Coping Skills


What is stress?

Stress is how your body reacts to change; and because change is a constant in all of our lives so is stress. The degree of stress however fluctuates. How we deal with stress is important. One of the ways is by developing coping mechanisms, skills or techniques.

How do we cope?

We all cope differently. Some ways are healthy and some ways are unhealthy. We’ve learned these ways  as a result of our experiences, environment and what we have been taught. Our goal is to give you a long list of positive coping skills and a set of questions to ask yourself so you can determine if a skill in your life is positive or negative for you.

Questions to ask yourself about how you cope:

  1. Does this coping skill impact me positively physically?
  2. Does this coping skill impact me positively in relationships?
  3. Does this coping skill impact me positively emotionally?
  4. Is the coping skill effective in helping me relieve stress and feel better?
  5. Is the a coping skill that is easy and accessible to me when I need it?

List of Healthy Coping Skills:

  1. Exercise (in a way that is healthy for you)
  2. Write (poetry, journal, short stories, letters etc)
  3. Scribble or Doodle
  4. Be with other people
  5. Watch a favorite TV Show
  6. Check out inspirational Websites
  7. Go see a movie
  8. Do a word search of a puzzle
  9. Do schoolwork
  10. Play a musical instrument
  11. paint your nails or do makeup
  12. Sing (maybe even in the shower)
  13. Study the Sky
  14. Punch a punching bag
  15. Let yourself cry
  16. Take a nap if you are tired
  17. Take a hot shower (or bath)
  18. Play with a pet
  19. Go shopping
  20. Clean Something
  21. Knit or Sew
  22. Read a good book
  23. Listen to Music
  24. Try some aromatherapy
  25. Meditate
  26. Go somewhere public
  27. Bake cookies
  28. Alphabetize CDs/DVDs/Books.
  29. Paint of Draw
  30. Rip Paper into itty-bitty pieces
  31. Shoot Hoops, Kick a Ball
  32. Write a letter or send an email
  33. Plan your dream room (colors/furniture)
  34. Hug a pillow or stuffed animal.
  35. Dance
  36. Make hot chocolate, milkshake or smoothie
  37. Play with Play-Dough
  38. Build a pillow fort
  39. Go for a nice, long, drive
  40. Complete something you’ve been putting off
  41. Take up a new hobby
  42. Look up recipes and cook a meal
  43. Look at pretty things like flowers and art
  44. Create or build something
  45. Pray
  46. Make a list of blessings in your life
  47. Read the Bible
  48. Go to a friend’s house
  49. Jump on a trampoline
  50. Watch old happy movies
  51. Contact a hotline or therapist
  52. Talk to someone close to you
  53. Ride a bike
  54. Feed ducks, birds, or squirrels
  55. Color with crayons
  56. Memorize a poem, play or song
  57. Stretch
  58. Search for ridiculous things on the internet
  59. Shop online
  60. Color-coordinate your wardrobe
  61. Make a CD with your favorite songs
  62. Plan your wedding/prom or other event
  63. Plan seeds
  64. Hunt for you perfect car or home online
  65. Sort through old photographs
  66. Play with a balloon
  67. Give yourself a facial
  68. Start collecting something
  69. Play a video/computer games
  70. Volunteer
  71. Perform a random act of kindness
  72. Text of call an old friend
  73. Write yourself an “I love you because..” letter
  74. Look up new words
  75. Rearrange Furniture
  76. Go for a walk
  77. Put a puzzle together
  78. Clean your room or closet
  79. Practice Yoga
  80. Teach your pet a new trick
  81. Learn a new language
  82. Hug someone
  83. Listen to music
  84. Make a list of goals


Coping can be really challenging for intense emotions. Sometimes you may need to use more than one skill for a particular stressor or event (that’s okay). However, when your coping skills are continually failing you – reach out for more support, either from a mental health professional, a suicide prevention hotline, or if you are in immediate crisis 911 or your nearest emergency room.

Coping is tough but you are tougher.

This is Where I Stand.

WIS Hand A_Fotor copy


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