Coping With Change


Geospatial World

Destinee Dockhorn

During this time of uncertainty, it is easy to feel lost in your thoughts and completely overwhelmed. It is important to remember that you are not alone in this world, and there are many ways to healthily cope with the battles you may be facing.

According to Dr. Stephanie A. Sarkis, a certified Mental Health Counselor and Clinical Specialist, there are ten different ways you can apply coping skills to your own life. Firstly, the most important thing is to acknowledge and accept the change that has occurred in your life. It’s easy to deny or push it aside, however, that can lead to more damage. Secondly, understand that sometimes positive change/impacts can still bring stress. In life, when we go through an exciting change (ex. a promotion), stress is endured. Stress is your body’s natural reaction to change and is completely alright and normal. Sarkis’ third tip of advice is to try and keep up with your normal schedule because it gives your brain a compact routine. An effective way to do this could be to write a to-do list and check things off as you go. 

Next, it is beneficial to ingest healthy and nutritious food. Foods such as pineapple, tofu, eggs, etc. can easily boost your serotonin levels, also known as the “happy hormone.” Additionally, exercising regularly is also recommended — at least 30 minutes a day. Being active releases endorphins which are a group of hormones that can bring out feelings of euphoria or well-being, and is also a way to distress. Going for a walk, playing a sport, swimming laps, etc. all count towards an active part of an individual’s day. 

An additional suggestion is to think and write about positive outcomes from the changes going on around you. It is important to remember not to bottle up emotions — this is a form of unhealthy coping mechanisms. It is also extremely significant to seek help during times of stress and change, which is sometimes misconceived as a weakness. Talking to trusted friends, family members, counselors, support line, or a helpline can do wonders. 

Lastly, Dr. Sarkis suggests taking a step away from social media. On any given day, your first instinct when you wake up or when you are bored may be to grab your phone and post to your social media when upset, but it’s crucial to stay calm when posting and understand that what you are putting online is permanent — and certainly not a way to resolve a problem.

 Dr. Sarkis completes her study by reminding everyone to take a break. Giving yourself time to make mistakes, grow, and not always be giving 100% is more than okay. Although these suggestions may not fix every problem, it is evident that these little changes to your lifestyle can severely impact your mentality positively.