The truth is this: only you can ever know if a coping skill is good or bad for you.
Is having one drink at a party bad? If you know you deal with addiction, it could be a terrible idea.
How about exercising? Isn’t that universally good? Not if you exercise so much that you no longer spend any time with friends and family.
It always comes back to you. Here are some general guideline to help you determine how you’re coping.
Good Coping Skills
To determine if a coping skill is good for you, you have to look at the context–your personal context. Are you participating in an activity with friends who truly understand you and have your best interests in mind? Then, what you do together is most likely going to be good.
Good coping skills are good not because they come with a label attached. They’re good because they leave you feeling sustained and ready to take on the day. They leave you better off than they found you.
Bad Coping Skills
Bad coping skills are different. And they often wear a disguise. Watching a movie with friends might be good. Binge-watching movies for five hours straight with friends can quickly tip the scale to bad.
It’s a personal assessment, and it’s one that only you can make.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: Does what you did leave you feeling energized, or does it fill you with regret? Are you supercharged and ready to take on the world, or are you paralyzed by anxiety and wanting to hide away from it all?
Coping skills are personal assessments, yes, but the positive feeling they should generate is a universal one. It’s attainable by anyone.