5 Low-Key Coping Skills For When You Can’t Walk Away

Ever get stuck in a spot where your anxiety is sky-high, but you’re surrounded with no real exit strategy? Maybe you’re at a work meeting or a concert with friends and the chances of you being able to slip away are slim to none. Yeah, me too. The trapped feeling that is quick to follow only makes things worse and harder to handle. 

When it happens to me, it’s usually when I’m at work. My job can get pretty damn stressful at times and it takes all I have not to freak out. There are also times where it is calm and leaves me time to think. Sometimes when I think too much, my anxiety skyrockets but most times I still can’t walk away. 

Having a coping skill with you everywhere you go can be the best way to combat anxiety and it might be easier than you think. To have a coping skill with you doesn’t necessarily mean you have to physically have something with you and let’s not forget that not every coping skill will work for every person–everyone is different, requiring different things to calm them. 

That being said, here are five low-key coping skills to try next time you can’t step away…

Deep Breathing

This is a coping skill that is widely overlooked. Truth is, taking some deep breaths could be just what you need to keep yourself calm. Sometimes this is all I have at my disposal at work and while it definitely isn’t my first choice of coping skill, I make it work!

Deep breathing can help lower heart rate as well as relax the body’s muscles. Try following the inflating shape, syncing your breathing!

Fidget Cube

Fidget cubes are perfect for work meetings when you start getting restless but need to pay attention. They are discreet and can be used under a desk or table to keep from distracting others! I don’t currently have one of these but I really wish I did!

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is whimsical in nature due to its true variability. Different scents can trigger different responses. Carry a small spray or scent roller (or hand sanitizer in my case) of whatever scent gives you the relief you’re looking for! Some scents that promote relaxation and stress relief are lavender and eucalyptus. I, personally, carry eucalyptus spearmint hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works with me.

Neck Rolls

Built up stress and anxiety can contribute to muscle tension along with everyday activities such as driving or working on a computer. Taking a minute to stretch and roll your neck can help relieve that tension and even improve your mood once that tension is lifted a bit!

I find myself stretching out and rolling my neck a lot lately so it definitely wasn’t a surprise when I got a massage last week and the masseuse told me my neck and shoulders were extremely tense and full of knots. However, when I do stretch it feels better at least for a little bit. 

Slime/Putty

Slime may be a fun craft to do with kids, but I, a 25-year-old woman, love me some slime. In fact, I recently made some slime for myself with one of my best friends because she had bought a kit and we were bored! Now I use that slime all the time.

This is a coping skill that can help keep your hands busy and your mind focused on something other than what is around you. It can be made or bought in small batches so it has easy portability! I bought a mini one that I keep in my backpack!

Personally using four of these five coping skills, I am confident that they could work for others! All you have to do is give them a chance! The girls I work with use all of them, though they tend to tell me to shove it when I suggest they try deep breathing…

I’d love to hear what coping skills work for you, especially those for when you’re in a situation you can’t walk away from! Drop a comment below ↓ 

Until next time…

Love always,

Caitie ♥ 

What Should Have Been

I started this blog with a purpose and had so many goals when I published my first post. Don’t get me wrong, I still have those same goals in mind. I simply lost my way a bit these last couple of months. I let my mind wander and get focused on several other things. Some real and worth the focus and some that kept me trapped within my own mind.

What I wanted was to be posting two blogs a week, growing a following of readers who enjoy and believe in what I publish. That is still what I want and what I am striving for. I want to be able to begin my van life journey sooner rather than later but it has not exactly gone to plan.

The biggest part of my recent life that swayed me from blogging is freelancing. I’ve picked up a couple of side jobs writing blog and Instagram content. Putting so much time into writing content that would make me money set aside the writing that was supposed to be my therapeutic path back to happiness.

Since my last blog post in July, I have lingered in a strange limbo state of depression and being just okay. This is one of those things that I just can’t explain. I don’t have a clue why the depression sank over me like it did. I don’t know why I have yet to shake it off and return to my new normal. I’ve discussed it with my therapist and she confirms that there does not necessarily require a cause for depression to take over. It is a disorder that is always inside me regardless of any medication I may take. Depression can be an unpredictable beast.

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So what I had hoped to be a thriving blog has turned into a fizzling collection of articles. What I had hoped would be a fruitful road to my dream lifestyle has turned into a hazardous, disappointing journey thus far. But that’s how life is, isn’t it? A rollercoaster of unpredictability and failures before a life of success and consistency.

I have a lot of ideas and goals that I would like to make a reality. I see a lot more for myself than what I am right now. I’m still on my road to recovery and will be for some time. But as I go through day after day, I know I am meant for something more than Netflix binges and working a low-paying youth worker job. I respect my job and those who do it with me, but it is not something I plan to do for any significant amount of time. I strive for a more ideal and creative way of living and I plan for that to include my form of income.

Things very well might not work out the way I imagine them to. I definitely hope that they do and I am willing to work hard to make it happen. It would be a disservice to myself not to try. The support of my friends and family help me to believe in myself. In fact, it was my mom who questioned me about my blog’s inactivity. She bugged me about it for a couple days until I talked to her about it. It was that small conversation that kind of snapped me into writing therapeutically again.

So here is to the reboot of my therapeutic journey through this blog. Not all posts will be like this one and act as a journal. In my mind, it is a very adventurous journey so I hope you stick around to be a part of it!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥

Adventures With Albus: Gettysburg College

It’s been a bit since I’ve updated the blog and what better way to get back on track than with a new Adventures with Albus! This past Sunday, my moms and I took the whole gang over to Gettysburg College for some sun and fun.

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It was VERY hot out so we were prepared with plenty of water and walking in the shade as much as possible. The pups got their fun in by chasing a couple of squirrels up trees.

20180701_110948155772524.jpgSomething fun I got to try out on this adventure was the new pet carrier backpack I ordered off Amazon! Let me tell you, this purchase was definitely worth it! I say that very prematurely as Albus has only been in it once and it didn’t go exactly as planned.

He jumped out, effectively trying to hang himself as I was a good cat mom and clipped him in. This was easily fixed since my mom was there and was able to help me get him on the leash. While Albus gets adjusted to the bag, I’m going to go on outings with my moms and the dogs as much as possible to have some extra support.

On the way back to the car, I put him back in the bag because I knew he wouldn’t walk there on his own. He had an accident and let’s just say I’m very glad I had the kitty bath wipes with me! I’m also glad I had enough sense to line the bottom of the backpack with a pee pad just in case. I think this accident was more to the fact that he had to use the bathroom but his litter box was in the car. He was definitely nervous, as he always has been with carriers, but I am confident that he will adjust.

Some good news though, Albus didn’t drool AT ALL when in the car. This is wonderful progress for him in his journey to getting more used to the car. He also didn’t hide and get all mad at me when we got home like he used to, so more progress!!

Honestly, if the backpack carrier doesn’t work out, I won’t be super heartbroken. A little sad, yea sure, since the backpack is fluffing cool! But Albus’ comfort level is more important to me. If anyone has used a carrier like this for their cat, I would love to hear what works for them! I know every cat is different and some cats just like being in carriers…but any advice is welcome!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie ♥

Quidditch Changed My Life

I get told, if I had to guess, around ten times a week how weird or nerdy I am by the kids at work. This is undoubtedly due to my unashamed love of all things Disney and the fact that when the girls watch Disney movies, I know all of the words. I also talk about Albus…a lot. Some girls have even started asking how he’s doing every now and then. But with all my love for Disney and cats, there is one thing that my true nerd spirit holds dear.

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Harry Potter is the series that brought the creative part of myself out of my shell. It’s the first world I really escaped into and one of the few I feel at home with. I seriously can’t count the number of times I’ve read these books. That doesn’t even take into account the number of times that I’ve listened to the books as well (I just started Prisoner of Azkaban yesterday). As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like music that much right now, so I turn to audiobooks. Even though I’ve read and heard the story so many times, it is just as much of an engaging story as the first time I read it.

So it wasn’t a surprise to any of my friends or family when I joined my college’s club quidditch team.

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Coming in as one of those fan-girl Harry Potter loving nerds, I was pleased to find just how physical the game is. If anyone were to ask my mom, she would tell them that she has never seen me be more competitive than when I was on the quidditch pitch. I would definitely have to agree. I’ve played plenty of sports in my life and did well. However, being on this team of misfits has been more fun than all of my sports experiences combined.

Not only that, but the quidditch community as a whole is simply amazing. I’ve met several wonderful people through traveling for tournaments and even doing some summer fantasy tournaments. Being a co-ed, full contact sport makes an even playing field for male and female players in that all are treated the same and follow the same rules. This, I feel, helped add to the overall family feeling because it wasn’t a sport aimed towards any kind of specific person. There were several people on the team who had never read the Harry Potter books or seen the movies.

When I first started at Lock Haven University, I was a lonely transfer student with no friends in the area and my cats were three hours away. I was in kind of a dark place after my last college experience, so I was nervous about starting new. I got lucky, though, that one of my first roommates became one of my closest friends.

I attended the club fair that is a college staple everywhere and saw three hoops in the distance. I didn’t stop at any other table. I beelined right for it and saw a group of students tossing around a volleyball. They were all extremely friendly and genuinely excited at my interest in the club. After that, my dark place slowly faded away as I was welcomed into this family.

I use the word family to describe the team a lot because that is exactly how I see them. Just about all of us have graduated and new, young players are carrying on what those before me built and what we all helped to grow and sustain. I may not talk to all of them on any kind of regular basis, but I know if I were to see them, it would be easy to fall back into conversation as if I had just seen them the day before. Some I do talk to quite often and some I consider my closest, truest friends.

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Photo credit on watermarked photos belongs to Isabella Gong Photography

Remember that fantasy fiction trilogy I mentioned…well that close friend co-author of mine is none other than my best friend, Zach. Without this team, he and I would never have met and would never have become basically siblings.

My parents were very supportive of the quidditch team and treated them like family as well. My mom even drove Zach about 5 hours from a tournament to his family because his nose had been broken. They traveled to almost every tournament, even though it meant spending money on hotels, gas, and sometimes event tickets. But they loved seeing how happy I was out on the field and were happy to make the trip to see me at my best.

Not going to lie, there were ups and downs with the team just like any other family. At times it was so stressful that I debated quitting. There were so many internal couples that it was hard to keep up at times. But my love for the sport and my love for my team kept me going. Any drama that had happened was settled eventually and I can easily say that I am on good terms with everyone from the team. Being with them taught me so much about myself as a human being and a lot about who I want to be going forward. They took me in as a lonely transfer student with no one and helped me transform into an almost whole adult.

I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today, as cliché as that sounds, without this group of people. They showed me that anything is possible and it’s okay to struggle because those who love you will always be there. I gained so much confidence in myself while I was a part of LHU Quidditch and I wouldn’t trade my time with them for anything.

To any of my teammates who may be reading this, thank you for being fucking awesome. I love you guys more than you know!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥