Hello friends! It has been awhile (more on that in a sec), but it feels so good to be writing again! I don’t know how July is already halfway over, but I hope you all have been able to soak in the season with family time and some relaxation, preferably next to some sort of body of water!
So why have I not written for a couple of months? If you remember my post called You’re Not on the Struggle Bus Alone, you know I was going through a time of overwhelm and transition. With that transition, I felt pretty depleted and out of words, and since then I’ve had a hard time jumping back into the blog and knowing where to start.
I have prayed a lot about this and God has shown me that I’m probably not alone when it comes to this overwhelming season of life. The season of life where things are changing, whether they are bad or good, and you need help walking through it all. I decided to go and see a counselor a few times after a couple of friends suggested it, and it helped SO much! I was nervous because I’m an awkward person (especially when I just have to talk about my life, ha), but it ended up being a great experience.
The words my counselor kept saying to me were I wasn’t dumb, the things I was experiencing were normal, and I wasn’t the only one who had felt overwhelmed through transition. So if anything from this post resonates with you, let’s chat a little bit about how I learned to cope. And not just cope, but cope well.
How to Cope Well with Overwhelm and Transition
One of the first assignments my counselor gave me was to make a list of the different ways I cope with stress, being overwhelmed, etc. I thought I already knew the ways I like to cope, but making a list was so helpful. I was doing certain things that I never would have categorized as “coping,” yet they were ways I was trying to minimize stress. Ready for my list?
- Binge eating
- Mindless activities (watching TV, being on my phone/social media, Netflix)
- Aimlessly walking around Target
- Blasting music while driving
- Going on walks
- Crafts (painting, crochet, hand-lettering)
- Taking baths with a lit candle and music
- Working Out
Do you relate to any of those? I mean, I can’t be the only Target wanderer out there. 😉
So once I had made my list, the next week at counseling we talked through it, she told me that I wasn’t weird (praise hands), and then we discussed which methods were healthy and which methods needed to be removed.
- Healthy: going on walks, journaling, music, crafts, baths, working out
- Needed to be Removed: binge eating, aimless shopping, mindless activities (the frequency and amount of time spent)
This little drill seems simple and obvious, but I’m so thankful I was challenged to do it and that I can now be proactive in times to come. Brady and I are entering another phase of transition with new jobs for the both of us, our church launching, and buying a house, and it’s comforting to know that I can use my healthy coping activities to help manage the stress and overwhelm.
So, my friend, if you are in a season of transition and overwhelm or are entering one soon (even if it’s because of GOOD things!), I challenge you to make the same list I did. Keep notes in your phone of the things you do when you feel stressed, and then decide to remove the strategies that aren’t beneficial and perform the coping strategies that are healthy. You aren’t alone, and I pray this is helpful!
Question: What coping strategies are you going to focus on in the future?