I agree with authors Baumeister, Heatheron, & Tice (1994) who stated that the best coping strategy is in one’s ability to self-regulate. However, there are times when individuals are no longer able to use the best and most effective coping strategies for managing stress. Often times, individuals feel fatigued and cannot think clearly and logically enough to use the best strategies possible. I am not except from this!
When I am stressed and my self-regulation “muscle” is fatigued, I usually procrastinate on assignments. For example, this week, I had a case presentation that was due for my practicum class. I knew the week prior that I needed to get this done. However, I decided to procrastinate and spend time during the weekend with friends and family. Finally, I made a decision to get it done on Monday while a work. However, that was a bad idea because I had three meetings which made my day fly by and to top it off, in one of those meetings, I received some really bad news. This caused me to have to rush to get this assignment done approximately 30 minutes before class started and I did not feel as confident as I wanted to when presenting my case to my peers! I do this a lot and it actually adds more stress than it prevents.
Not only do I allow myself to procrastinate when I am stressed, I also allow things to build up. What I mean by this is that I do not take the time to speak to those closest to me and ask for help. For example, instead of asking my significant other to wash the clothes so that I can type a paper, I will still try to wash clothes and type the paper but compromise my sanity and elevate my stress levels. The same is true at work. I don’t ask for help a lot when I have competing deadlines. Instead, I wait until I am at my “breaking point” and cannot contain the “buildup” and actually explode. This explosion usually leads to a panic attack or just some sort of emotional breakdown that could have been avoided. At this point, I am usually a nervous wreck and inconsolable! However, this is one of the many ways that I ineffectively cope with stress!
Now you know all of my secrets! Until next time!