I had a conversation recently in which I had used the term “coping” numerous times – A common occurrence in a counseling related discussion. This time, however, I provided an explanation of what “coping” actually means - Finding ways to feel better while learning to overcome problems. I immediately saw relief wash over the individual I was speaking with, as “coping” moved from a vague concept to learn and into a simple understanding of how to feel better.
This interaction left me rethinking how I approach these types of commonly-used counseling terms in order for them to actually have a positive impact. With this idea rattling in my mind for a week or two, I then came across this wonderfully written post which re-defines coping and self-care. Please do yourself a favor and give this a read.
What I love about this post's re-definition of self-care is how it brings in a special kind of gentle awareness of the self – mind, body and soul. It’s a beautiful reminder to explore and understand ourselves in a way which leads to kindness and compassion. Two things we often give to others, yet rarely give to ourselves. Allow yourself the time and space to understand what helps you feel better. Go ahead. Whatever comes to mind, write it down. Think back to anything which has brought you soothing, relaxation, safety and peace over the years.
You are your own expert. You know what works best for you. Us counselors only have the humble privilege of walking alongside you; guiding, encouraging and providing clarification of what is already true. We don’t have the power to create strength, determination and resilience; we simply help uncover these and more as you learn to trust yourself in the face of adversity.