Bill over at A Silly Place is asking the important and relevant questions right now: When times are tough, how do you cope?
I feel like pre-COVID I wouldn’t have a good set of answers, but now I feel like everyone has found their coping methods, and they look different for all of us. Because this is hitting us in many different ways.
Some days I’m like, “Okay this is fine, I’m working from home, you have a routine now, wear your mask, things are fine.” And then other days I’m like, “Holy you-know-what—we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we don’t know when it’s going to end.”
What I do when things get tough
1. Lie on the floor with my dogs
My mom can tell if I’m having a rough day because I’ll just lie on the living room floor with my dogs. They like it because I’m at their level; sometimes one of my dogs sits on me. It’s comforting and they’re dogs: they’re excited for all of the pets and the attention.
2. Focus on my breathing
I use two breathing techniques when I feel like I’m getting overwhelmed or anxious. The first is 4-7-8 breathing: breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, let the breath out for 8 seconds. The second is square breathing: breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, out for 5 seconds, and then hold for 5 seconds. Or sometimes I’ll just make myself focus on my breathing, like acknowledging it since we sort of just automatically do it.
3. Go for a run or walk
Running is always a good way for me to just get out of the house and try to get out of my head. Running in August sucks and I think I’ve lost part of my running mojo, so I’ve been going for 2 mile walks. I listen to my podcasts whether I’m running or walking, and they’re a good distraction.
Granted, I read no matter what, but I find that when I’m stressed, I turn to books as an escape. If it’s a really good book, I can get sucked into it and ignore what’s going on outside of the book.
I’m posing Bill’s question to you: when times are tough, how do you cope?