Summer is officially here. School’s out, kids are home, trips are being planned, company is coming… there’s more daylight in our busy days, so why not do more, right? As a Native Cape Codder, I always keep a bathing suit and towel in the trunk of my car during the summer–just in case there’s a moment between work and errands to grab some quick “beach therapy.” It doesn’t take long to get my “fix” a 10 minute walk or 20 minutes of gauzing on the beauty of our shores refuels my fire like nothing else.
How about you, how do you find peace when you are overwhelmed or stressed out?
Some women take charge.
- If you are a strong personality and details matter to you then you may find that correcting whatever is wrong will help you feel better.
- If you are a strong personality and it’s important to you that life is fair, then you may find that you feel better when you actively fight for what you believe.
Some women shut down.
- If you are a strong personality with not much concern for the details, you may find that playing things down gives you the best control of a crisis or chaos.
- If you are a sensitive personality with a love for details you may find that you would rather just stop the world for a moment so that you can get off to go find a quiet place.
Some women ride it out.
- If you are a sensitive personality with a passion for play, then you may find that sharing the stress with those you love makes difficult times more managable.
- If you are a sensitive personality with a passion for people, you may find that relying more on self and less on others is your best coping mechanism.
Understanding our response to stress is extremely helpful in managing it.
Tell me how you respond to stress and I bet I could make a quick assessment of your clothing personality, but I’d be a fool to name the response of each Img.ID in a short blog because no one really fits into a box–especially when it comes to emotions. Our response to stress is far too complicated to analyze quickly.
Coping skills are learned from the examples we were set, they are reinforced by the habits we create and they are altered only by choice. Unless we take a look at how we are reacting to stress, we will always continue in that pattern. Once we recognize our response, we can decide to change any part of it that we want to, by establishing new habits. Of course our innate personality will still influence our behavior, but when our thoughts change, so do our actions.
When I was a kid, I used to hide in my closet and cry myself to sleep when I got overwhelmed. One time I slept so long that my parents had the police searching a nearby pond for my body. Perhaps that’s when I learned to “go to the waters,” I’m not sure, but I can tell you it took many more years to change my thoughts from, “I’m alone in my desperation, no one cares, poor me,” but now, when I go to the beach and pray it’s because I have learned to recognize that the stress is starting to win and I am beginning to whine. Instead of shutting down, I now go talk to my Counselor.
Change in stress mechanisms develops as our confidence does.
Closet crying did give me some relief, I suppose (at least it helped me sleep!), but pity parties only add stress to everyone else. Beach therapy is much more affective. The difference isn’t just the location, it’s the confident faith.
I am not alone. God cares. Even in the greatest difficulties, there is hope.
Do you tend to take charge? Then do it with peace. Governing others is a false–and frustrating–sense of control. Take charge of what you are responsible for and let God take charge of the rest.
Do you tend to shut down? Then do it responsibly. You may be trying to keep a situation small, it may be very big to others. Do not avoid reality. Do take some “down time. Enjoy whatever refuels you. Be sure to share your peace with others.
Do you tend to ride it out? Then do it with balance. There will always be waves of emotions when times are stressful and relationships will always ebb and flow; be careful to keep proper perspective on your life’s purpose so that disappointments don’t devastate.
It is in the stressful times of life when changes are made. How will you be altering your coping mechanisms?
As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference in the lives of women and girls all over! To be part of this movement, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads and consider having her speak at your next event.