On The Go Wellness Chiropractor Miami: Herniated Discs-Coping Mechanisms-Part 1
And we’re back with more Mental Health Awareness content, just in time to close out the month. Today, I wanted to talk about something that doesn’t get talked about enough; struggling with mental health does NOT always look the same. It isn’t always obvious, and it doesn’t always look like someone crying and struggling to get out of bed. In reality, sometimes you don’t even know you’re struggling until you’re too far in.

So how can you catch yourself struggling before it gets bad? And what can you do about it? Take a look at your coping mechanisms. Be critical of the ways in which you seek joy, and spend your time, ask yourself if there’s anything you’re avoiding, ask yourself if you’re proud of your current habits. You may find that you’re utilizing unhealthy coping mechanisms, in which case it would be beneficial to dig deeper. Here are just some ways this can show up in your daily life:

1. Over/Undereating

On The Go Wellness Chiropractor Miami: Herniated Discs-Coping Mechanisms-Part 1
Ah yes, food, glorious food. While food definitely can be a source of joy, it shouldn’t be it’s primary role. Food should be fuel for your body first and foremost. Are you catching yourself eating when you’re not really hungry? Buying take out more often even when you have food at home? Conversely, are you not eating even when your body is telling you it’s hungry?
 
You may be using food as an unhealthy coping mechanism. You may be looking for entertainment, distractions, or a source of immediate gratification. Maybe you’re so stressed that you’re letting your basic needs go unmet, and are undereating. Whatever the case, irregular food habits are a GREAT indicator that something is off.

2. Excessive Alcohol Consumption

On The Go Wellness Chiropractor Miami: Herniated Discs-Coping Mechanisms-Part 1
This is a huge one. Alcohol is…well, it’s a legal drug. You know I like to say it how it is. Can it be fun? Can it be enjoyed in moderation? Absolutely, but it is still a drug, and a toxin for your body, which we all know. Not to mention we know it comes with empty calories.
 
So an increase in alcohol consumption could be an indicator that you’re drinking more for the wrong reasons (ignorance not being one of them). Are you looking to numb feelings? Are you bored? Are you substituting it for another unmet need (like hunger or proper rest)? Are you looking to be a different version of yourself that alcohol helps you be? Without judgment, be curious, and pay attention to the situations in which you drink.

3. Impulse Shopping

On The Go Wellness Chiropractor Miami: Herniated Discs-Coping Mechanisms-Part 1

Ladies, I think we’ve all fallen guilty to this at one point or another. Remember that fancy juicer you saw an ad for and immediately swore you’d get sooo much use out of and now sits in the back of your cabinet? Here’s a question; what need were you trying to meet by buying that juicer? Were you bored and looking for excitement? Were you feeling guilty about your lifestyle or concerned with a lack of progress? Were you simply lacking purpose that day/during that time?

4. Too Much TV

On The Go Wellness Chiropractor Miami: Herniated Discs-Coping Mechanisms-Part 1

This is probably the most subtle one on the list. Unlike inappropriate eating or drinking habits, and spending money you don’t need to spend (or worse – don’t have), there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with watching a lot of TV. HOWEVER, it’s still worth taking a deeper look if you find that it’s the only thing you feel like doing, you’re spending hours of your day in front of the tv, or you’re unable to sit in a quiet moment and turn to the TV constantly.

Are you simply chronically bored? Looking for distractions from your life? Are you trying to fill your spare time? Are you struggling to relax? Are you lacking meaning and purpose in your life and just don’t have much else to do?

So here’s the deal; if you take a closer look at your habits and discover that maybe just maybe there could be something else going on, it’s time to act. Don’t ignore it and hope it gets better simply because you don’t immediately know the root cause. Instead, take an active role in your mental wellness and ask yourself questions as you would a friend. What’s been going on? What do you think about at night when you can’t sleep? What are you trying to escape? Next up, we’ll talk about how to replace these unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthier ones, and how that fits into your overall wellness.

 

Stay healthy, stay well, folks!

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Dr. Nichole A. Walz

Dr. Nichole A. Walz

Dr. Josh Huddleston, and I are the founders of On-The-Go Wellness®. We are husband & wife, who just so happen to be Board Certified, Licensed, Chiropractic Physicians & Certified Yoga Instructors! After practicing with other clinics in the USA and Singapore for the past 5 years, we decided to start On-The-Go Wellness® to fit our active, mobile lifestyles.

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