Coping, I think, is a very accurate way of describing how I, along with many others, are doing during these uncertain COVD 19 times. We are COPING. We are trying to cope with at home schooling, increase screen exposure, and either working from home or a dynamics change in our work environment, and, of course, social distancing. We are also trying to cope with all the dominos that fall from these changes. The constant request to feed our kids, the mess that results from being home all day, the challenge of getting the food we want when we want it, and a lack of time to really spend quality time with extended family and friends.
Typical mental wellness curriculums or programs that address coping use deep breathing as the main means of calming down. Many also often encourage positive and flexible thinking as means of coping. However, sometimes this concept of coping lacks significant engagement. Perhaps because coping may on the surface sound somewhat blasé, but it’s really the building block to resiliency. Resiliency has more of a striving connotation, but you can’t strive before you can cope.
In addition to the wonderful coping strategies found within many mental wellness programs, I have been discovering how acts of thankfulness, cheerfulness, and helpfulness can also be incredibly meaningful in helping us cope during stressful times, such as during tis time of COVID-19. There is this wonderful story that can be accessed online called “Happy Right Now”, that speaks to how having a positive and flexible mind set and taking deep breaths can help us cope. However, the story goes further and illustrates how being thankful, cheerful, and helpful can also be means of coping.
This current phenomenon of stores running out of baking products such as flour and yeast might at first glance appear to be because people are using baking to simply occupy their time at home. However, baking in itself can meet so many of these coping strategies. It demonstrates our thankfulness for the food, our helpfulness as we feed ourselves and our families, and the cheerfulness involved in the act of doing something meaningful. With just a bit of mindfulness you can see how many of the things we are currently doing to manage our situations and environments can be seen from a perspective of thankfulness, cheerfulness, and helpfulness. With this subtle change in perspective we can enhance our coping skills and begin that movement towards resiliency.
So the next time someone asks you how you are doing and your honest response is “I’m coping” say it with a smile and be proud, be grateful, for coping is truly a form of strength.
Inquiry Adventures continues to provide meaningful social emotional learning books, card games, tools, and the largest selection of thumballs. All our products, tools, and resources are great to be used in homes and in the small group settings that are taking pace. We are also continuing to be available to consult and provide professional development. Check out Inquiryadventures.com today.
Take care of each other and yourselves.
School Counsellor and Owner and workshop Facilitator of Inquiry Adventures