We talk about ‘coping’ and ‘coping skills’ all the time, but what do they actually mean – especially for those working in the veterinary industry?
In a recent Small Animal Talk blog post ‘Can resilience inoculate against burnout, depression and suicide?‘ Nadine discussed why some people seemed to be affected more severely by the common stressors within the veterinary industry than others. She suggested it came down to an individual’s coping skills, personality, optimism and resiliency all of which seemed like great topics for Blog Posts. So here’s Part 1: Coping Skills.
What does ‘coping’ really mean?
When we are coping with things, this typically indicates we are managing to deal with the ups-and-downs of everyday life without it causing us too much distress. However, when we are not coping, it’s a whole different ball game!
If we are not coping, some of us may feel:
- out of control,
- burnt out,
- or even suicidal.
We all have different levels of coping
We all have different levels of coping, which can in turn have an impact on our level of resiliency – the higher our resiliency (or ability to bounce back from things), the better our wellbeing tends to be. Therefore, being able to cope with the demands of our personal circumstances is essential.
So how do we learn to cope with things?
Having a good toolbox of coping skills is essential, and the great news is that you can learn how to expand on your current repertoire of strategies.
Some ways you can develop coping skills are by:
- reading credible books,
- visiting reputable websites,
- undertaking online or other courses,
- listening to webinars,
- attending a face-to-face workshop,
- or visiting a psychologist or other qualified health professional who is trained in these skills.
Coping skills I recommend
Some coping skills I like to recommend to my clients are:
- Stress management strategies
- Time management tools
- Effective communication techniques
- Learning how to be more assertive
- Learning and implementing psychological strategies such as acceptance and commitment therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy
- Practicing wellbeing strategies such as positive psychology
- Having effective relaxation and work/life balance solutions.
The good news is that all of these strategies can be learned.
Even better they were instrumental in achieving promising results in my doctoral research which is why I have included them in my upcoming workshop.
If you have any questions for Nadine about the importance of coping or how to develop coping skills, why not ask her in the Comments section below?