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49: How Do We Cope?

Hello! Welcome to episode 49 of I’d Rather Stay In. In keeping with this weird and stressful world, we’re diving into coping mechanisms this week.

Quick links

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.

Episode transcript

Welcome to I’d rather stay in the podcast for cozy introverts. We’re your hosts, Megan Myers, and Stephie Predmore This week’s episode coping mechanisms

Hello Stephie

what’s new Megan?

Well, I would like to rant about the show that I’ve been watching. Please do. So I started watching Emily in Paris. Okay, which has a real like, it’s a it’s a show not a movie, but it has a real like Hallmark Christmas movie vibe. Without Christmas, okay, like that kind of situational aspects shirt from all the Christmas movies that we watched last year,

and will continue to watch this year. So true.

But I’ve watched I don’t know how many episodes I’ve watched five episodes now.

And it annoys me for multiple reasons.

If you don’t know anything about the show it it’s really popular Netflix right now. They just dropped it last week, I think maybe okay. But Emily is a marketing professional. She works at an agency in Chicago. And she gets to go move to Paris to work for this agency that her agency bought. That’s the premise. Okay. The problem is, is that Emily’s supposed to be a marketing whiz. First of all, her marketing, her personal marketing, or like most of what she has, she’s basically like all about social media stuff. talks about social media stuff a lot. And there’s a big concept where she is posting on her new Emily in Paris Instagram account, and she posts pictures of Paris with really bad caption hashtags.

Which I hope people don’t actually do, because that’s super annoying.

But like she had she, her Instagram account grows through this, whatever, through the course of the show. Okay. And at one point, the prime minister’s wife like sees her Instagram like responds to whatever I’m like, No, no, it does not amaze that. But the other parts of it. She doesn’t know any French

Chateau. Wait, she lives in Paris.

Well, she she moved to Paris, but she wasn’t going to the whole point of the thing is that she wasn’t supposed to be the one moving. It was going to be her boss. And her boss got pregnant, so she couldn’t go. That’s all theory. Okay. And so she is the impromptu person put into moving to Paris. But she doesn’t know any French. And also like everything she does is like very it’s very, she just sounds like an idiot basically. Because the first episode she like gets to France, you call her boyfriend? And they’re talking and she’s like, it’s like right out of Ratatouille. And you’re like, how old are you?

There’s that’s the only movie in Paris that you could come up with?

Well, yeah, and just like everything to

be thousands of movies. And every season Paris in them.

Yes. And everything she does is like very naive. When she’s supposed to be like such a whiz at her job. Like she shows up at her job. On the first day wearing a shirt that has the Eiffel Tower on it.


later on. She is also wearing a blu ray on another episode. Jesus. Um, she doesn’t know that the first floor is the second floor. Oh, and like it’s a whole like, episode long thing. Oh, they draw it off for an episode because there’s a cute boy who lives in the floor below her.

She can’t figure it out. It’s It’s It’s apartment building math.

Yes. Because, you know, Europe is weird. Apparently. It’s just so crazy. That she can’t figure out

the ground floor. Yes.

Okay. I know the ground for a clown for concept which is like you learn it’s one time you have to remember uh, so there’s that stupid stuff but like the thing that the the fifth part that she doesn’t know any French at all like really bothers me. And it remind like she’s not making an effort to learn any now that she has no they do show her going to French class.

Okay, well, that at least is something but


So it was a little if it got better. It’s getting better where like she is supposedly learning French. But she was just very shocked that everyone was so mean to her and everything like you don’t know French, first of all, and also you’re like, I don’t know. It’s really rubbish. The wrong way as someone who has been running

with the Eiffel Tower on it of course, yes.

And also so the person it’s I don’t know if he wrote the episodes or just produced them, but it’s like created by the same guy who did Sex in the City. Okay, which I feel like explains a lot. Yes, because she also has fabulous outfits every episode aside from the ridiculous Eiffel Tower shirt. And like Chanel purses, multiple Chanel purses, and you’re just like, hmm,

there’s no way that she has right weirdo Instagram captions is paid for Chanel purses? No,

definitely not.

And then it but it the fact that it is the same guy that does that did Sex in the City and remind me of all the, the Paris episodes of Sex in the City. Yeah, which I don’t know from remember. But since I just recently watched it,

again, really, at the top of your mind, really

at the top of my mind where Carrie goes to Paris, and she’s like freaking out about Paris, as you know, people who wanted to go to Paris normally do. But also she doesn’t know French either. But in Carrie’s case, she has literally always wanted to go to Paris. It’s like a plot point.

Right? That she

has always wanted to go to Paris. First of all, you have 9000 pairs of $500 shoes, you could have always gotten Paris. But secondly, you don’t know any French at all. Nothing. As a fashion obsessed person who’s supposed to love Paris. And it’s your dream, you don’t know any French. And so it makes me very sad that this guy has not learned anything and like 20 years of showing off a city. I know, there’s just like, a lot of weird stereotypes out there showing two pairs is beautiful, because it’s beautiful, because it’s Paris. But also like, I don’t know, it just really I’m still watching it for some reason. You’re like,

I’m gonna keep going. This show is terrible, but I’m gonna keep going.

Well, the thing is, is that the actors are not bad. Like they’re the acting is not bad. They’re not doing a bad job. There’s what they have what

they’ve been given to work with. Yes, not the best.

But it’s just a it can be better. It could be a lot better, and it’s just really bothering me. It’s disappointing.

Yeah. Sorry. But that is just that is disappointing. Yeah. Because like, we love those Christmas movies. Like, we unapologetically love cheesy Christmas movies. But I can see how watching a show might get more exhausting, like a show. That’s like a curse, like a cheesy Christmas movie. might get a little bit more exhausting than watching just a movie. I mean,

you do have to draw the plot out so much longer.

And those plots aren’t usually like that.


Usually that deep, right? So like, Yeah, I don’t know it. Yes. Because I mean, okay, yes, Christmas prints. There are three of them.

So there are three and

they kept making them. But it’s still it still feels different than like an actual serious.

Yeah, well, because it’s only like, at most can be two hours long. Like I’ve already there’s five episodes that I’ve watched. So I’ve already watched two and a half hours of this show. And they only just got to like the main dramatic point with the romantic stuff. So like, it’s going to be a while

it’s going to be your you’re going to be riding this train for a while.

It’s true.

Still in it. I don’t know. I just really like Paris and the male lead is good looking. So I don’t know.

That’s why that’s where we’re that’s where we’re at. Like, he’s handsome. I’m fine. I’m gonna watch

his brainless TV. Okay, that’s that’s what it is. If I don’t think about how much they’re ruining their representation of Paris,

then it’s fine. It’s fine. It’s fine. That’s amazing.

What’s going on with you though? I feel

like that as much as you

I feel like I don’t I don’t have as much to say I don’t have anything. I don’t have any good. Like, I’ve had many people messaging me about the life size Santos dough out a couple episodes ago. They’re like, Oh my God, this. This lady is amazing. And so one of my friends was like, it’d be amazing if you could like get her on the podcast, somehow. Like that would be amazing. If anyone has any connection with the lady that made the lifesize Thanos, please let us know, because she’s basically our hero. But no, I don’t have any good rants today for you. So I feel ill prepared. Although this time this week, I actually do know what’s bringing me joy. So I did prepare in that way. Excellent. Because half the time I get to five seconds before we’re gonna do that last part of our episode, and I’m like, wait, was was bringing me joy this weekend, or this week? I don’t know.

I mean, sometimes I forget, I just get so caught up in whatever we’re talking about. So

excited about our topics.

Also, today’s episode that went live was about Halloween. Many of you have messaged me, expressing concern about the fact that I hate Halloween. I am okay, this is not a cry for help. I have lived almost 32 years disliking Halloween, and chocolate. I promise I’m still a human being. I also don’t drink coffee.

We will get through this.

We’ll get through it together. I still haven’t read shockingly, as Megan is a testament to the fact that I still have friends. I managed to find somebody to marry me even though I’m clearly just a weirdo. It’s fine. So this week, I wanted to talk about coping mechanisms. Because I don’t know, Megan, if you’ve like noticed this, but the world is like kind of going to shit right now. A little bit. Just a little bit. And I feel like we are all experiencing what a couple of my friends would refer to as collective trauma. Mm hmm. So my social worker friends who are very trauma informed, we’ve got the pandemic going on. We’ve got this massive election coming up. That’s extremely stressful for many, many people. And there’s a lot of coping that we need to do. And so I felt like, you know, we talked a lot about mental health on this podcast, that we should just chat a little bit about coping mechanisms. What are some common mechanisms that we’re using to get through all of this right now? Etc, etc?

Yeah, obviously, I think that is a excellent idea. And hopefully, I will pick up some tips.

I mean, I may pick up some tips as we talk to I will see where it go.

Well, first things first, let’s define what coping mechanisms are.

Yeah, absolutely. So when you are facing stress, when you’re facing trauma, and you’re finding things to just life to be particularly painful, you’re trying to manage really difficult emotions, your coping mechanisms are things that are helping you adjust to the stressful events. They’re helping you maintain your emotional well being. Because there’s a lot of things and I think it’s important that we mentioned the fact that a lot of things can cause us stress. And it’s not just negative things. I think that we often frame stress as like negative events

are causing us stress.


of any kind. Again, you know, like the pandemic, things like that. But events that are actually really positive, can be extremely stressful, like, getting married. moving in with somebody, having a child buying a house, a lot of things that we’ve actually talked about on this podcast can also bring on stress. So you may find yourself like turning to certain coping mechanisms or feeling more stressed, even during times you’re like, but I should be so happy. Like, you can feel stressed and be happy about something at the same time. Those things are not mutually exclusive.

Yeah. So what’s the difference between a coping mechanism and a defense mechanism?

So when we talk about coping mechanisms and defense mechanisms, like there are there is actually some like overlap, like if we look at like the Venn diagram of the two things, there is some overlap. But defense mechanisms are typically occurring like they’re more unconscious. So you’re less aware that you’re using them. Where as when you’re turning to a coping mechanism, you’re usually it’s a little bit more purposeful, and a conscious act. Something that I one thing that I read about it is that coping mechanisms are used to manage an external situation that’s creating problems for you. Whereas defense mechanisms can change a person’s internal psychological state.

Okay, that makes sense all kind of a

external versus internal situation.

Yeah. Because a lot of times that really has to do with your feelings about things not necessarily dealing with stress, but your personal like viewpoint can cause a lot of defense mechanisms.

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

So, uh, let’s go over some of the different types of coping mechanisms. Yeah.

Because obviously, we think I think like, just are a fear just like a normal human being, um,

which clearly I’m not.

I’m so be you’re just sort of like a your normal human being, you probably tend to think of coping mechanisms as good or bad. Mm. Tech, the, like, a technical term here is adaptive versus maladaptive. So science words,

science, we’re


adaptive are helpful. Like, I think at the end of the day, it’s, it’s really a difference between, like, what is helpful versus maladaptive, can easily turn harmful. And it’s interesting, because there’s, I think that, and because I was talking about this on in the trauma book club group that I’m doing right now, we were talking a little bit about coping mechanisms, and some, you know, ways that we’re all coping with this kind of collective trauma that we’re experiencing right now in the world. And they’re like, something that is helpful, like, in too high of a dose, if you want to say like, too much of it can be harmful. So, there’s, and things that are, like, we might think of as maladaptive or like not the best coping mechanisms, they may not actually be harmful in, like, if you are being careful about how much you’re using them. Does that make sense?

A little bit. So I’m thinking like, one example that is good. But if you do too much, it can be bad is like sleep. Absolutely. Like a lot of times, you know, if you feel really sick, sometimes you just need more sleep. But like, sometimes, if you’re feeling bad, like taking a nap can help. But it gets to like crossing the line, if you just end up sleeping constantly to avoid your problems.

Exactly. Or, like we think of like, Okay, I’m gonna veg out and watch Netflix. Like, I think it’s really easy to beat ourselves up, because we’re like, I just need to just the end of the day, and I’ve done all of these things, and I just need to sit down and watch Netflix for right and just like zone out. That’s not there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. If that’s not what you are turning to 24, seven, right, and like completely avoiding doing anything else. Physical Activity exercise is usually thought of as an adaptive coping mechanism. But like, we also have to remember that there, you can work out too much you can work out to the point of harming yourself physically. So that’s it. That would be an example of something that is good, but could become an maladaptive coping mechanism if you’re doing it too much. So I think it’s just really like there’s a lot and a lot of things are going to depend on you and how your body handles things, I think in a lot of ways, but yeah, There’s definitely, there’s definitely, I think it’s hard to have just like a binary of good versus bad. In so many things.


Like, let’s just let’s just like be clear that I think as human beings, we want to put things into this is good. And this is bad, this is black and this is white. But there’s not that it’s not usually that simple. And I think that this is one of those things like, there’s definitely things that you can do that are going to help you get through times of stress, and can be really helpful coping mechanisms, and then there’s going to be things that are maybe not going to be as helpful, and there may be some overlap between those lists. And it just depends on how heavily you’re turning to something.

So what are some coping mechanisms that you personally, I would say, enjoy, but that’s not I don’t know, if you if a coping mechanisms are really necessarily something that are termed as enjoyment, but things that you turn to

Yeah, so

you know, I think that sort of, like, when we talk about self care, that there’s a lot of things that that we think of automatically, in terms of like taking a bubble bath, or like getting a massage back when you could do that when you could have strangers touching you, I suppose. Or getting a manicure or, you know, like things like that, and doing a face mask. And, I mean, I do enjoy those. And there are definitely times when like, I just need to sit in the bubble bath, and listen to a podcast. And that can actually totally helped me, like, relax and unwind, and, like take off some of the stress of the day. But then, but I think there are other things that can be considered coping mechanisms or self care that are not like as instagrammable Do you know what I mean? Like, it’s not lighting the candle and drying a bath and putting it on Instagram stories on a boomerang, um, something that is really helpful for me,

um, is

especially like, depending on depending on like, what the stress is, is actually writing, this is gonna sound really weird writing letters to my elected representatives. Um, because there are a lot of things in this world. And I think this is particularly like, on my mind because of the upcoming election. But there are a lot of things that happen in this world that caused me a lot of stress, or just stress me out, get me like down a worrying rabbit hole. And I don’t, I don’t always feel like there’s a lot that I can do. But I can call or write letters to my elected representatives about certain things that are happening in the world. And so taking five minutes to send an email, or make a phone call about something that is important to me, or the people that I love, is actually it helps me sort of refocus. And helps me feel like I’ve done something like I’ve actually taken an action. So that is that’s like kind of a weird one, but it’s one that I like to use.

I think that makes sense. Because you’re also kind of focusing that energy that like pent up feelings that you have and like putting it into your letter. Yeah. And that’s a really good way to like get it out.

Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And, and, you know, I think so much. When we feel helpless. I feel like that can make a stressful situation even more stressful. Mm hmm. And there are a lot of things in our world right now that it’s easy, like it’s easy to feel really helpless about but I like just taking taking a minute to be like okay, Hey, I feel helpless. But there is there something that I can do. Similarly, like, I don’t have a lot of time, right now, I’m just sure I still have a lot of free time. I think a lot of people don’t have don’t have a lot of free time. But maybe if you do have some free time, like finding a way that you can volunteer somewhere, for an organization that is meaningful to you, I think, again, can kind of like, reframe your thinking in a lot of ways and help you feel like you are doing something. So especially if the thing that’s causing you stress is like the state of the world.

Yes, but also remember back when we were talking about in our boundaries episode,

yes, there is not. For too much. There’s a fine line, like, if you know that you’re maxed out don’t like that’s, that’s it? No, yeah, you’re maxed out. But you know, you have to you have to know what your personal boundaries are. But that’s definitely that’s certainly something to do. My, some of my crafting my, my crochet, cross stitch, like things like that are things that I like to do, when I’m just like, I can’t, can’t handle things, I’m gonna go do this thing that is fun, and makes me happy. I know, for some people, like coloring is really relaxing to them. I know for some people, coloring is not relaxing to them, because they are like, Ah, it’s like almost too stressful. But like just doing something with your hands in that kind of a way. Actually, that’s why I started crocheting. I was in college and I was just like, I’m really stressed out and I need a I need I needed something I could do with my hands. That was like to like keep my mind occupied on like, here’s a thing that I’m going to focus on for a while. And so that’s actually why I taught myself how to crochet.

I need to reteach myself crochet. Because I learned it a few years ago, and then I stopped doing it. So I forgot

that you are down the street from someone who can help reteach you

I know, I’ve kind of got it. Like I just have to actually start doing it again. Um, but it’s interesting that you say that about your hands, because that’s one of the reasons why I need to relearn it again. Because my thing if I don’t have anything to do with my hands is that I snack?


And that is another coping mechanism that can really get out of hand. Absolutely.

Yeah. Like there’s, I’m going to have a cookie. And then there’s, I’m going to have 15 cookies.

Oh, it’s for me. It’s not like I would never have 15 cookies. But what I would do is be like, I’m going to have a cookie, and then I’m going to have a giant bowl of popcorn and then I’ll need to have another cookie again, because it just had all that salty. Moussa cookie. Exactly.

A wonderful

popcorn. And then I go to bed with a stomachache because I just did a giant thing of popcorn and chocolate on top of it. Yes. So you think I would learn that? No. I mean, it’s a behavior that like, so these these maladaptive coping mechanisms big like, they’re really hard behaviors to unlearn. Mm hmm. And so that’s why like, focusing on the other ones Instead, it does take work sometimes.

Yeah. You know, and, and something that I think is really important. And I so in reading the book, the body keeps the score, which is sort of the like, Bible on trauma. That many there are often times when maladaptive coping mechanisms, these, you know, sort of unhealthy coping mechanisms are actually in response to trauma. Mm hmm. Sometimes in a way that we don’t even realize. So, you know, if you are, if, like you find, I think if you find yourself, like, in the midst of, you know, you realize that you have these not great coping mechanisms, these maladaptive coping mechanisms. I think, and, you know, maybe you’re thinking me I should like, try some therapy, I would look for a trauma informed therapist. Because the more I read this book, and I’m not done with it yet, but the more I read this book, the more I realized that a many therapists are not trauma informed, and be like, there’s a lot of things that we want to put like diagnoses on things like individual diagnoses, mental health diagnoses on things, when the root of so much of it is some sort of trauma. Mm hmm. And so, like, I’ve just, I feel like they’re, I think what I guess what I’m trying to say is, there can be like a real connection here, that you may not even realize, and I think we so often

beat ourselves up for things.

And, especially, you know, if you’re, if, like your coping, your maladaptive coping mechanism is overeating. Like, there’s so much shame, I think, around that from social media, and just media in general. And I just I see, so often people just like beating themselves up about this stuff, when it not to say like, there’s, like, there’s, there’s a reason why it’s happening. And you could go, like, if you can find a trauma informed therapist, I don’t know, maybe, maybe you can, you can unlock some things. I don’t know, I’m not a mental health professional. by any stretch of the imagination. I just, like over the course of my own trauma for the last few years. And like kind of dealing with that. I just am realizing there’s so many things that are connected in our brains and our bodies that we don’t even realize. And we spend a lot of time really beating ourselves up about things that are not our fault. Do you know what I mean? I do.

It’s kind of funny. So as you’re hanging out, so getting back about certain things. And I was like, yeah, that’s probably definitely where those kinds of things come up. Yeah, thinking about my own kind of traumas. But so how I know we’ve talked about how, like finding therapists before and stuff like that, but how do you even find someone who can talk to you about these things? Where you just, like you just said, there’s not a lot of therapists who can handle?

Yeah, um, you know, what, we didn’t prepare for this question. So

I want a database. Why is there not a database?

Well, you know, what, like, one of my friends, I will, I will try to find and share in the links in the quick links of the show notes. Because I, there’s so I am trying to remember, like wrack my brain right now and remember where I’ve seen it, but it was basically like a list of questions that you can ask a therapist, to, like, determine if they are trauma informed. And I’m hoping I’m not making this up. And this isn’t a thing that my brain is inventing, but maybe there should be a list. But yeah, I think that there’s definitely a need for kind of figuring that sort of stuff out. There. But I will also say, I think that in this age of so many things happening online.

Mm hmm. That,

like Erin was talking about on our most recent, like health care episode. There’s so like, I think that we used to be stuck with here are the therapists that are in your area,

pick one,

right? Whereas now we have online therapy. And so you can find a therapist that may not even be like in your state, because you can do your online therapy. I also think it’s important to note that a, not every therapist is going to be for everybody, right? So you may, like have a session or two with a therapist and be like, I don’t really like jive with this person. Like I think I need to find somebody else. But also, you may like I don’t, I don’t think that every therapist is right for every season of your life. So you may like be working with a therapist. For a while, and they help you through XYZ things, and then you may find yourself in a different season of life and need somebody who has a little bit different expertise. And I think that that’s okay.

Yeah, I think that’s true.

I know I have a friend who has been kind of shopping around for therapists, and she has been like, visiting different ones and trying them out. It’s, it’s so annoying, because I feel like, every time you when you’re searching for someone, you know, a therapist or even just a doctor, it’s it’s so hard to take those first steps. Yes. And if that first person doesn’t work out, like trying to, like work up the nerve to go find another person. Yes. Is like draining, it’s in and of itself. Yes. And it just can really spiral.


it really has coping mechanisms

can and I mean, I do think, you know, Erin talked a lot about like asking your network of friends. And I think that that is, as you know, is, is a great place to start with therapy to, I was seeing a therapist, I saw a therapist for a few years. That was recommended to me by a friend. And she was really great for me in the season of life that I saw her in, which was really tackling like the grief of infertility and the grief of losing my mom. And like, all of those things. And she helped really helped me through that. And now that I’m sort of, in this new season of life of being a new parent to an adopted child who has her own trauma, that, you know, I’m going to have to figure out how to help her cope with things like that, like, I’m sort of in a new season where somebody who is really adoption informed and adoption, trauma informed, is going to be a better fit. Mm hmm. And so, and I have, you know, a friend here in town, who’s an adoptive mom, and I know that she has some recommendations, you know, so that she can kind of point me in the right direction have some places to start. So I think that, you know, kind of, again, asking, asking your network, and if you know, somebody that you know, is in therapy, and they really love their therapists, like, it’s worth asking, like, Hey, who do you see? Do you like them? Why do you like them? What’s up? Tell me about that person.

Yeah, I think as with all things, mental health, like it’s just not talked about enough. therapy, like whether your friends even go to therapy. Like I think a lot of people don’t realize how many people go to therapy, but also a coping mechanism themselves, like the fact that we’re even talking about them. I feel is a big deal, because I think most people would just focus on negative things or general advice, where people are like, Oh, if you’re sad, you should go exercise and you’re like, Huh, should I have thought it’s really the right thing?

Right, and like,

like, if you hate exercise, probably not the best advice. That’s me. Like

exercise actually stresses me out. It’s true.

She swears at the TV. I really,

like yoga is great for me. I do great with yoga. But like I know some people that for them, they you know, their stress things are not great for them. They’re having a bad day. They need to go for a run they need to sweat it out. They need to do like a high impact blah blah blah blah. That is not me. I will break down crying halfway through because you like it. It has happened before I have gone into a workout and I’m stressed out and I’m not in the best mental space but I’m like, I’m supposed to do this because I’m gonna get endorphins and then I just end up like having a mental breakdown. I had like a panic attack in the middle of a dance class once like I just I literally am a hot mess. So for me when I’m like everyone’s like, but I did I was like everyone says that you’re gonna get all these endorphins that you’re supposed to work out when you’re stressed out. And I first had to be like, that’s not that doesn’t work for me. Lay it is this is not a one size fits all situation. So just because your best friend is like oh my god, I do this ah, like that may or may not work for you. Right may not that in the same form may or may not work for you.

Yeah, like you were talking earlier about how like baths are really good for you. And I think about this are kind of boring.

Like, right,

I get it takes so long to fill up the tab. And then you get in. And then and then what? Sometimes a little is this do a podcast or I would read a book, but it’s still kind of boring, right? And like, you’re never in a tub that’s big enough to be completely submerged. Ever like they don’t exist. And I had a big tub of my old house. So you’re still like, half in the water half just naked.

See and absence? Wait into the water to get cold. Yeah, wrap up a stressor.

It just stresses me out.

Exactly. And like, you know, like I said, Some people love coloring and some people are like, Nope, I’m not going to color this picture. Right? It’s good to use the wrong color.

I tried coloring, and it was okay. Yeah, I didn’t. I wasn’t stressed out by it. But I also didn’t necessarily like derive any pleasure from it.

Right? You’re like, I feel neutral about those.

Yeah, it was an activity. I did it.

I tried it. It’s fine. I crossed it.

done in my life. I have

some really nice colored pencils. Now it’s fine.

I know some people that love cleaning when they’re stressed. If you that would be like, I I’m trying to decide if that exercise would be like, the more stressful thing to make me do.

So I don’t I don’t love cleaning when I’m stressed. But if I’m really stressed, that actually is the best time for me to do it. Oh, you got some like? It’s like, it’s like, what’s the term? There’s a term for it. Rage cleaning, rage cleaning? Yes, I am excellent at rage cleaning. Because I just get so angry about things being dirty. Like, I mean, I’m not sure that I don’t necessarily start out about being angry about that, but from anger about whatever. And then I just see things that are dirty. I’m like, I’m gonna clean it. And I go into a frenzy of cleaning things. Right,

that’s the best to happen when no one else is in.

Yet yet, like for you know, I love to read my husband hates reading. Mm hmm. So if I was like, read this book, and it’ll calm you down, he’d be like, No, it won’t. I don’t like that. So, you know, just, I feel like there’s a lot of comparison games that we play in life in general.

Oh, yeah. I mean, we talked about that a couple weeks ago,

right? We’re just we’re constantly comparing ourselves to other people. And so we can’t expect all of our brains to handle situations the same way we cannot expect. It’s like unfair to ourselves to say, hey, this person that’s really close to you, says that this thing is going to be the magic to like, calm you down or de stress you Mm hmm. Because it may or may not be for you. Like I just finally had to realize that it was really mean to myself to like, try to force exercise to be a de stressing activity.

Yeah, cuz you’re not gonna get the benefits out of it.

Or like, just like five minutes, just go curl up in a ball and cry like it does not work. Like, do I still need to exercise? Yes. All right. But are there other ways or other things that I can do? Yes. Can I do yoga? Can I stretch? Can I maybe just go for a walk? Like sometimes those are things that yes, I’m still like, moving my body. But it’s not like, Oh, I’m gonna go for a run and it’s gonna be so

cathartic. going for a walk is really nice. Mm hmm. Like, if you especially if you’re by yourself, or I guess, you know, dude, you’re with 80. So that’s basically by yourself, right? She doesn’t talk. And she can’t you push her. So it doesn’t take 12,000 months to like, walk a block,

right? yet. Right.

So I like I definitely think walking is one of those ones that for me, where I just like, feel really stressed. Especially if it’s like, a workday that’s really stressful for me. Like, I’ll just be like, I have to go for a walk. And I’ll just like, walk around the block for like, 15 minutes. Yeah, and come back. It feels so much better. Like just getting fresh air

can really like clear your brain.

Yeah, and my last job in particular, I would do that a lot. Because I worked in an office and yes, like wasn’t by a window and all that stuff. And so if it you know, was a nice day out and I was just things were just just, it was just a not great, stressful day. I’d be like, I’m taking 15 minutes and I would just walk around the block a few times. And get a little fresh air, and it would just give me enough of like, okay, that I could then go back in and continue on with my day. I don’t find myself having to do that as much now that I work from home, but that’s because it is actually it is easier for me to just like get up and go get a drink of water and look out the kitchen window and let the dogs out to pee and you know, sort of the equivalent moving around a little bit. Yeah, and seeing something that’s not like a cubicle wall.

Yeah, was I’m reading this list of like examples. And one of the examples is smile. Like, thank you website, but let’s not go there.

I’m sorry, I didn’t.

I saw something that was like, one of the best things about having to wear face masks now.

Nobody can tell you to smile.

That is true. Although I realized the other day that also no one can tell if you’re smiling.

And it’s hard. I will not tell you how often I’m like smiles. smiles. Look at me. I’m saying no. I’m a friendly person. I’m smiling.

You and your adorable child. I’m trying to smile

at you. So you know that like we’re here?

That’s right. Can you see it in my eyes are like happy squinting, cuz I’m smiling. Sure, right. a crazy person.

I know. Like, I’m hoping that like my cheeks moving off. Right? I’m like, you can see I’m smiling under my mask. But still wear a mask?

Yeah, wear a mask, cuz it’s not not a reason not to lose. There is. I know, I’m just like I don’t. I feel like people who don’t normally have social anxiety. Mm hmm. Possibly don’t understand like that. The pandemic has just added this whole other layer of like, there’s just more types of social anxiety that I experienced in my life now. Like, leaving my house is so stressful.

I know, especially like if you leave the house with more than just yourself, because then I have to be like, okay, does everyone have their mask? Where’s your mask? Ah, is it in your pocket? Where did you leave it? Because despite the fact that I have set up a mask station in my house?

Literally, I’m the only one who like hangs up the masks every day.

Sounds about right. I don’t know what everyone else why no, Bob actually still has like two brand new ones in this room. They’d never been taken out of the packaging. But I have no idea what my kids have done with theirs.

So every day when we leave, I’m like, do you have a maximum of

10 extra minutes to figure out where they are? Because the kids can’t use my masks because their faces are too small.

Right? It’s the whole thing is a whole thing.

Yeah. And then you have the like, if you like if you are going for a walk? What if you’ve run into someone on this? What if you pass someone on the sidewalk? What if you’ve just left your house, and you’ve gone for a walk and you don’t think you’re gonna see anybody and you didn’t bring your mask? And then you’re passing someone on the sidewalk? What do you do? That is true, what is extremely stressful?

Do you bring I mean, sometimes I bring a mask in case but also, sometimes I just don’t remember sometimes I don’t remember. But also sometimes. I don’t remember to put it on when I do have it if I’m just walking

around outside. Yes, it’s a lot. Yes, I’ve gotten pretty good. Where if I’m if I’m taking the baby for a walk toward the college campus, that’s just a few blocks from our house. I mean, there’s definitely people there. There’s so many people there and all of the students are so respectful about their masks, and are really, really good at wearing them even when they’re just like on the quad and like it’s clearly social distance. Like they’re all always wearing them. And so if I know I’m going to head that way, I’m, I remember to take it with me just so that I can show them an equal amount of respect that they’re showing me. But if I’m just like walking, then I’m like, oh, and then like, if I’m walking on the trail, like the runners aren’t wearing them and the bikers aren’t wearing them. But then I feel weird cuz I’m not.

But the dog walkers are so like,

Oh, yeah. And then I’m like, like, are the other people pushing strollers where there’s, like, it’s just there’s so much I don’t know, I just I feel like no. And I feel like no one is talking about the fact. There’s so much more social anxiety for people that already had social anxiety like I already didn’t like interacting with strangers. And now like that anxiety, it’s just through the fucking roof. I

mean, for me, I feel like it just got replaced because because We’re all wearing masks. I don’t have to talk to people as much. I mean, there is that so that’s helpful.

There is that but then when you do have to talk to someone, do I have to talk louder? Can they hear me through my mask? Can you hear me articulating? Did you hear me right? Did I can’t I? It’s like it’s too much. It’s really no, it’s so no surprise that I don’t leave my house very often anymore because it’s just like, honestly, like having a baby. I’m like, I just might be my excuse to not leave the house very often, because it’s it was stressful when I do. I mean, that’s why we have our pod. Honestly, though, go to

the grocery store. That’s it.

Yeah, pretty much said Alex to the I sent Alex to the store now like, buy. Can you go to the store for me, baby? So anyway, that was that was a rabbit trail.

Apparently, I really just needed to get that off my chest.

Anyway, obviously, we all have a need for coping mechanism.

Obviously. We do.

I mean, okay. So like, if you can, yeah, I think you’re kind of you sort of alluded to this, though, like, this podcast, doing this podcast is kind of a coping mechanism.

It is because it’s fun. And, I mean, we’d have rants about certain things sometimes. But rarely, we never like, very, very infrequently. Buy, like we’re talking about topic. And then we focus on the topic, and I can kind of forget like the world for a little while.

Yeah, sometimes they’re light hearted. Sometimes they’re not. But you know, I’m like chatting with a friend. And sometimes I get to learn cool stuff from our guests. And I love doing that. So there’s lots of different things. And I you know, I think that you, you are going to discover what is good for you. And again, like, I was saying how not every therapist is going to be the right therapist for you in every stage of life. Like, not every coping mechanism may be for you in every stage of life.


maybe there’s something that was always really helpful for you. And now you’re like, I don’t know if it’s really cutting it like that’s okay.

Yeah, try something else. Yeah, there’s lots of things you can try to do.

Yeah, I agree. Um, my bunch of my friends, and I think maybe you also subscribe to this theory, too, as we don’t drink when we’re sad. Mm hmm. So that way, when you do drink, it’s like a celebration. Yes. And it’s a happier coping mechanism than a sad one.

Yes. Yes. Absolutely. I am in that boat as well.

flip the script.

Yes. So that’s, that’s what I got to say on coping mechanisms. Megan.

I think that we will all be able to take what we talked about today and move on with this crazy, crazy world.

Well, we’ll find a way through.

We will.

What’s bringing us joy?

So what is bringing us joy this week?

Well, we have a giant maple tree in our front yard.


it’s 20 feet tall. It’s insane. Big. First of all, my children think that we can tap it for maple syrup. Which I don’t know how to tell them. That’s not how it works. I don’t think it’s a sugar maple to begin with. But we’re not going to get SAP from one tree.

You might get even if it were you get like a drop of Right.

Right? Like that’s not like you have to it’s a whole thing, right? Anyway. We have a giant giant maple tree in our front yard. And it started dropping leaves last week because it’s fall and it’s very beautiful. And they completely cover my front yard. And so they max the other day, asked if he could rake leaves. Which Oh, first of all, I feel like this is a win in the Midwest parenting.

Good job.

Because he was like, I’m gonna we’re gonna use her like, I’m not gonna say no, I guess cuz it’s a novelty right now it is it we’ll see what happens like by the end of fall or in like five years when right it’s time for you to rake the leaves.

I have no

but for now. He thinks it’s hilariously fun. So he and Bob raked up this big huge pile of leaves because I told them about the leaf sucker machine. Yes, Bob is very excited about the fact we don’t have to bag them. So they made a big huge pile pushed all like toward the like the boulevard area and then they decided to like jump in the leaves. And it was so cute to watch Max and race like jump in the leaves. Because first of all, like Max is so small. Yes. And like he would do a running leap into the leaves and his his smile was so huge. I loved it so much. That’s the funniest thing is that the after we were done with like playing in the leaves for a while, we went inside, what about the rest of our day, I was sitting in the front parlor room and reading the book or something, and I had the front door open because it was really warm this weekend. And I heard this, like, Harrison family’s like walking by a mom or kids and I heard some, you know, you know, the sound it makes when you like, kick through the leaves on the sidewalk.

Yep, kind of thing.

Like the crunch, crunch, whatever. And, um, I heard so the kids were like jumping the leaves and kicking them and throwing them around. And they were having the best time. And the mom was so mad. Because she was like, we got places to be, I got stuff to do. Come on, come on. And she was like, for like, 10 minutes. I feel like she was trying to get them to leave our yard and I felt so bad. But also those kids were so happy.

And like multiple.

Yeah. And so they went past her house. And then they like came back from whatever they were doing because they must have gone downtown. And so like they did it again. And then I was yelling at them again. Some other mom was yelling at her kids. And I was like, I’m sorry, but also not because your kids are having fun. Gosh, I love it. It was awesome. It made me so happy. I’m sure the leaves like just gotten to like, they’re probably needed to be raked again.

Oh, it’ll be like every five minutes until Yeah, all of them are off the tree. But yeah,

yeah, cuz I could hear the mommy like don’t

kick them in the street.

It’s totally fine.

So that’s probably a lot of joy this weekend.

It’s adorable. I love it so much.

What about you.

And so my joy actually has to do with your kids too.

So we came over for dinner and hang out on Saturday. And as we were like sitting down to dinner, I got my plate and the boys have gotten their plates. And you and Bob and Alex were like still getting your food in the kitchen. And Reese formally invited Alex and I to participate in your family’s annual Christmas cookie competition

was so sweet. And it was the

sweetest thing that like he was like so our family does this thing. And we would like to, I would like to officially invite you and Alex to participate this year. I was just like, Oh my gosh, like I felt like such a part of family. And it was just really, really sweet. And it

just made me so happy. That is very sweet. He did bring up earlier in the week that he wanted to invite you guys but I didn’t realize he was gonna make it a very formal invitation. But he is so funny because he wanted to invite you guys and then he wanted to be the judge. Like he wanted to make everyone make cookies except for him. Uh huh. And I love that Alex was like, that’s not how that works.

I know Alex was like, wait, so who’s judging this thing? And it’s like, supposedly recent Max and Alex was like, Ah, no, boy. This is not how this go. Like, Alex was like, No, we all get to judge I was like, but then everyone was further on. He was no, you’re not allowed to vote for your own. Like, Oh, okay. Yeah, Alex like fully called Reese on his shit on that.

Race just wants to eat cookie.

Yeah, that was a pretty clear like, yeah, okay, but yeah, it was it was that was pretty funny. It’s so funny because like, Reese, I think just like, really thinks Alex is cool.

Oh, he does. He really wants Alex to be his buddy. And also you need to tell your husband that he will not forget that. Alex promised to show him how to make ramen. I he already asked about it. Like when it was happening. Oh my gosh. All right, I will.

So make sure it’s just just

a hot tip. Do not tell children that you will do something with them if you do not absolutely have plans. Because he might you might think that they’ll forget but that will be the one thing they don’t forget.

I actually I fully believe that Alex meant that invitation when he said it. I just don’t know if 100% remembers having said it, that is true. So I but I do think that he absolutely was like, I’ll show you how to make ramen like whatever. So,

yeah, this is like, when is it happening? And I was like, well, he did say it was like a three day process so probably not when you have school, so

maybe maybe over Christmas break. That would be a good, good activity. Good family.

Next week’s episode

Oh, man. Well, what are we talking about next week, Megan?

Next week, we are going to talk about color theory.

Sure, should our we

discuss how certain colors make us happy or hungry?

why some colors work perfectly together and why the human eye can actually see more shades of green than any other color. Until then we have a review on Apple podcasts and listen to us on your favorite platform. You can also follow us on social media at irsipodcast or send us an email at We’d love to hear from our listeners. Talk to you soon.

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