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On coping when I’m having a bad day

In a recent blog post ("Coping Day-to-Day"), I detailed some of the coping strategies I and others use when we need to distract ourselves from a tough day. I am a little embarrassed to admit that one of the ways I distract myself when I am having a bad day is by viewing Instagram and Facebook snippets or reels.

These work for me, especially when I am having trouble concentrating or feel edgy. They may work for you as well.

I can be captivated by beautiful scenery, vacation photos, or Zen moments. The video reels on Facebook or Instagram can distract me - for more time than I want to admit.

They fall into three categories:


I love witnessing a groom first seeing his bride as she walks down the aisle, especially when he can’t hold back his tears. I also can't see enough of parents walking their children down the aisle.

These are emotional and loving moments that take me to another place. And there is nothing more lovely than watching a first dance. Romance gets me every time and it helps to take me to another time and place.

Newborns, babies and little children.

Laughing babies get me every time, from newborns with their first smiles to babies who can’t contain their laughter. I'm sure it helps that endorphins are released when you laugh. It is the innocence and hilarity of these little babies that captivate me.

New babies and their dads, especially big burly men who look gob smacked by the preciousness of their newborns (Yes, I am aware that these same new parents have many sleepless nights and poopy diapers ahead of them). Something about the wonder and unanticipated depth of love just makes me feel better.

Cute children saying sweet, loving, or funny remarks. I have to admit I laugh out loud when I hear little kids swearing and we know they are imitating their parents.

Little kids having an attitude or dancing without a care in the world. The sense that no one will judge them just charms me.

Puppies and babies or dogs and little kids cuddling or playing together. What’s not to love? It is especially precious to see older dogs reacting to a newborn brought home. I love watching the innate protectiveness of a dog with a baby.

People in the military greeting their families from a long deployment

There is something so poignant about the relief and hope that reuniting families seem to experience that gets me every time. I relish the hopefulness and moment of reuniting that you see in these videos.

So what does this say about how I cope?

I have already admitted to listening to and reading fiction, especially romance novels, as a way to escape. I think it means that I get carried to another place and time when I see emotional and meaningful moments in the lives of families or others. I love seeing the innocence and promise of an untarnished future. I feel less edgy and more settled. It is a way to get out of my here and now.

Of course, any one coping strategy doesn’t work for everyone or even for me every time. However, I want to be sure to communicate that it is OK to find what helps or settles each of us and use that strategy.

Tell us: What do you use to distract yourself when you are having a tough day?

For Informational Purposes Only

All information presented on Easing Anxiety is for informational purposes only, and should never be considered medical or health advice. Withdrawal, tapering, or any change in dosage of benzodiazepines or any other prescription drugs should only be done under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.

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1 Comment

D E Foster
D E Foster
Sep 06, 2023

I love this blog post, Doryn. Thank you!

One of the cornerstones of Easing Anxiety is the personal journey. We share the details of what we are dealing with, and through that we connect with others. Thank you to Doryn for sharing her personal coping distractions.

And as for my distractions (aka guilty pleasures) when I am down, well.... Theme park videos (Disney / Universal), trip planning (I love planning new road trips, almost as much as taking them), romantic comedies (Yes, I'm a romance junkie too), playing with my new puppy, Murphy, and reading self-help, anxiety, psychology books (just reading them helps me, even if I don't use any of their suggestions). Most of all, though, spending time with…

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