Annie on Coping and Resilience
With many new parents on-line now, and time to stay indoors to weather the winter...Here are some coping skills that I have put together in a handout for my parents involved in Pilot Parents. If anyone has any other ways to cope when things get rough please share them on-line... I believe we all have strengths, Annie Adamson.
Coping can be defined as "dealing with something successfully." Resilience means how someone "adapts" to a challenge or adversity. Families have strengths even though they may be in the midst of a crisis situation, or experiencing something that is really challenging.
As parents, we can use what strengths we have to cope with adversity. Look at your family and identify what its strengths are. Here are some of the ways that you can cope day to day...
- Talk with a supportive friend. (Use your Answers4Families discussion group to do that.)
- Get a baby-sitter, and do something for yourself. If you don't feel comfortable leaving your child yet, get a sitter to play or watch your child in the child's room and you do something for yourself in another part of the house.
- Keep a journal about your experiences and feelings.
- Get out of your house and into a different environment.
- Go somewhere quiet and have a good cry, or a good yell (sometimes a "good" hot fudge sundae works for me!)
- Educate yourself on your child's special needs, community resources, available books, local support groups.
- List positive things about your family and then read them frequently.
- Read a poem or inspirational saying that comforts you.
- Take a walk or a drive, exercise.
- Do something to make someone else smile, it's contagious.
- Talk with another parent of a child with special needs.
- Believe that you will get through this day, week, et cetera.