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Coping with unexpected boulders


Quartz boulder

Coping with unexpected boulders

Sometimes, boulders can help you focus, regroup and rediscover what is important to you.  But, they can also cause stress, anxiety and depression, if not managed and you learn ways to cope with them.


So, what are boulders?

Things like:

Illness – both short-term and long-term

Death of a loved one.

Unexpected financial outlays, ie for significant items breaking in the home or business

Debtors not paying

Marriage break up

Suddenly losing ‘me time’

Loss of work

Sudden overwhelm

Children leaving home

Children moving back home

You getting in your own way


What simple coping strategies could you put in place?

In no particular order, you could try:

Wine and chocolate!  (please don’t do these long term)

Acceptance and acknowledgement


Comforting yourself and being kind to yourself.

Reward yourself and others.


Seek the opportunity from the situation

Looks at the end result, make a plan of action and break into small, baby steps

If something the same or similar has happened before, learn from it by thinking about what you did last time.

Delegate and outsource tasks, so you can focus on you and your recovery.

Know that the situation will not last forever.

Forgiveness of yourself and others.

Show gratitude of the past and other present situations.

Talk to someone!  Even, seek professional help!  There is no shame in it.

Regular self-care helps in the long term and perhaps lower the impact of boulder situations.


Tracey of PlumEssence is a therapist, hypnotherapist, mental health first aider, stress management consultant and mentor, who helps people to manage and cope with boulders thrown at them.  Tracey also runs workshops about Managing and Coping with Stress and Anxiety, which are suitable for support groups and the workplace.

For a no obligation chat, so see if I can help you, please call 01889 808388 or 07803 399594 or email [email protected]

Distortions, Deletions and Generalisations

My own picture taken in Devon

A Devon view

Distortions, Deletions and Generalisations – What do you say, without thinking that could be causing your own stress, low mood, depression and anxiety?

In only a couple of days last week, I noted how people spoke to me and posts they put on social media.  There was a pattern and I considered some of the things said could be continuously contributing to people’s low moods, anxiety and stress levels.

Stress is a silent killer.  Regular low mood can be linked to depression.  Simple things that can cause YOU stress, that YOU can actually do something about, TODAY!

Stop comparing your inside with other people’s outside!

If other people’s social media posts make you feel less worthy, stop reading them!

Distortions and Generalisations examples:  “Everyone is doing better than me”  “Everyone else can afford this/that”  “All my friends are in a relationship”  “Everyone else can afford a holiday/car/eat out”  “Everyone else has lovely children”

Action:  Stop going on social media.  If you use it for business, stop scrolling and stop noting only the good things being said.  Focus on the good things going on in your life.  There will be some, I can assure you.


Stop focusing on the negatives in your life.  Focus on the positives!

Distortions and Deletions:  “I can’t afford (insert something really cheap and basic here)”  “I don’t have ……”  “I never get what I want” “I always make bad decisions”  “I can never get things right”

Action:  Get someone to help you go through your income and expenses with you and see where you can make savings.  You don’t have to be on the TV programme Live Well for Less to sort your finances out.  You probably can afford things if you made savings elsewhere.  Work out the difference between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’.  You need to be brutal with yourself.  Ask someone to pick you up on the things you say.  Speak to someone.


Get your work/life balance sorted!

This means different things for different people.  If you believe you have no time for friends, family or you, then make time!

Distortion and Deletions examples:  “I never have any time for me”  “I work all the time”  “I have to work evenings and weekends”  “I have to stay late”  “I have to take work home” “I never get to go out”  “I have to do everything for my kids/partner”

Action:  Again, get someone to work with you to see what you are spending your time on.  Implement your own time analysis, recording all that you do with every minute of your day.  Be honest!  Do you need to ask for help to do your work?  Can you outsource?

A busy fool is not a productive fool.  Regular work breaks will only make you MORE productive.

Put dates in your diary for yourself, your friends, your family – and stick to it!

On the whole, the answer is:  Ask for help.  There is no shame in it and, usually, people are more than willing to help.  Strong people ask for help – they do not think they can do it all.

Don’t wait to burn yourself out, or have that breakdown, before you realise you need to make some changes.

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