Coping mechanisms are things you use to get you through difficult situations. Special thanks to Hasina Suliman from Muslimah Lifestyle for starting to talk to me about different coping mechanisms and making me realize that a great blog post was hiding in the topic.
My coping mechanisms are as varied as my problems. But I’m gonna talk about a few today so maybe someone else can try them and get some relief from the not-so-nice parts of this crazy, messed up life we’re all leading.
1. Comfort Foods
My favourite comfort food is mashed potatoes. It’s so decadent and heavy that it feels almost like you’re eating a hug. And it’s not too complicated to make even if you’re having a hideous day. I will pop a potato in the microwave if I can’t find the strength to turn on the stove, mash it with a spoon and stick in milk and butter until it’s soft enough to tempt me. Then comes the toppings. Generally, it’s just cheese and some pepper but I’ve been known to add mushrooms and some people add tons of sauces too. Up to you!
My second favourite comfort food is chocolate anything. I love melting chocolate and then eating it with a spoon or drizzling it over anything yum to stick into my mouth. Nice crisps also get a mention here.
2. Sound (or Silence)
Sometimes a good song/nasheed is all I need to put the smile back on my face. Sometimes, that’s too harsh for me at the time so I’ll go to instrumental music. If even that is too much, I’ve got a brilliant white noise app on my phone called Relaxio and I’ve fallen asleep several times to the sound of a car on a road before – it’s that good. Sometimes, you still need to interact with the world but it’s so loud as to be grating and then, earplugs come in handy. The cheap ones that I picked up from my pharmacy don’t block out everything which is what makes them absolutely perfect. I can still communicate with people but everything’s a lot less grating on my nerves.
3. Scented Candles
I have an unholy passion for scented candles. It’s actually a lil bit embarrassing to be honest. My favourite scent is cinnamon and I love lighting a candle to fill up the room with the scent. It’s an easy way to put a smile on my face and make my day just that little bit brighter. Other pretty scents include lavender and jasmine.
Whether that warmth is coming from a nice big blanket or a hot soak depends on whether or not I can make sure I won’t drown in the tub because I’ve fallen asleep. I love the cold weather and I love the snugness of being wrapped up in a nice soft blanket. There’s not much like it. It feels like a big ol’ hug but comes with the added bonus of always being around. A bath though will release tension and I can add some salts and bubbles to lift my mood that little bit extra too. So, it’s a toss up really as to which is better.
Whether it’s a good book, a fab podcast or some other kind of entertainment, sometimes the best thing is to just take my mind off what’s upsetting me – especially if there’s nothing constructive I can do to help the situation for the current point in time. I especially love podcasts where I’m learning something because my mind will soon be fully focused on that and not on the problems I’ve got brewing in the background any longer.
I do have some other coping mechanisms but these are the main ones. Also, I have some unhealthy coping mechanisms which I definitely don’t want anyone else emulating! What are your coping mechanisms? Share them and let’s see what else can benefit others too 🙂