Today, we’re going to take a break from pop culture to talk about how I cope with difficult times. It’s been a rough week for people in my orbit and it’s only Wednesday. Me? I’m fine, but it’s occasionally a challenge to maintain a healthy headspace when you’re in a supporting role. When I figure out a better way to articulate that feeling, I’ll let you know. I had originally intended to title this list “Tegan’s Tips for Dealing,” but I soon realized that my readership and potential readership might get the wrong impression. Thus an additional prepositional phrase was added and all was right with the world. Now, before I get started on this list, I’m going to mention that I’m not any sort of healthcare professional. The tips on this list are things that work for me and they may not work for you. That’s cool. If you’ve got some coping tips of your own, feel free to share them in the comments or on Facebook. Now that I’ve gotten all of that out of the way, let’s see where this list takes us!
Over the years, I’ve been working on a fairly tidy system for separating the issues with which I am faced. If there’s nothing I can do about the thing in question, I figure out a way to store that issue for later. I’ll find a mental box to put it in, label it, and put it on a metaphorical shelf. There’s work to be done and if I can’t solve that problem now, I’m not going to spend time focusing on it. There is a downside here: you have to deal with that issue eventually. You can’t keep stacking your problems forever because that stack will eventually topple on you at the most inconvenient time. It’s like playing psychological Jenga. Someday, you’ll get cocky and think you have everything covered. Next thing you know, you’re poking at the wrong box and everything falls down on you. Then you’ve just added cursing your hubris to the pile of problems in front of you.
One of the most important traits that you can have as a human being is compassion. We’re stuck on this planet together and we might as well make the most of it. We may be on different paths through life, but that doesn’t mean we’re separate. So, don’t be an asshole. You don’t know what anyone else has truly been through and it’s not your place to judge. All right. Enough soap-boxing for a moment. Let’s talk about how this applies to my list. I’ve discovered that it’s frequently much easier to practice compassion for others than it is to practice compassion for oneself. As I’ve said before, people are frequently their own worst enemies. Give yourself a break.
This one is a real challenge for me. It’s not often that I can bring the wheels in my head to a grinding halt just so I can have a few minutes of calm and mental peace. When I do manage it, it’s a big help. Sometimes the act of not thinking about anything helps put everything in perspective. I just wish my body didn’t view meditation time as an opportunity to nap. I blame my high school Yoga class for that one. Fridays were relaxation and meditation day. We mostly napped. In our defense, we needed the rest.
Talk to a Friend
For some reason, I’ve always had a problem confiding in folks when something goes wrong. That’s something I’ve been working on. There’s just something about being able to unburden myself by sharing my woes with a friend. After all, I”m there for them and the reverse ought to be true. A good friend is there to celebrate with you when everything’s awesome and is also there to commiserate when things go to Hell in a handbasket. I have some very good friends.
Though I have difficulties really claiming this label for myself these days, I’m a writer. There are times when I can’t verbally express my feelings and the act of typing them out helps me make sense of it all. That’s why you all will occasionally see a list like this. It’s how I work through whatever is going on in my brain.
Take a Time Out
It’s okay to shut the world away just to focus on you and your well-being. If you need to, feel free to pull the covers up over your head and hid in your pillow and blanket fort until tomorrow. Tomorrow can always be a better day. Just take some time to do whatever it is you need to do in order to find your equilibrium again. For me, this usually involves pajamas and Disney cartoons.
Just Do You
Look, I can offer all kinds of random advice to help you through whatever crap life throws at you. Life will continue to throw crap at you like a bored zoo monkey. Okay. That was a terrible and sad image. Let’s forget that I typed that, okay? Anyway, there will be days that are the best days of your life and then there will be days that you’d rather not have had. Do whatever works for you to get you through those times. Just remember that you are allowed to feel whatever emotions are rolling through you at any given time.