COPE WITHIN YOUR LIMITS
In a recent newspaper column, Florida attorney Cindy Bishop highlighted “Younger Next Year for Women,” a 2005 book by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge. The authors discuss seven rules that help folks grow psychologically and cope more effectively with life. Their list captures many of the themes we try to develop in this blog.
The first three rules deal with aerobic exercise and strength training with weights. Just remember that when you decide to follow aerobic and strength routines, you must apply these routines within the limitations of your body. One size never fits all and you must guard against injury. Begin with small steps and gradually work your way up to more challenging routines.
Rule four is financial and says you must spend less than you make. As my mother said on many occasions: “Son, it’s not how much you earn; it’s how much you spend!” Furthermore, whenever spending habits enter the coping picture, you are wise to “pay yourself first.”
Rule five stresses diet, both quality and quantity. You should also remember that when monitoring “what goes in,” you must also monitor “what goes out.” I know lots of folks who exercise, exercise, exercise, but then eat, eat, eat.
Rule six focuses on caring for others. From birth, when infants thrive on skin-to-skin contact with primary caregivers, to the teen years and beyond, interacting with and caring for others can involve you in the adventure of life and help put your own problems in perspective.
Rule seven says you must commit to your world by reaching out to your community and developing productive connections with others. Becoming a part of a group, from sporting and civic groups to volunteer activities, will put you in touch with supportive others who will help you thrive.
These rules fit well with the coping principles we try to illustrate in our blog posts. It helps to remember, however, that when you see lists like these, one size does not fit all. You must adapt coping advice to the conditions imposed by your body, mind, and unique environmental circumstances. Also, before applying general advice to your life, you must decide what is under your control and what is not. Whenever applying any coping program to yourself, always focus on your thoughts and actions, and do not try to control those of others.