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October 30, 2022

Coping Strategies for Times of Turmoil

By James H.
, from Orlando, FL

We all have issues in life that we have to learn to overcome. This could be something school-
related, such as bombing the ACT, or more profound, like dealing with the loss of a parent.
While we can’t prevent tragedy and turmoil, we can hold onto the small victories that help us
grow and learn each day.

Here are some strategies that I’ve found useful:

Set boundaries.

Talk with Zach has discussed setting boundaries before. Boundaries are healthy limits we set
for ourselves and those in our life. For example, when you’re dealing with something difficult,
you might set a boundary with your parents that you don’t wish to discuss the issue when you
first come home from school, but you might wait until you’ve had a few moments to center
yourself and gain clarity.

Keep your mind active.

One of the worst things that can happen is getting lost in despair and fixating on all of the
negatives in the world
. One way that you might be able to sidestep this is to keep your mind busy. An example here might be to get a summer job at a local kids camp, where you can be a
counselor while also spending time in nature. If you’ve never had a job before, it’s not that hard
to make a resume using a PDF editor that lets you input your information and save your file for
downloading or online sharing.

Practice self-care.

One seemingly small but ultimately important victory in life is practicing self-care. While, as a
teen, you may not have the money to run out and get a massage anytime you like, there are still
plenty of ways that you can care for your mind and body. The Crate Joy blog offers many
suggestions, including pulling away from social media, meditating, and indulging in an at-home
spa day. Other forms of self-care include playing with your pets, listening to your favorite music,
attending events with family and friends, and even writing in a journal.

Volunteer with (or start) a nonprofit.

Volunteering is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and our communities. It gives us
hands-on experience that can be added to our resumes later and lots of opportunities to do new
things. Creative Volunteer also points out that it gives you a chance to meet new people that
you may otherwise not have access to. If you can’t find volunteer opportunities that appeal to
you, you’re never too young to create a nonprofit corporation. This is an especially great way to
honor someone you’ve lost, and you can use your organization to raise awareness or to assist
other entities, such as hospice or the hospital, in their name. It’s not that hard, and, with your
parents’ help, you can create a nonprofit, which may give you access to grants and other
financial benefits, but you will need to make sure that you clearly outline how your charity non-
profit will be operated
, how often and with who your meetings will be held, and how you’ll avoid
any conflicts of interest.

All of the above, from setting boundaries with your friends and family to engaging in self-care or
starting your own nonprofit are all great ways to create your own victories. By holding onto the
positives, you may be on steadier ground to navigate the negatives.

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