Life Savers: Vice or Virtue?

lifesavers_optLet’s face it, life can be stressful.  We may all have “stuff” to deal with, but we all have very different coping strategies to keep us afloat.

Honestly, I’m not counting your problems, I have my own, thank you. I wanted to share some of my life savers, hoping you’ll share yours.  I like to think that we all can learn and grow from each other.

For me, it’s all about discipline. Practicing this virtue can change a day’s outcome. Here’s some suggestions that have worked for me and may work for you;

  • Work.  Immersing yourself into work keeps your mind engaged and is a great distraction from personal distress.
  • Organizing.  Cleaning out a closet or drawer can be very therapeutic. When your big picture life feels out of control, reclaiming control over small spaces and things can be very empowering. Organizing is very liberating.
  • Exercise.  Whether it be the gym, meditation, Yoga, Pilates, or any physical activity, exercise is an imperative practice to relieve stress.  Life-balance requires it.
  • Solitude. Know when you need to impose a pause. Sometimes we just need to be alone and regroup. Stopping to take a “time out” can be the best medicine. There is peace in solitude. When we are alone with our thoughts, it’s honest, no pretense.  Embrace the quiet.  It’s a perfect setting to let go.
  • Relationships.  This is a biggie for me. Whether it’s a spouse, a sibling, a best friend, an accountability partner, or a professional expert, talking it out always helps.  Communicating may unburden you.
  • Writing. For me, this is a great source of comfort.  I’ve always been a pen to paper kind of gal, so jotting down thoughts is a very natural way to unload, both publicly and privately.
  • Vacation.  If getting away is a viable option, take it.  Relaxation and leisure time allows you to step away and detach from the overwhelm.  Breathe.  Reboot. Perhaps clarify.
  • Unplug.  Keeping up with social media can be interruptive and can rob you of the down time you may really need.

These are the positive strategies. Unfortunately too often when the “going gets tough, the tough get going” and default to guilty pleasures and indulge in their vices.

We are not perfect.  We are human.  When we reach overwhelm, we are in danger of losing our way. We cave into impulses, urges and desires.

Some of us resort to shopping, raiding the fridge, binging on sweets, or cracking open the bottle to unwind.  If these indulgences are occasional and not addictive, it’s what I call,  the “harmless”  vices we sometimes need. Seriously, who doesn’t love a Nestle’s crunch bar now and then?  Go harmless, not harmful.

So what saves you from unraveling? What are your “go to” life savers? Vice or virtue?

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