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Positive Coping Strategies for Stressful Times

November 30, 2020

Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

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Positive Coping Strategies for Stressful Times

November 28, 2020

In years past, the holiday season and less sunlight for most of the world’s population increases the likelihood of mental health symptoms popping in to say “hello” and maybe even “I am in charge of you now”.

The year 2020 has put the world in an even bigger predicament of those mental health symptoms popping in, “Remember me? My usual ruminating thoughts at bedtime and inability to concentrate is going to be magnified by the worry of a horrible virus and changing everything I know about life!”

During this difficult time, it may be good to have a couple of positive coping strategies to get through the tough parts of the day. If you are feeling that you need more than these strategies, please seek professional help in your area or reach out to your local mental health centers and/or the suicide prevention number.

  1. Find gratitude in each day. Yes, it may be hard when your alarm clock didn’t go off and you dropped your Nutella toast on your white shirt. But, hey…. Isn’t the sunrise beautiful today? Or maybe your favorite song came on during your commute. It truly is the little things sometimes that can help reprogram your mindset. And once you get used to finding gratitude in each day, it is easier for your brain to pick out those little things and hold on to them.

  2. Connect with others. Not the 15th Zoom meeting that you have had this week for work, that doesn’t count (unless you enjoy it, of course). Instead, text a friend. Have a GIF war that makes you laugh. Find those people in your life that help you feel good about being YOU. If you feel alone in the world, is it possible to join a social media group of people that like the same hobbies?

  3. Learn something new. Learn about what you are drawn to. The world is your oyster. And there are so many FREE resources. Do you want to learn about Yoga? Check out YouTube. Do you want to learn about Holistic Healing? Check out YouTube, Pinterest, or Facebook groups. Download books from the library to listen to. You’ve got this!

  4. Grounding. If possible, immerse yourself in nature, even if it is just fifteen minutes a day. Take a quick walk, tend to the plants on your porch, stand barefoot outside. You can also do a quick grounding exercise any time you feel that you are being stuck in the past or the future. While you are sitting down close your eyes, wiggle your toes and feel the sensation, next notice what you are sitting on, then feel your back, finally take a deep breath all the way down through your stomach and breath out. Open your eyes, focus on a focal point in front of you, and bring yourself to the present moment.

  5. Sticky Notes. Almost everyone likes to hear something nice. Write some nice things about yourself or those you love on sticky notes and post them in surprising places. Finding positive quotes and share them with yourself and others.

I hope these coping strategies can help you and those you love around this tough time of the year. Adaptations can be made to just about any of these for differently abled populations.

Here is to a smooth end to 2020!

Jessi Voegtline MS, LPC is a mental health counselor currently working in private practice specializing with children and families. Jessi is a board and committee member for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America -Wisconsin State Chapter and a committee member of Huntington’s Disease Youth Organization. Jessi was attuned to both Reiki I and Reiki II healing and plans on attaining her Reiki Master training in November of 2020. She enjoys spending time in nature, going on adventures, and spending time with family.

Jessi Voegtline MS, LPC HDYO

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