“All of us have coping skills and they may be conscious or unconsious. We may not actually even realize that we use them every day,” explained Ozark Center Director of Crisis Services Debbie Fitzgerald.
Life can be stressful and when something hard comes up, it can make you feel like things are spiraling out of control.
“Basically feeling overwhelmed,” Fitzgerald continued. “And so, a good coping strategy would be to recognize: Things are getting a little deep and overwhelming right now for me.”
So, practicing good coping skills can help re-regulate your emotional state.
“Re-establish that emotional equilibrium, that calm feeling that we like to have throughout life,” said Emergency Room Enhancement Coordinator Stephen McCullough.
Staff at the Ozark Center suggest having a mindful presence and being aware of what is bothering you — plus, think about what things in your life bring you joy.
“Take 5 minutes if at all possible. Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, take some deep breaths,” Fitzgerald explained.
“We have people that like to read. Some people like to take a bubble bath, some people have the tendancy that they want to go out and exercise,” McCullough continued. “It just really depends on what works for your lifestyle — what works best for you.”
But, as so many know, it can be easier said than done.
“Unfortunately, there are some coping skills that can be not the healthiest thing, or not the best thing for us to do and at times can even be a little harmful,” said Fitzgerald.
So, friends and family can pay attention and speak up when they see a loved one struggling with their mental health.
“Sometimes just by making that connection, either by voice, or in person, if possible,” Fitzgerald added.
“We try not to be nosey, so to speak, but having that connection and having those relationships where you can actually talk to them in depth about things that you’re concerned about,” said McCullough.
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health and needs someone to talk to, we urge you to call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.