List it out honey, put it in the book. Okay, so maybe it was “let” and not “list” in Mean Girls. They may have also not been being positive either. Regardless, writing is an effective strategy I use for coping with those tougher days or to re-prioritize, refocus, and remind myself of all the good in life. It’s especially effective if you’re a Type A, completely organized, slightly perfectionistic person like myself.
As someone who works in the field of Psychology, I spend much of my days discussing coping strategies. Sure, we all have coping strategies that might not be the best choice, but they work. (Wine, chocolate, or pizza anyone?) Maybe you take out a rough day on loved ones by coming home in a not so great mood or maybe you shut down and internalize your feelings. While these aren’t the best choices, they often work as an escape or to take our mind off things. However, in the long run they aren’t helping us improve our lives. Finding appropriate and healthy coping strategies is important. Don’t get me wrong, I love pizza and indulging to keep my mind sane and to fully live life, but relying on chocolate every time a stressful e-mail arrives or drinking wine every night after work may not be forming the best habits. They may also be indicators that it is time to eevaluate some aspects of life. Some healthy coping strategies I utilize are reading, exercise, spending time with or talking to loved ones and friends, going for a walk (especially in nice weather), cleaning, and listening to music. I’m such a believer that life is about balance. Therefore, I think that balancing life with a variety of coping strategies– some that feed the soul (insert pizza emoticon here) and some that improve life in some way– is important. For example, exercise first, THEN drink wine. Have a Wine Wednesday but then workout and meditate on Thursday. Balance, y’all. Balance.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon the 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration written by Moorea Seal. Based upon her popular blog series which was her own motivation to cope with depression and anxiety, she discovered that her passion was empower others to reflect and have a pro-active attitude. Her hope is that those who use the journal find everyday reminders of the good hearts that lie within in them, as well as the strength and wisdom they have gained through life experiences. I bought it within minutes of discovering it. I make lists for EVERYthing. I get a weird sense of accomplishment when I cross something off of a handwritten list or delete it from an electronic one. I assumed that the act of listing as a weekly reflection would be something that I loved and I was right. I’m only a few weeks in and I love the time I spend creating my lists.
The book is divided into seasons and includes different prompts such as ‘List the happiest moments of your life so far,’ ‘List the words that define your personality’ and ‘List the things you would change in your life right now if you could.’ Take as much or as little time on your lists as you want, they are alllllll yours. The prompts were carefully thought up to meet you where you may be throughout the seasons. However, you are encouraged to skip around as you see fit. I’ve chosen to move around within seasons based on where I may be or what I might need to best reflect on each week.I’ve already noticed a shift as I am able to spend some time reflecting in a positive manner with myself each week. I think this makes a wonderful gift for not only yourself, but for someone else who may be going through a breakup, job change, move, or that is just interested in positive reflection and a little time invested in their self. I keep my copy with a pen on my bedside table so I don’t get distracted and forget. It’s also such a nice reminder to look back through some of my old lists as a reminder.
I hope that it serves you as well as it has me and that you can share it with others, just as I have with you. Grab yourself a copy and get one for a friend or two here. If you join the listing journey– share with me. Happy listing my friends!
PS: What are some positive coping strategies you use?
*This post is not sponsored and the information included is in no way intended to be psychological advice. It is simply my own thoughts and opinions. Some images are from mooreaseal.com.