- Mental Health
New Year's Resolution Ideas #2: Learning Healthy Coping Mechanisms
On New Year's Day, I received some unfortunate news about impending homelessness. My mind immediately dreamt up some of the worst visions of living and dying on the streets. I didn't make a plan. I didn't think about how to get out of the situation. I didn't do anything except lie down and accept defeat. It felt like I had slinked back into another depressive episode.
It wasn't until I told my friend about my situation that I could see a faint glimmer of hope. I realized that I didn't have to go down a dark path and that I could salvage my life if I tried hard enough. So far, I'm still pretty confident in myself and I have been coping rather well given my situation.
However, being able to get back on your feet and cope with your issues isn't always a possibility. Some people have never learned how to cope with terrible news and hard times. If this year started off on a bad foot and you need help dealing with whatever it may be, here are some healthy coping mechanisms that will get you through your darkest hours.
Meditation is well-known for its mental health benefits and has been proven to increase emotional stability in those who practice it. Find some time in the morning to meditate, even if you can only manage to squeeze in 5 minutes. Once you start getting into the routine, you will understand why it is recommended.
I know it doesn't make sense. Why would you want to get up and exercise when you'd much rather deal with your emotions by lying in bed? Here's the thing: lying in bed will only worsen your negative emotions while exercise will actually give you a positivity boost. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel happy. Exercise every day and you're on your way to a much better mindset. Jog, anyone?
3. Positive Affirmations
Before I go into this one, I must state that it doesn't work for everyone. Positive affirmations are small phrases that you say or write down every morning to start your day off right. Some examples of them might be, "I am a money machine and I will create abundance today" or, "I am beautiful and confident". What positive affirmations are designed to do is to help you manifest what you most want in your life by drilling the idea in your head that you already have it. This is a great method for most people.
Some people, such as those who have depression or are just generally negative thinkers, actually report negative results. Why? Well, when you don't believe that you are what you tell yourself you are, your mind will know and you'll feel even worse about yourself than you already do. If you decided to try out positive affirmations, make sure that you believe them to prevent this from happening to you as well.
You won't always have access to a friend. There will be periods when those closest to you will either be separated from you by distance or will be too busy dealing with their own issues to tackle yours as well. The solution? Journaling! Journaling is great because it allows you to express your feelings to something that will not judge you. A journal will give you the ability to process and look at your emotions without the input of a third party. The downsides? A journal will not be able to comfort you in your time of need. However, it will work until you find someone who can.
Have you ever volunteered? I have and it is quite rewarding. Not only do you forget about your problems but you also get lost in the joy of helping others. You may even uncover a new version of you that you never encountered before. How can you start? It's easy! Go online and look for opportunities in your area. If there are none, don't fret. There are plenty of virtual opportunities that will help you achieve the same goal.
While this is a great starter list, there are plenty more ideas online that may help you cope even better. What are you waiting for? Go check them out!