Coping Strategies: Massage, Gratitude, and Helping Others

Gratitude & Helping Others

During the last few weeks, I’ve been cleaning out my apartment and arranging for my utilities to be transferred.  It seems odd, but giving away items to people who’ve been good neighbors feels satisfying in a way that makes the shame go away.  By the end of the month, I’ll be leaving with a suitcase, a carry on, and a backpack/purse.  On the way to my apartment will be 4 boxes with what’s left of my old life.

Every morning when I leave my apartment and see the items gone, I feel an upwelling of gratitude that someone has taken what I am not using anymore and giving the items a new purpose.  Whether to keep and use, resell, or gift to others, these loved pieces of my life are not going to the dump or being discarded as worthless.  That means a lot as I’ve invested many good memories into each piece and hate to put anything into a landfill.

Lastly, I feel grateful to have safe family members back in my life again.  The process has been slow, but some aunts, an uncle, one grandparent, and maybe some cousins will be back in my life again.  And I will be part of theirs.  They spoil me and want to give me so much.  But I have a hard time with material gifts and am not sure what to give back to them either.

These family members are the people I missed most when I left everyone else.  They were positive influences in my childhood and didn’t intentionally or actively participate in what happened before.  Now, they believe in me and keep my secrets.  I believe in them too and go to them for advice and help and corny jokes during struggles or confusing moments.  The decision to bring people back into my life was hard.  But I love them so much that not having these people around hurt more and would have been cause for regret in the future.

So yes, this month gratitude and prayers for help have been a coping strategy mainstay.


After the time of not remembering, comes the time of not sleeping and severe pain.  This scares me a lot since I’m not able to work from home the next two weeks.  But I’ve found that self massage and tapping sore areas helps relieve the pain.  Nothing too formal as I’m not trained in anything particular.  Just finding sore spots on my body and trying to increase circulation or drainage (depending on where).

Body: I use a tennis ball since it’s what I have at home now.  A foam roller works too.  So do Lacrosse balls.  A personal trainer taught me this during a session.  Roll the ball slowly over the sore muscles.  Pause and put gentle pressure on painful spots before continuing on.  I do this for shoulders, neck, arms, and back.  A roller works better for back and legs, but I already donated that.

Face: I found this on Facebook, but a chiropractor made a video of how to reduce sinus infections, allergies, and head colds by tapping on lymph nodes inside the collar bone and massaging along the jaw, around the ears, and at sinus pressure points on the face.  The goal is to remove blockages and remind the fluids of the correct drainage path (stroke down to the lymph nodes in the collar bone) from face to throat to stomach.  There are lymph nodes around the earlobes (front, back, and under the lobe) that get blocked sometimes.

I started using this and have received a lot of help with muscle pain around my face and neck.  Then I started stroking out and down, gently massaging my temples and sinus cavities too.  And pausing once in a while to clear my throat by tapping on the lymph nodes there.  It’s helped with migraines, tension headaches, and ear pain.  I do this most evenings before bed and can relax enough to sleep.

It’s not for everyone, but I am comfortable using what works as long as the side effects are minimal.

Final Thoughts

These strategies are not for everyone.  If any of you would like to try them, feel free to look up the information on YouTube or another place.  I wish I could provide references, but time is limited.  Definitely, I will follow up on these strategies in the future.  Happy July.

Thanks for reading.