Coping with the bad times is an art that will forever be imperfect. Sometimes life flies in with its swift broom and sweeps you right down before you know what’s happened to you. I believe that in times such as those, there is a moment to cry, and crumple, and look at the world from a lower position than you are used to. But I also believe that after that low moment, there is also a time and a place for a coping moment, a moment to be strong in the face of opposition.
I’m no expert at the art of coping, by any means, but I have found little tricks here and there along the way that make the hard moments considerably better.
When there is anxiety… I pray. And I write. I write around and around in circles, and by the time I’m done, the anxiety seems but a small piece of this overall wonderful experience of life. I search the pages of my well-loved set of scriptures for words of comfort and peace.
When there is stress… I run. I run aimlessly and slowly, without a goal of speed or a long distance. I drink in the fresh air, and somehow the stress seems to calm down. Not disappear, but at least calm down to the point where I don’t feel like crying buckets and giving up anymore.
I drink hot chocolate, sweet and rich. I sip it slowly and enjoy the experience of the warmth running down my throat, filling me and spreading that sensation of comfort throughout my body.
I treat myself to the little bits of happiness that are Netflix, and playing beautiful music, and writing. Disney classics and countless episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” are my favorites on weekend late-nights. Revisiting old favorites by Bach and Schubert on the piano is my release. And writing my heart out, often about a completely unrelated topic, does the trick with this thing we call stress, too.
When there is fear… I pray some more. And I trust. This is the tricky one, because fear is just there. You can’t get rid of it by finishing an essay, or taking a bubble bath. Fear is often a bit more deep-rooted than anxiety, and much more deep-rooted than stress. This is where the trust comes in. I hate feeling out of control, but when there is fear, that is my time to step back and let life happen. What is meant to be will happen, and it’s my trust and unending belief that everything will work out that keeps me going.
How do you deal with stress / anxiety / fear?
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