Using Coping Mechanisms to Manage Fear

Posted on: May 26, 2020, by :
Our dog Max.

First, I’d like to give you a little background on Max, our beautiful, wonderful, almost human, little dog. Prior to our bringing Max home from the shelter about 10 years ago, this special little dog had experienced trauma. Over the years he has occasionally became quite frightened but once he gets frightened, we can usually calm him down. Sometimes it takes longer than others depending upon how scared he’s become. We all need coping mechanisms to manage fear.

Well this morning on a trip to another town, Max was with us riding comfortably in the backseat of the car. On the way back from our destination, I had to stop rather quickly and I looked back and saw that Max was standing behind the passenger seat. When I needed to stop, he tried to remain standing but he slid ever so slightly but remained standing. At that point he became scared and he refused to sit down almost the entire ride home.

Coping Mechanisms

I’ve thought about the situation off and on since we came home this afternoon and it reminded me of how many of us have felt similar during this pandemic. Given the reality of the virus itself, the lack of a vaccine, or the barrage of news and confusion that’s so prevalent, we tend to become scared and unable to return to our normal calm selves—unless we use one or more of our coping mechanisms.

Whether it’s meditation, prayer, resting, spending time with family and friends, working on hobbies, or spending time in nature, everyone needs one or more ways to help them navigate stressful times. During this pandemic many people have turned to working out, volunteering, or participating in other community-based activities to help them cope.

Available Resources

I encourage you to take the time to reflect and understand the coping mechanisms available to you and determine which ones serve you well so you are prepared to reach for one or more of your mechanisms to help you navigate through this stressful time. Do know that several resources are available to you as well.