Java Talk: How We Cope On Difficult Days


We haven't done Java Talk in quite awhile. A reader named Rosie suggested we chat about how we handle difficult days. How we bolster ourselves, in our own individual way, to get through them.

Personally, I usually fret and worry for a day. Which is a total waste. But it's hard to reprogram yourself. I'll try not to think about something, but before I know it, I'm thinking about it again.

Once I can get myself into a semi-calm place, I try to do something nice for myself. Go get an iced coffee from McDonalds. (Try the caramel, OMG it's good! I'm totally addicted to them.) Or I'll go to Barnes & Noble. Bookstores always relax me if they aren't busy. 

I'll draw a bath and try to relax in the water. Usually I'll do the yoga stretching to prepare myself for said bath. 

I try to read in the evening. It soothes me. 

Yesterday I was in Target getting a few groceries. I could hear this kid screaming all over the store. Finally I came across the kid and her mother near the frozen food. 

The mother was chatting with another mother, who was rocking her baby to and fro. Like there wasn't a child screaming bloody murder right there in their midst.

Alarm bells were going off in my head that said: "Get your stuff and get the hell out of here!"

I said something to the effect of: "Boy, I could hear that child all over the store."

She said: "Yeah, she's loud." And went right on talking. How you could talk over that I don't know. 

I would have been embarrassed, apologized for any disruption, and left the store. 

Life sure is different nowadays.

What do you do to calm yourself on difficult days?

55 comments

  1. I usually stay up all night fretting so the next day I am still dealing with the situation and am extra cranky, tired and irritable. Not really advice I would give to others.

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    1. I have to be knocked out at night as it is. And if I don't get at least 8 hours sleep, I am useless the next day. I fret during the day.

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  2. I used to worry myself, SICK !
    In the last few years- through therapy with Doc Copper:) I learned to lo back at the things I worried about the most and do a mental check list of how many of those things ended up being as bad as I WORRIED they might be.
    it was astounding to find that the percentage was 3% and even though they were bad, I made it through them to a better time..
    What that taught me was the worst par of any situation was the time I spent worrying about it...
    I wish I'd learned that 30 years ago- could have saved myself a lot of anguish.

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    1. And you see, I KNOW this to be true. The chances of the bad stuff actually happening are small. But since I'm having some bad luck right now, I've been googling the burning of the herbs in all the corners of my apartment that you told me about! I'm checking out Feng Shui! Anything to get the bad karma out!

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  3. Hi Brenda :) If I'm stressed I get myself to the gym, put on my music and walk or run on the treadmill. Sometimes it's tough to get there, but once I do it-I'm so happy I did. And, doing something creative always calms me-drawing, painting, etc. or cooking-with a glass of wine on the side :)

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    1. I used to walk too. I so loved to go walking with my camera. But that's not something I can do right now. Great idea though! Exercise does so much for stress.

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  4. When I'm having a rough day, I tend to try to take care of myself more. Eat right, get enough sleep at night...allow myself a nap. I've learned to say no when I need to, instead of stressing myself out and adding more to my plate. And I pamper myself a little...a good, relaxing cup of coffee goes a long way.

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    1. When I turned 50, I learned how to say the word "no." Funny, I didn't realize I had that prerogative till I was that age. Good ways to de-stress.

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    2. Brenda, when taking your bath drop two cups espom salts in the running water. SO relaxing!

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  5. I hate it when I hear a screaming child in the store and the parents do nothing about it too! I was never like that. I was sensitive to those around me and handled it as best I could which meant leaving the store sometimes. For me, if I'm having a bad day, I'll try to change it up by doing something I enjoy. If I'm worried about something or feeling stressed, taking a walk or doing yoga is helpful.

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    1. Sometimes I'll go to Jenks to my favorite antique mall. I think it's all of 4 miles from my apartment!

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  6. I am a Christian, so I pray. After going through many difficult years with my oldest son, I realized prayer was the only thing that gave me peace. That was twenty years ago. Walking the floor, crying, fretting, losing sleep never changed the situation, but once I turned it over to God, not only did my son's life change, but so did mine.

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    1. Children sure can test you, even when they're grown, can't they?

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    2. I, too, turn my worries over to God. I also find doing an act of random kindness for someone not only blesses them but makes me happy beyond measure.

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  7. I used to be such a worrier when I was younger, so much so that my mother bought me a WORRY WART to take my worries away (a silly green wart in plastic). Since I found Christ again, I've learned to turn everything over to Him and to know that He has me covered. I know it's easier said than done, but if there's a tiny bit of worry or concern, I'll paint with my watercolors or read a great book to keep my mind occupied.

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    1. I couldn't paint a stick with water colors, but I love to read. Takes you to another world altogether.

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  8. For me Brenda nature is my cure. If I am having a stressful day I head outside. Depending on the time of year I will go work in the garden or if I can't do that I will go for a walk. Reading helps me escape my worries too.

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    1. Nature is my solace too. I've always told my kids: Don't forget, each day, to stop and smell the roses.

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  9. I like to go to Crossfit and paint a piece of furniture when I need to decompress!

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    1. I know yours is painting. I get stressed when I DO paint!

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  10. I used to get stressed easily. Not so much anymore. The worst has happened and I managed to survive just fine. On a difficult day, I have to keep moving. I'll either pace or rock in my rocking chair. That usually calms me down. Once in a great while, I will eat a treat. I try not to do that very often!

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    1. Yes, rocking in place is one of my ways to soothe myself. You have been through an awful lot.

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  11. It depends on the situation. This last time my little house was broken into, it was not the part where I thought, wow not again...I feel violated again.... It was the part where my landlord did nothing. Said nothing. No concern whatsoever. I am still stewing over it and it has been 2.5 weeks. I keep my hands busy, crafting. I like sitting outside watching the birds and watering my plants. I pray and put things into prospective. My brother cannot even walk anymore (he has MS). That usually can snap my head around.

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    1. There's always someone worse off, as you and I both know. I'm so sorry about your house and landlord. You've been so happy there. It's a real shame.

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  12. Great post, Brenda! For me, it depends on the stress and the time of the day. At work, I'll get up from my desk and walk around and then come back. Maybe clean up my desk, light a candle, and put on some classical music. At home in the evenings - definitely candles! Often soft music. And a glass of wine. And if I have something on my mind I need to clear out I'll read a book.

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    1. I never cared for the taste of wine. Not sure why. And I don't listen to music. But I love to read a good thriller or women's fiction by a favorite author.

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  13. Yes this is a great topic. I have realized as I survived the last 3 year which were some of the worse of my life, that everything does pass. My Mom used to "compartmentalize" her problems to survive them as a widow left with 3 kids, a mortgage and zero life insurance or savings, as well as a home that was falling down around her. no car and no washing machine! so she had a lot of practice with the IRS and bill collectors banging on the door and harassing her every day. . Here was a women who had insurmountable problems but she was a happy person and put them aside to enjoy her life such as it was. So I do that, spend a certain amount of said time on it either doing the necessary paperwork or writing out what needs to be done, then move on. I read, nap with my cat or take a walk. I find a nap refreshing and gives me a new perspective. I also like to go to the library and walk through the stacks, finding new authors and books really relaxes me and cost nothing. We do love our books, what would we do without them! Have a blessed day with the pups. ( that women with the kid, low class and bad parenting!) that would never have been allowed in our time.

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    1. Our pets are SO important to our mental health and sense of well being. It's well documented. Your mother sounded like a real trooper.

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  14. When I get something in my head, it's hell to blast it loose. i go to the Salvation Army Thrift Store or Goodwill and hunt through the stuff. Some things ae interesting, some unique, some beautiful and some so awful you laugh out loud. Can't go after school lets out though. Watching the way parents allow their children to vandalize the merchandise makes me more upset.

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    1. I know that feeling! Parents are often too busy to notice what their children are doing. When mine were young I kept my eye on them when out in public. Like you, for me it's often hell to blast it loose. Like a penny stuck in a crack in the sidewalk.

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  15. Hi Brenda,
    I have learned how to stop and take a few deep breaths. I still worry and cannot stop that but I have learned that some of the stuff I am going through I cannot control. I can only react. So I try to treat myself better and do something good for myself. I call them mental health moments. Just stop being in the drama of what it is and take a break to do something different. It will still be there when I get back but I think it helps to give the mind a break. It is always better when you get on the other side of something rough.
    Kris

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    1. I like that: Mental health moments. I will remember that one!

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  16. I grab my Bible and open to a random page. There is usually a message in there for me. I turn my problem over to God. It is His and he will deal with whatever it is for me. It is no longer my worry. Like you Brenda. I can't stand to hear crying kids in the store. I would not have left it where you did with just one comment. I have a big mouth, and it is full of opinions.

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    1. I used to have a big mouth, but now I tend to be afraid of people. They were a lot younger than me.

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    2. The Bible and prayer are the way to go. The Bible has so many great scriptures on worry. Add that to a little sunshine and good cup of coffee!

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  17. I find no relief in worrying, fretting, crying, or being overly cautious. Life is life, and we learn lots of lessons and coping mechanisms from the experience of it. But so much control is out of our hands, and, like the weather, we can't change it, so we make the best of it. I gave up worrying 30 years ago, and although I will admit that I've been kicked back, down, and sideways, I always come out fine...smarter usually for the lesson I've learned. That being said, I do want to tell y'all this story: I was briskly walking through a crowded theme park one day and I could hear a child just ahead of me screaming like a banshee. Not a hurting scream, but a scream of anger and frustration. I made sure I passed them by quickly, trying to distance myself from the cacophony. About 10 yards later, I was just about to pass by three women, when I saw one of them turn around and yell "shut up" at the child. She then turned back around and continued walking down the street. I was envious of her...because she had done what I had wanted to do...on more than one occasion!

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    1. Yea for her! I would never have had the nerve!

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  18. Depending on the circumstance and what's going on that day, it could be any of these: taking a walk in nature, especially in a peaceful place; doing yoga; taking a hot bath with lavender essential oil; reading a book or magazine; treating myself to coffee from my favorite local coffee shop; browsing in a bookstore; petting my kitties; puttering with decor around the house; meeting a friend for coffee/breakfast/lunch; working on something creative like scrapbooking or even coloring in my adult coloring book; listening to music; calling my son to talk to him; meditating and/or praying; glass of wine at night.

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  19. It's screaming little ones in restaurants that get my nerves upset most...when I get to go out to a nice restaurant it is a treat to me...it relaxes me and gives me a good feeling..having to sit there and listen to a screaming child spoils the whole experience for me..I love little children but they make so many restaurants that are meant for kids to go there and have fun...when you take a child to a grown-up restaurant and try to make them act like adults they are going to bored real fast and get upset and then the shrieking will start...Reading is so very relaxing for me..also going to thrift stores or an antique mall or flea market does wonders to help get rid of the blues or take my mind off of worries....

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    1. Which is why it is very rare that I actually dine inside a restaurant!

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  20. Brenda, the Bible says,

    " Don’t worry (or be anxious) about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel." Philippians 4:6-7 (CEV)

    So that is what I try to do. I don't stress over much these days but when I'm having an especially difficult day, I stop what I'm doing - wherever I am - and I thank God for blessing me with another day and ask Him to help me get through whatever I a dealing with. I usually start my day with that simple little pray. Makes the day a lot more bearable!

    Grace & Peace,
    Pam

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    1. Not having that stress keeps your immune system strong.

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  21. When I come across kids screaming in stores, I put my ear buds/headphones in place and just repeat my mantra over and over........"Not my circus. Not my monkeys."

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  22. Ha! I love Maxine's mantra! That is great! I am a worrier. I know that it doesn't do anything productive, but I can't stop it. My kids are my solace. Taking care of them, laughing with them, it's hard to be stressed when I am doing that. Of course, they are not screaming!! ;)

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  23. Morning Brenda! I am finally back blogging and visiting. When I have a day like that I like to take a drive. It calms me and I usually drive along the lakeshore. When I see BIG WATER- I feel small and that my problems are not SO BIG anymore. Music helps me, too. xo Diana

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    1. Now if I could find some nice country roads with no traffic, that would be good for me as well. I've got to work on finding those. I never have had any trouble anywhere else I've lived finding those places. But Tulsa mystifies me for some reason!

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  24. I always try to remember what my grandmother told me. Worry will not add one day to your life. She was a very smart woman who always remained serene through difficult moments. It is difficult to not worry at times, but I meditate and make a list of the things I am worried about. Then I prioritize and write out ways to tackle what I am concerned about. Even if I can't fix the situation rught then it helps me to get it all on paper. xo Laura

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    1. You always have great ideas, Laura. And your grandmother was a wise woman.

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  25. Such an important topic as stress does affect our physical health too. I've learned with the top worries to tell myself that it will last as long as it will last and not berate myself for worrying. I do my best to remember that it is all in God's hands. And then I do try to be gentle with myself. If it's something that I'm mad about, I get busy cleaning. Sometimes that helps everything. But I also find that turning through a pretty magazine or looking at Pinterest can help. If I can get out and go somewhere that helps too. But most of all, getting my dachshunds up on the sofa with me and brushing and combing them calms me down so much, just holding them and stroking them.

    Important topic, Brenda.

    Dewena

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  26. You and I cope with difficult days in very similar ways but instead of McDonald's Caramel Ice Coffee, I get a Cafe Mocha with whip from Tim Hortons. Another thing I do during difficult moments (like yours in Target) is take deep breaths. Speaking of your experience in Target...in the days when my kids were little, we would have abandoned cart, and left the store - promised treats ruined not only for themselves but their sibling. A) other patrons should not have to listen to that and B) it teaches a child a lesson that there are consequences to their actions.

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  27. Staying out of stops between two and four helps. I call those the crying hours because that is when children need a nap and not a trip to the store. I noticed this when I worked in retail.

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  28. As I sit here reading your comments I keep seeing comments about people being bothered about screaming children. I hear you loud and clear! I'm a teacher and have worked with students in first and second grade for years. The children coming into kindergarten seem to be getting more and more poorly behaved. Screaming, crying, hitting and wanting their own way! Yes, I've seen these same kids out in public too but I just walk away (although my husband has accused me of giving them my teacher stink eye).

    It would just rile me up or unsettle me more trying to deal with the parents so I just try to walk away and forget about it.

    When I'm having a difficult day, I sometimes liked to go and window shop at the mall (not now, I'm waiting on Achilles tendon surgery for both feet so I can only gimp along painfully). So now I find a good book to read or I come on to my favourite blogs to read about how my friends are doing. I make myself a nice cup of coffee and put it a pretty mug and allow myself a cookie or two to complete my tre

    Sometimes, it's the small and simple things that put us right! I also review all the good things in my life. My own cozy little house and my own cozy bed!

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you! However, if you are a no-reply commenter, I cannot reply via email to your questions or comments.

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