During Hard Times, Gather Coping Tools

We’ve all had times like this- inevitable awfulness. It just can’t be avoided. We are humans, in soft shells, existing in a constantly changing and uncontrollable world.

There are things which must simply be endured. Unfixable oncoming storms lap first at our toes, then rise to waists, necks, nostrils. Breathing becomes a job. We gotta keep going.

During hard times, I gather coping tools. Here are a few that help me-

Practicing Self-Compassion - soangiewrites.com

The practice of self-compassion. This exercise can get me through low-level panic. I place a hand over my heart, say to myself, “this is really hard,” and breathe. This is often followed by a release of tears, and a feeling of integration.

Using Nonviolent Communication - soangiewrites.com

Nonviolent Communication teaches that feelings serve the purpose of helping us meet our needs. Rather than judging feelings as good or bad, NVC shows how some feelings are likely to occur when our needs are met, and other feelings are likely to occur when our needs are not met. I use GROK cards when I’m flooded with emotion. The cards help me whittle down my feelings, and find the needs beneath them. I then focus on meeting my needs, and request help from others.

Using digital tools for anxiety - soangiewrites.com

There are many apps made to help with anxiety, mindfulness, and meditation. The one pictured here is SAM (Self-help for Anxiety Management) and is available for free on iTunes. I’ve used this app to set up a tool-kit of calming guided exercises. I love how technology has leveled-up my self-care!

Acts of self-care during hard times - soangiewrites.come

Finally, finding things that helps us meet our own needs is a must-do. Brené Brown calls this a Comfort Wisdom List. Being aware of my needs and options for meeting them is empowering. I am not helpless. I can love myself. I know what nourishes me, and I do more of those things during hard times.

We are human. Life is uncertain. Some seasons will be difficult. The bottom line- we are resilient. We endure. By gathering our little menu of coping tools, we invest in ourselves and those around us. We set ourselves up for personal growth and healing. We can do this. I believe in us.

Snapshots of Gratitude – ELO Edition

Tea time Epic X-Files RewatchCheers to friendship

A fully human life. Tears and laughter. Joy and pain. Winces and embraces. Going out and settling in. Moments shared with myself, my pets, my family, my friends. So many Great Loves in my world. So many uplifting transactions. Treasure beyond measure.

Thanks to everyone who shines a little love on my life! Wooo!

Setting Daily Intentions with the Help of my Phone

Setting Intentions by So Angie Writes

Every morning at 10:10, my phone reminds me to set an intention. It’s one small thing I do to get myself on track for the day.

At first my intentions were things like; do six loads of laundry, sweep the porches, clean the bathrooms. But by listing mundane chores, I found myself more anxious and less inspired.

Now when my intention reminder pops up, I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and name a more personal goal. These are my most frequently used intention statements-

Today I will connect with myself.
Today I will connect with my family.
Today I will connect with my friends.
Today I will connect with nature.
Today I will connect with my home.

I choose one statement each morning, while aware I’m connecting with myself, my family, friends, nature, and my home every single day. What I accomplish, though, by naming just one intention, is to bring focus to that single aspect of my life for a bit.

Today I chose the statement, “I will connect with myself.” I am writing, reflecting, slowly sipping coffee, and feeling at home, grounded, in my body. Throughout the day I’ll check in. I’ll slow down, give myself hugs, breathe deeply, and smile when I pass mirrors.

By bringing my sight inward, I locate my highest values, and direct my energy to them. I keep moving forward in the same daily life, but with steadier steps. Daily intention statements anchor me to the present, make me aware of my needs, and help me focus on what matters most.

Technology can be quite useful for mindfulness practice. Do you set personal reminders on your phone, or use apps that help you grow and heal? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Snapshots Of Gratitude- My Family

We live in a culture of fear. Perceived scarcity runs our world. It takes effort to shake the glaze off our eyes and see our abundance. That’s what the practice of gratitude is for.

soangiewrites family

I am grateful beyond measure to be walking through life with these three guys. My guys. Each one brightens my world. I’m a better person for knowing them. <3

Gratitude Posts Button

Writing about gratitude every Sunday

Learning To Stand In My Worth

I’ve been wondering how to stand in my worth, even when in the vicinity of people who don’t want to be around me. It’s tricky.

I tend to find my worth in others, and how they respond to me, or in accomplishments, and how much I can get done in a day.

I want to hone in on my intrinsic worth. I want to sense who I am, and feel the peace of being whole and enough.

I want to let go of this desire to fit in with others, and learn how to belong to myself. It starts here, by just saying it- I am enough. I am enough. Now I’ll take a deep breath and give myself a little hug.

Learning To Stand In My Worth by soangiewrites

My self-worth mantra, from teachings of Brené Brown

Related Reading- The Importance of Self-Worth

Make Space For Stories

People carry impossible pains
There are losses that can’t be spoken
My vacancies are occupied in other lives
Yet the spot where I feel full
Remains empty for someone else

To just be aware and able
To tell my own stories
Lay out my own bloody burdens
Is not enough if I cannot
Safeguard that space for others

Empathy quote from Nonviolent Communication

Empathy quote from Nonviolent Communication

I don’t have to match your experiences to see you. You don’t have to know the same sort of losses I’ve had to hear me. We don’t have to do anything at all, really. We can traipse through life in a parallel way.

But if we want to build and maintain connection, we’re gonna need to use empathy. And that means looking within ourselves when someone is sharing their story. It means locating a shared feeling, some common humanity. It means sitting, often silently, setting our own pain aside, so we might bear that of those we love. And it means speaking, often shakily, our own story, so those we love might share the yoke.

If we can make space for stories, our own, and those of others, we will have created a most sacred connection. In that connection, we can heal. With empathy, we can all heal.

Make space for stories

Self-Compassion for Chronic Pain

Self-Compassion For Chronic Pain by soangiewritesChronic pain has a way of wearing people down. As I spend time with my heating pad and pain pills, it is hard to not let shame envelope me. I want to feel kindly toward my body, and stop resenting it.

Self-care means going through the motions, no matter the feelings. To view love as a verb, rather than just an emotion, brings healing within reach.

I can take care of a body I feel limited by. I can use my heating pad, rest, and use medications.

I can make doctor and therapy appointments, and I can ask for help.

I can give myself a hug, and admit this is really hard. I can breathe and cry.

I can talk to myself the way I do to those I love.

Self-compassion is a practice, and there is no better time to try it out than when stuck on a couch when I’d rather be on a trail. So practice, I will.

 

Cope

Cope

Struggling
To hold on
Not sure where
The strength comes from

A humble collaboration
Of reaching out
And seeking within
Curtsy from the load

Every manner of pain
Born by every bone
Encased in skin
Clasp pearls and heart

There are times
Of healing and moving
Recovery seems
Promised and near

There are times
Of clinging
Until nails unbed
And knees hit dirt

These are the times
We bear what we
Cannot bear
Now, we cope

~