Why is it easier to avoid issues and problems, than to deal with them? What does it truly mean to face the roar? Why is it so hard to actually deal with problems and issues head on? Well the short answer is fear and pain! It’s quite normal not wanting to feel pain or feel afraid.  However, it is sometimes inevitable!

Avoidance is a defense mechanism that can be in the form of doing, and or not doing something to avoid doing something else. An example of doing would be sleeping to try to not to deal with a stressor. It’s a coping strategy that is actually maladaptive, and an ineffective coping mechanism. In fact, it can cause additional stress. This is a form of procrastination that can generally cause problems in various areas of one’s life, such as work, school, and relationships.

Sweeping things under a rug has never made them disappear. Things need to be dealt with and discarded appropriately. The more things are swept under the rug, the bigger the pile gets, which means the more you have to discard. Eventually, that pile will become very obvious, and it will have to be dealt with accordingly. This is when the additional stress and anxiety occurs.

There are many types of ineffective, negative coping strategies and mechanisms. These are a few others that should not be used. These negative and often harmful coping strategies include alcohol, street drugs or painkiller abuse, sleeping too much, emotional eating, engaging in risky behaviors, isolating yourself from others, overspending, self-harm / self-mutilation, violent behavior, working too much, negative thinking, self-diminishing, minimizing problems, denial, and overextending yourself to others.

Facing the roar is vital in the sense of healing. Although, at times painful, it will be what eventually gives the greatest relief, and a sense of peace. Dealing with a stressor head on, without avoidance or procrastination, is facing the roar. Facing fears, challenges, and traumas is hard, but it is one the healthiest ways of coping and healing.

There are many types of effective, healthy coping strategies and mechanisms. Listed below are a few different categories and type.

Taking care of yourself

Eat a healthy diet
Take a soothing bath or shower
Get annual checkups
Talk-Therapy – Seek professional help when necessary
Taking your medications, if recommended by a professional
Reading self-help books
Develop a healthy sleep routine
Develop a healthy work/life balance

Taking time out for yourself

Take up a hobby
Do a project
Breathe – Count to ten
Join a club
Take a class of interest, such as cooking, arts and crafts, gardening, computer technology

Doing things you enjoy

Go on a trip
Go dancing
Hang out with friends
Go to the movies
Play a sport

Healthy distractions

Watching a funny movie
Read positive quotes
Read a book
Draw / paint
Donate to the less fortunate
Volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about
Call a friend
Listen to music
Journal – write down your feelings
Play a game
Go for a drive
Go for a walk
Clean or organize your home or office

Some other healthy coping strategies worth mentioning include spiritual guidance and prayer, setting limits for yourself, setting healthy boundaries with others, creating small and obtainable goals, focusing on positive things, listing your strengths, and rewarding yourself for accomplishments.

If you are interested in receiving affordable online counseling or coaching services, with convenient accessibility, feel free to contact Tina C. Christian, LPC, NCC, TF-CBT Trained at tina@atime2talk.org, or visiting atime2talk.org for additional information on services offered, pricing, etc.

For a list of self-help book recommendations visit atime2talk.org/self-help-book-recommendations.