Simplicity Soup: Coping Mechanisms

Simplicity Soup: Coping Mechanisms

I may (or may not have) just ate a half bag of Veggie Straws. The crunch and the salt compliment the air filled structure that doesn’t fill up my stomach or my soul. 

What are these things made of? Eek.  I justified a few extra handfuls based on the label that assured me this was a much healthier alternative to chips. 

Alas, I feel the disappointment of delving into this bag as a source of comfort and de-stressing from the day. I feel the disappointment of not choosing a wise coping strategy. 

I also know I am not alone.

Perhaps you have “been there, done that too.” 

And, perhaps you —like I — want to do better.

So, what is the Simplicity Soup recipe for more courageous coping mechanisms? 

Sometimes I do find I get it right.

The other night my daughter and my husband went out to see a movie. Not a fan of the latest superhero movie, I wanted to find another activity to quiet my brain and perhaps inspire some positive vibes. Plus, I was super proud…my daughter was literally taking her dad out for Father’s Day, buying the tickets and arranging for a night out together. 

I love their adventures together. I didn’t want to sit at home though. Restless and perhaps even a bit anxious, I jumped in the car and traveled with the family.  However, once we arrived and were in the movie theater lot, I gave them both hugs and said “I’m going wandering. I’m not sure where, but text me when you are done and I’ll let you know where you can find me.”

I love these kinds of moments. I yearn for these kinds of unstructured times where there is no real time limit, I can get lost -both physically and from my head.

I feel kind of adventurous, that there is still a young girl at me who can and will go out by herself and see what the world has to offer. Okay, that may be exaggerating a little – after all, I was only three (3) miles from home, but it made my heart feel a little lighter. 

As I walked, my brain fired up. Random quotes (some original, some not), ideas for businesses, dreams of travel, and also just simply being reminded of the beauty of this world as I saw dogs being walked and loved, kids riding their bikes and neighbors sitting out on the front porch.

I didn’t end up being lost. I took the long walk (about 3 miles) back towards my home. Along the way, I decided to stop at the library. It was a place where our family used to have weekly visits, but now seldom enter those doors. I went upstairs and found two books and two magazines. I didn’t check them out, but hunkered down and skimmed the contents. I ended up taking screenshots and some notes.

So. Many. Ideas.

This was better fuel for my soul than the half bag of Veggie Straws which didn’t satisfy my stomach or my brain. 

And so the question of how do we soothe our souls, provide comfort to our bodies and keep our brains creative? 

Some people opt for the spa or shopping, I find long walks and time much better (and cheaper), with better returns.

Somewhere along my adventures, I not only feel better, I find myself again.

That’s the coping mechanism recipe I’m following for the future…What about you? 

About the author

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford
Mom, non-profit professional, arts advocate, writer, coffee consumer and wannabe adventurer. Life is busy and complicated. Simplicity Soup shares recipes for lessons learned — as a parent, professional and personally. It focuses on the good and good for you (and the family). Simplicity Soup is about the ingredients in our daily lives that make living more joyful. From tackling time clutter, the list of to-dos and want-to-dos, to how to organize spaces and places to make for more efficiency and less challenge. Create time for more joy. Savor the soup. Connect with Jeannie at [email protected]

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