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Breaking the Cycle: Overcoming Our Fixation with Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms 

By February 24, 2024Blog

Ever had one of those days where you’re just done? Like, you’ve spent all day in Zoom calls, and Teams chats, Josh from Leadership has hit the mute button on his life story, yet again. You trudge home, stare into the abyss of your fridge full of Whole Foods goodness that cost you an arm and a leg, and…nah, you grab your phone and DoorDash something greasy instead. Then it’s couch time, PJs on, and a deep dive into the endless scroll of TikTok. Next thing you know, it’s been days, you’re questioning the last time you showered, and you’ve consumed an unhealthy amount of Bridgerton. Sound familiar? Yeah, we’ve all been there. 

Introducing our latest hot topic: The Signs of Silent Suffering: Fixation. It’s all about those moments when we’re seeking that dopamine hit a little too hard. Whether it’s after a hellish week or one too many nights out, we find ourselves in this loop of “resting” that’s more about escaping than recharging. Hours lost in the void of online shopping or mindlessly scrolling through social media – it’s self-care on the surface but can easily slip into something less healthy. 

But hey, when does chilling with some cat videos or “story times” cross the line into something we should worry about? Let’s be real: sometimes, we just need to veg out, and that’s perfectly okay. Lying around doing sweet FA isn’t a crime. It doesn’t mean we’re lazy or uncaring about our well-being. We all need those breaks, no permission required. However, it’s when these go-to “chill” strategies start to amplify our stress, loneliness, or anxiety that we have to pause and think: is this really helping? 

Every so often, we (or maybe a friend) need that gentle (or not so gentle) nudge to shake things up. I had my shake-up back in December. I tackled my out-of-control TikTok obsession with a good old social media detox. I deleted the apps for two whole weeks. I’ll be honest, those first 24 hours were rough, but I pushed through the withdrawals and I’m glad I did. What a game-changer! Suddenly, I had time…Time for walks, audiobooks, catching up with old friends, and even journaling. It was like rediscovering life beyond the screen. And when I cautiously re-entered the social media world, I was much more mindful about it. In fact, I haven’t seen that, “Hey, you’ve been scrolling for a while now.” ONCE since my Detox! I realized I’d been on autopilot, scrolling without seeing, disconnected from everything. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still indulge in a bit of TikTok shop and Temu retail therapy and have days where I fall into doom scrolling from time to time. But now, I’m also carving out space for self-care that genuinely rejuvenates me. It’s all about balance, right? 

Now, let’s sprinkle in some real talk with stats: Mental Health America reports that over 75% of people admit to using at least one unhealthy coping mechanism to deal with stress in the past year. And here’s a kicker: people who spend more than 6 hours on social media are three times more likely to feel socially isolated. Makes you think, doesn’t it? 

So, here’s your call to action: Take a moment to reflect on your own coping strategies. Are they serving you, or are you stuck in a loop? It’s never too late to hit refresh and find balance. And if you’re looking for inspiration or resources to help you along the way, check out our latest tool on Fixation. Dive in, explore, and maybe you’ll find just what you need to turn those mindless scrolls into mindful strolls. Let’s make self-care truly care for the self.