How to Cope with Loss – Part 5: Keep Busy!

Read the whole How to Cope with Loss series here.

No lessons this week. And I’m not positive, but I think no lessons next week. Teacher needed surgery to set the fractures in his wrist so they would heal properly. He’s under strict orders to rest and not work for at least a full week.

As for me, I’m fighting a creeping darkness. So many of my plans have been obliterated. I’ll go into that more in a separate post. For now, I’m trying to just stay busy.

A great coping mechanism for any kind of emotional stress is distraction. Distracting yourself to the point where you’re just avoiding the issue isn’t healthy, of course, but giving yourself other things to focus on allows your mind to take a break from the emotional stress. Then when you need to go back and face whatever has happened, you will feel more capable.

I have made it this far using a number of distractions:

1) Writing

Obviously. Besides dance, writing is therapy for me. Getting my thoughts out on paper (or computer screen or smart phone screen) allows me to process the thoughts and at the same time purge them. I’m always grateful that my readers have welcomed my open and honest style. And when I don’t feel like processing the dark thoughts, I can focus on other writing projects like book reviews, articles for other websites, and authoring my own books.

2) Netflix

It’s very easy to kill an afternoon or even an entire day watching a television series on Netflix or Hulu or another streaming program. And sometimes, that’s exactly what I need – an escape into a fantasy world with no commercials.

3) Smart phone photography

I’ve mentioned before that I’m on Instagram.  I also hold an account on Foap, which is another photo sharing app. The difference is you have the chance of selling your photos on Foap. I have yet to sell one, but Foap also has companies that post missions. They describe a certain theme or setting they are looking for and you upload photos that match, in hopes you win the mission and get paid. I just think they’re fun. One mission I’m in now is called “local textures.” You can see some of the photos I uploaded for that one on my Instagram page. Looking for the perfect photo to match a mission is more productive (and more fun!) than thinking about the recent unfortunate events.

4) Helping others

I always find helping other people with their challenges a lot easier than facing my own. It puts my own troubles in perspective and makes me feel useful. Which helps me. This week, I had a great evening with a friend helping her organize her own slew of projects and another one acting as a workout buddy for a second friend.

You may have noticed that dancing is not on my list of distractions. I haven’t been to the studio since my last lesson last week. I’ve done a little practice at home and watched the latest videos Teacher recorded for me. But right now, when I think about going to practice on my own, it just makes me sad.

Like when I had a chance to talk to Teacher after he first got his cast, I think I’ll feel better once I’ve reconnected with Teacher to again talk about the future and where we go from here. I don’t know what to hope for or look forward to in terms of my ballroom dancing at the moment, so I’ve pulled away a little and stayed busy with other things. It’s hard to practice when I’m not sure what I’m practicing for.

This weekend, I think I’ll add baking to the list of distractions! Pumpkin spice scones, anyone?


2 thoughts on “How to Cope with Loss – Part 5: Keep Busy!

  1. D_Wall says:

    Distractions are a great thing. Hang in there! Sometimes life throws these detours at us because it wants to take us down a different path to a better destination. (Sometimes it is just random chance that sucks but I kind of like being the optimist)


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