Back Pocket Dealing Skills

Nikki Downey, CTRS

Everyday, whether you are on a wellness journey or a different journey, we all face obstacles and must use accessible, problem solving skills to overcome them.  At camp, with our young adult and teens, we call these Dealing Skills.  At camp, campers might express soreness after a long hike. Our counselors are trained to response with a question that promotes using a Dealing Skill, such as,  “Which dealing skill are you going to use to get through your soreness?”.

 We can all use the same Dealing Skills at home or when you are looking at a tempting menu eating out with friends, or too tired from a long day at school or work to meet your movement goals.   These at your finger tip skills are most helpful when you’re unable to change a situation to help you deal and cope and make the best decision for yourself.  

In addition to the B.I.T.S  and the S.T.O.P.  Dealing Skills we talked about in November, here are a few more to have in your back pocket:

Wise Mind

Your Wise Mind is where your Rational Mind and Emotion Mind meet in the middle. 

This is helpful to use when you’re out to eat with friends and they order dessert.  Your Wise Mind is not telling you dessert is bad, it’s telling you to think about how you will feel after you eat it.  You could choose to split a dessert with a friend, not order any or take a bite of everyone else’s dessert!

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation remind us to improve the situation with intention rather than reaction. 

For example, if you just took a test or completed a work project and are stressing out over how you think you did, and you see a box of goldfish you are likely to begin eating them in an unconscious effort to make yourself feel better.  However, if you were to stop, intentionally take a breath, calm your nervous system, you might be able to acknowledge that you are feeling stressed and the goldfish really aren’t going to help you.

Affirmation Statements

Affirmation statements are slogans that we can use when times are tough. 

These are good sources of validation and encouragement that come from within us.  Maybe you have a big sporting competition, debate team “battle” later in the afternoon, or a big event you are planning, write on a few different sticky notes how awesome you are, how strong you are, and how you’re going to kick some butt! Then put these notes on your mirror,  in your locker, in your back packet or in a dedicated affirmation notebook.