How do you cope when facing challenges? Joseph Conrad, one of my favourite authors in secondary school, wrote that we need to brace ourselves to face tough times.
“Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.”
But when I look at the job losses, the uncertainty, the community spread of COVID-19, I don’t think facing it, as Conrad said, super really helpful at all.
The more I think about it, there is so much stuff we are all going through. The racial divide, the isolation from those we care about the most. Let’s not forget the social injustices, the much needed protests and the tension between countries filling up our TV screens. Oh yeah, there is Trump and his brand of governance that makes us all a little mad.
To be honest, I don’t think we are equipped to face everything all at once so I thought I’d reframe the question I asked in the beginning.
So here goes…
How are you coping, really coping with the stressors that are swirling around you?
I think the answer may very well be on how persistent we are in taking control of the only thing we can, our reaction to all the external stuff and not trying to control the very things we can’t.
I’ll tell you some of the things I’ve been doing. By no means do I have this down to a science but I have experimented with a lot of stuff to find what works best for me.
These are coping mechanisms, the techniques and activities designed to alleviate the stress, not remove the cause of it.
First, I’ve been much more deliberate about self-education in recent months and more intentional about exploring new tools and courses. I have dug into some new music from NPR and created feel good playlists.
I exercise, every day to cope with stress, 40 minutes each time. I restrtared this after a short stint away from not doing too much cardio and weights because of an achy back. I avoid news “sources” that only serve to exasperate and inflame my vibe.
Oh, and I have become Martha Stewart, I’ve…
Redone my closet
Redecorated my film studio
Grown some healthy plants
Painted some shelves
Got rid of a ton of clutter from a storeroom
Put a second home on the rental market
These passion projects have become my creation in isolation projects but they have come to mean a heap more. They have given me a sense of accomplishment as the tasks are checked off. And of course, they’ve helped to make my home a space to live, work, create, film, write, study, exercise, and love.
Finally, and most importantly, I’m part of a mastermind group. Actually, I lead it. If you don’t have a group like that for yourself, build one today.
More than just a group of friends that that just jump on a call or join a group to shoot the breeze, a mastermind group is designed to help you both professionally and personally.
I create content but I also learn so much from the group of bossbabes as we share the joys and struggles of building profitable businesses online.
It is, in a word, therapeutic. It’s one way to cope.
Learning, leading building, supporting… that’s how I’m working through with my stress and anxiety today. If you’re struggling, I hope that gives you some ideas for yourself!
I’d also love to hear or you are coping, really coping.