When I read the tweet above from @MrsSarahAnn on Twitter, I was overjoyed to see someone normalizing an action that so many of us do in a simple and universal way. (True story: my therapist has actually "prescribed" more Netflix when I was going through a rough patch.)

The life-changing part for me, happened when I reposted this on my Instagram with my favorite shows* (she originally mentioned Friends) and the question: "Fellow Anxiety Identifiers, what do you watch/have on rotation?

(*I apologize to the hardcore GBBO fans who view calling it the "Great British Baking Show" or GBBS as sheer sacrilege; I have since repented and promise to sin no more!)

The responses blew me away. I watched lightbulb after lightbulb go off as folks listed their favorite "comfort blanket watches" in addition to their amazement that they weren't the only ones who did this particular action to relieve anxiety. Amongst the copious amounts of shows listed there were also innumerable comments like the ones below:

"Oh my gosh. I always felt like something was wrong with me for doing this. I suffer from severe anxiety and I’m so happy to see this is normal."

"This is me, I thought I was the only one!"

"This was exactly what I needed to see today! Sometimes, I feel really guilty for watching too much TV but it's the only thing that makes sense and the only way I feel better some days. I really appreciate that you posted this. It gives me permission somehow."

"Oh my goodness, it feels really good to identify this! I get annoyed with myself for binge watching tv shows or reading non-stop, but it really does help my anxiety to break out of my own life and worries and concentrate on a different story. This makes so much sense. Thank you!"

"Ugh you know those moments when some quirk you had as a child or teenager gets recast as an indication of the very real issues you're dealing with as an adult? ....yep."

And then there was one comment that summed it all up into one sentence: 

"I didn’t know this was a thing... I always just thought I had terrible coping skills."

As someone who has worked with countless individuals and assisting with the development of a list of coping skillsalso called survival strategies or wellness tools—I'm fairly accustomed to seeing lists being filled out with everything from taking medication to making crepes to hot showers to taking a walk to petting an animal to having sex (alone or with others) to brushing hair to listening Harry Potter audiobooks and beyond. The options literally, ARE infinite.

There's never been an "official rulebook" for what or what isn't a helpful coping skill because we are all unique in our needs and what makes us feel safe/better.

Does it up your happiness? Does it ground you? Does it bring some peace? Then list it and use it! List and use them all!

And, total transparency, this is simply my personal opinion: After working in behavioral health for the better part of a decade—and also working on my personal recovery!—I don't think that (when it comes to most things, items that harm others being an exception) "terrible coping skills" actually exist.

When I say this, I say it in the context of: we do what we need to in order to survive and if you're still here on this earth, it means you're nailing the survival game!


If I could hit a golden buzzer and blast some wildly tear-inducing, empowering song while glitter rains from the sky for you... I TOTALLY WOULD.

Where the "Maybe I should change some of my coping skills...?" part can come in is if/when we feel like the tools we're using are no longer working for us or we'd like to try something different that jives a little more with our current goals.

It's in those moments that we get to play around with other tools and ideas that may serve us better.

Until then, I'd love to suggest the idea that most of our "coping skills" are wonderful, shame-free, and "normal" actions that we take to keep ourselves alive and (hopefully) thriving! I'm here to cheer you on as you figure out more of what those things are—you are the expert on yourself after all!—and as you keep adding to that "wellness toolbox."

I believe in you, my friend. I really do.

I'd love to hear what some of your coping skills/wellness tools/survival mechanisms are that YOU enjoy! If you feel like sharing, just let me know below!

Offering you permission (only if you want it, of course) to not only survive but thrive,

🎵 SPEAKING OF WELLNESS TOOLS: Each morning starts with some music that lifts my energy and more often than not, you can find me singing along or dancing in my office before sitting down to work. I've made four (free) kick-ass Spotify playlists for you (my current fav is this one) and I'll be adding more as we go along. Add 'em to your library and dance like no one (or everyone!) is watching! 

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