Yep, you heard me right. I'm a proud mancave advocate. For years I have said that whenever I buy a house, I need a space like this. I believe that everyone should have a special place set aside to decompress and I often encourage kids to pick a spot in their house for this purposeEveryone can benefit from a designated spot to play, to de-stress, and chill.
My mancave is filled with a drum set, fun things I've collected while traveling, and gifts given to my father before he passed. It's my place of peace which is often visited after a long day. I may walk in feeling overwhelmed but always feel better when I leave. It's one of the ways that I cope.
When speaking to young people, I often share an illustration with a balloon. I explain that we all have an emotional balloon inside that fills up over time when we go through something stressful or difficult. A loss of a family member can fill our balloon. Being hurt by someone we love can fill our balloon. Many people allow their balloon to become so full that all of a sudden they POP! It doesn't have to be that way.
Coping skills can be used to let air out of your emotional balloon. It might be playing a sport, listening to music, writing, or drawing. Often the best coping skills are connected to your kids passions. Others are simply exercises that can be used anywhere and anytime, such as deep breathing or muscle relaxation exercises. I want to encourage you to help your kids identify their safe space, their stress relieving toys and activities, and identify specific coping skills.
It's always possible to cope for hope!