is not a sign of weakness, but rather an indication that you’ve mastered an important part of overall wellness: learning how to cope with challenging situations.
Establishing coping skills is something I work on with my clients, helping them identify activities that make them feel grounded and more in control their life. We focus a lot on building food and fitness routines that feel good. These can be extremely helpful because the stability of a routine can help someone feel calmer and more capable of dealing with challenges. I recently talked about how exercise can help with stress. Similarly, fueling ourselves with foods that help support stable blood sugar while taming stress hormone cortisol.
Some of the benefits of coping skills include:
- Helping to process and deal with life’s stressors and emotions that might otherwise throw you off course
- Helping balance your overall mental and physical health
- Eliminating unhealthy habits that can derail you otherwise
One of the fundamental aspects of coping mechanisms which I emphasize is self-care. As I’ve written about in the past, self-care does not need to be elaborate or expensive. Simple things like cooking a healthful meal, taking care of household chores, developing a regular sleep routine, and getting regular exercise, can help enhance your health and overall well-being, manage your stress, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. As I work with clients, I help them identify activities which bring them joy and on which they can lean on in moments of stress.
Working with a coach can provide accountability and support as you build your skills and stock your toolbox with what you need to be successful for the long term. Book a free consult call with me to learn more about how 1:1 coaching can help you make positive mindset changes. You can also visit my website and check out my Instagram for my favorite tips and tools to help you experience a healthier and happier life.