“It Is What It Is” Mentality:
We all have said this phrase at some point, and society has made it into the go-to laid back thing to say to make it appear as if we care so little about a situation, but honestly, sometimes it really is what it is. So how is this something we need to get rid of when it comes to coping? Well, because this is a dismissive approach- it’s very difficult to cope with something by putting it on the back burner and not all problems can just be shrugged off. The cognitive process of problem-solving takes a nosedive here because you have essentially created a dead-end for yourself and the problem at hand. Imagine the following instances with this mindset: “My marriage ended; it is what it is.” “I don’t have any friends. It is what it is.” “My house burned down. It is what it is.” How did you help yourself? Where were the solutions? If your relationship is falling apart, how about you cope together and get through it, or talk to someone about it. If your home got destroyed, it is not ok to let it be, instead, get back on your feet and maybe consider home insurance- anything other than moving on without a second plan. This way of dealing with life is avoiding dealing with it at all, and that can be detrimental to yourself.
Having company 24/7
Friends and family are great to have around when you are going through something and things have been tough, however, if your alone time is seldom then this can do more harm than good. First, it starts with people you love: Talking on the phone with your parents and hanging out with your closest friends. Then, you branch out to your associates. Next thing you know, you are just relieved to have someone to speak to even if they are complete strangers. This isn’t always unhealthy, this can easily just be the life of a social butterfly, but the difference is the attachment to the interactions and the quality of alone time you spend.
This is a coping tactic because talking to people or just having people around you can be addicting and distract you from what you don’t want to think about. The intensity depends on how you incorporate these interactions: Bringing the video chat to the bathroom with you, following your friends around like a puppy, falling asleep on the phone every night, seeking companionship from toxic people, etc. The biggest factor, however, is how you deal with alone time. If you genuinely don’t mind being by yourself for a small amount of time, then that’s great. If you find yourself in a panic or anxious just itching to be around someone then that is something to look into.
Personally, I love taking naps after classes, before dinner, after dinner, and on the weekends. It seems like ever since we all came to college, it’s the best friend we all never knew we needed. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can be bad for us and sleep is on the list. I feel like this is loved by many, because whether we’re coping with grief or stress, we don’t want to deal with it, and being knocked out in our blankets is us not dealing with it. Personally, this has been my unhealthy mechanism before, and this is how I did it: When I got angry, I went to sleep. Sad? Sleep. Overwhelmed by assignments? Procrastinated and fell sleep. It may seem cool at first, but after a while, you just wake up groggy and even more pissed or emotional than you already were when you were awake. Deal with the problem first, then take your nap a happy woman.
Turning to alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. in order to cope is the most popular way to go. Similar to sleep, these vices numb you, and can temporarily block your emotions from setting you off. The key word is temporarily, because the effects of these are not worth it just for a few minutes of pleasure or lack of feeling. Enduring stresses of life with this mechanism requires frequent use, and still that thing that’s on your mind will never truly leave- now you have that in addition to a possible addiction, creating yet another obstacle in your life. Nobody is perfect, you don’t have to change these things right away, just be aware and when you’re ready to be the best you can be, do it unapologetically!