Coping StrategiesMichelle Jeffreys
It’s important to have a strong foundation to bring in coping skills and strategies. I believe I had a strong foundation when my trauma struck, but no one is ever prepared enough or ready for something like this. My background is in life coaching, personal training, group exercise, human resources and gym management. My degree is in Organizational Leadership and I believe that I am a natural born leader in many areas of life.
When a trauma strikes you, no matter the significance or what happened. YOU ARE NOT PREPARED! Life stops and everything you helped others with goes out the window. You now have to dig deep to find those skills that you have, those coping strategies that you’ve used with clients, co-workers and employees. You need help!
In the beginning everything was a complete blur, I went from laying in bed wishing to die to knowing that I needed help and seeking the traditional methods (therapy, medication) which did not help me. I will tell you what did help though. I met a Medium. OK, before you freak out, let me tell you that this woman is the real deal.
My first visit with her was unreal, magical if you will. She obviously knew who I was and why I was coming to see her so the common knowledge information was already there. What I was not prepared for was the imagery of her reading, she brought my daughter through and we were able to have that last conversation that was never had. I felt my daughter in the room with me, telling me she was OK and to take comfort in knowing that she was at peace. Zoe brought her images of her childhood that she knew that I and only I would know when and where took place.
Crazy! Maybe! This was the only thing that eased my mind and started the healing process for me. So, for those of you non-believers (and that’s ok – not judging at all) just know that for me, this was a coping skill/strategy that I did not possess and now I did. I have seen my medium and now good friend many times and each visit reassures me that I am on the right path to wellness and that everything will be OK. I wish that I could explain the overwhelming sense of peace that comes over me during and after a reading, but I think you will have to experience that for yourself. (www.terristrauss.com) Do I think that seeing a medium is for everyone? No, of course not. This is just something that has helped me immensely and I thought I’d throw it out there for anyone struggling.
Exercise, the obvious one right?! This recently has helped with my OCD and Anxiety. I have an outlet for my crazy. I knew this! I know the benefits of diet and exercise, it’s my job! Harder than you think when you are dealing with a multitude of emotions and stress. Finding balance is really what this comes down to. Find the balance that fits your lifestyle now. I’m nowhere near where I used to be in my fitness journey and that’s OK. I am where I am now and feel AMAZING! That is the important part.
Counseling sessions, they aren’t for everyone. Right now I like to go once or twice a month to keep the relationship with my therapist open so that when I need her we don’t have to start all over. She has given me a sense of ownership in the skills I already possessed. She helps validate my thoughts and feelings and helps me to navigate the crazy as I call it. She has been a huge support thus far.
Blogging, this is a new coping skill and one that I find great joy in. The ownership of the blog, the ability to control what and with whom I share has been excellent in growth for me. I feel as though I am growing in my grief, that I am finally able to be human again and share, while welcoming feedback and support in a different venue. It also feels very cleansing, when you hold all of these feelings and emotions inside for too long it really wears you down.
Journaling, this was very useful in the beginning of my grief. The ability to write things down in private and keep them to myself was good. I now only journal to my daughter in a journal next to her urn. It’s not everyday, it’s when I feel like I need to share something with her and I don’t want to forget that moment.
Random acts of kindness, has been huge on my list. Lots of coffees for others behind me in the drive thru. Donations to causes, gifts for no reason and just generally being a good person. This gives me great joy to continue doing this, since it was something my daughter and I had just begun to start doing together.
Whatever you find that helps you, just find it! You’ll be happy to put your energy towards something else that won’t consume you. Hobbies of any sort are a great start as well. Creating a positive space to manage your grief and find your balance are all good things. Try not to feel guilty in still finding pleasure in life. We all need this to survive and cope with what life throws at us.