Coping Strategies: Do You Numb or Release?
Last week, we shared this update on Penn’s father’s health. He’s declining into dementia and we’re having to make all sorts of grown-up decisions we don’t feel qualified, or ready, to make. Watching someone suffer will cause you to do a double take on your own existence. Over the past week, Penn and I have been questioning everything from our careers to how we numb ourselves when times get tough. So, we are doing our own version of #Stoptember to cut back on the things that may be elevating our anxiety and numbing our emotions.
How do you cope when life gets uncomfortable?
Me? I have been known to grab a glass of wine (or two), dive into a bag of chips, or just thumb through instagram. Lately, life has been very, very uncomfortable. I’ve found myself mindlessly scrolling through social media just to avoid the discomfort of real life. Penn loves to crack an IPA, which are very tasty here in NC, at 7pm. He is going to break that habit for Stoptember, so Sunday night through Friday night will be alcohol-free time. It’s not that Penn drinks too much, but it isn’t helping anything. It is a numbing tactic, not a release tactic. If anything, alcohol only fuels the fire. For me, I’m deleting social media apps from my phone for #Stoptember. That’s right, you heard me!
Numbing versus Releasing
There’s a difference between numbing and releasing. Once you name what numbs you, we found that it’s important to replace that behavior with a healthy release instead. For me, instead of scrolling through Instagram and seeing all the beautiful recipes, I’ve taken the app off my phone and replaced that numbing behavior with exercise, meditation, and cooking. For Penn, who doesn’t drink soda and is trying to cut back on coffee, he is going to turn to non-alcoholic beer…and lots of sex (there was loads of laughter when he suggested this). We’ll see about that.
We also take a moment to thank our listeners for sharing such touching stories and advice with us this past week. It truly meant a lot to see all the support rush in. Thank you for being on this journey with us.