No one is spared and few are prepared when personal tragedy strikes. The crisis may be simply an inconvenience such as minor accident or a life-changing event such as the death of a beloved partner. Emotional coping skills help a person to manage the intense feelings and physical stress that accompany painful life transitions. The following list of coping strategies can be helpful to reduce and resolve painful symptoms related to loss, grief, abandonment, and bitter disappointment.
Stick to a normal routine. Stay on a normal schedule for meals, sleep, and exercise. Exercise is the best antidepressant and stress reliever. Eat nutritious food as junk food depletes the body’s energy and nutritional resources.
Do not self-medicate. Avoid the temptation to medicate your feelings with alcohol or drugs. Medicine prescribed by your doctor and taken as prescribed may help to temporarily take the edge off of overwhelming feelings but is not a long-term solution.
Keep things in perspective. Remember that what you are experiencing is the present circumstance, not forever. As time passes and you consistently practice your coping skills, the pain will subside and things will return to a more normal state. They may never be exactly the same as before misfortune struck, but your feelings and life will be manageable again.
Take nutritional supplements Stress depletes the body’s nutritional resources and absorbability, especially B vitamins. Symptoms of B vitamin deficiency closely mimic symptoms of depression. Due to our farming and cultivating methods and the general poor content of the typical American diet, food does not provide an adequate supply of the vitamins and minerals to sustain a healthy mind and body.
Keep your mind occupied. Read uplifting material, knit, garden, take a walk, watch a movie, play with a child or pet, or visit friends.
Keep a journal. Put your thoughts and feelings down on paper. This helps you to process the intense feelings.
Experience and express your feelings appropriately. Repressed feelings do not go away. Feelings are not right or wrong. You are entitled to have your feelings and express them as long as you do not inflict unnecessary pain on others.
Keep your actions productive. Thoughts and feelings are not the same as actions. Make sure your actions are well thought through and productive.
Avoid negative people. Seek the company of supportive people. If you can’t avoid negative people, resolve not to engage in debates or arguments. Just accept that this is where this individual is on their journey.
Seek professional help. An experienced therapist can guide you through the turbulent emotional waters of loss, grief, betrayal, and uncertainty and help you regain your sense of self and confidence. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Use positive self-talk Phrases such as, “I can manage this. I’m O.K. I’m strong and resilient. I will make the best of this situation.” help mobilize the mind’s healing resources.
Meditate. Focus on your breathing while you gradually clear your mind of intrusive thoughts and relax your body. Soothing music may enhance the experience. A few minutes of meditation a day can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve health, boost the immune system and reduce pain.
Sing. Sing songs you learned at church or summer camp. Sing with gusto.
Appreciate humor. Read some jokes or watch a comedy. Allow yourself to smile, laugh and celebrate good humor.
Try not to blame. Blaming yourself or others does not change the circumstances and increases feelings of self-recrimination and hostility.
Get a massage. Massage reduces stress and the touch of the massage therapist’s hands has a healing affect on the body.
Breathe. Taking slow, deep breaths oxygenates the body, removes toxins, and relaxes tense muscles.
Listen to inspirational music. Save the Rap and heavy metal for less stressful times.