Think back to a time when you felt . ...
What did you do?
- Did you reach out to someone you trust to talk about it?
- Did you try to distract yourself with your responsibilities, or activities you enjoy?
- Did you process your thoughts and feelings through writing, art or music?
These are just some of the coping strategies someone may use when they are experiencing stress.
What is Coping ?
A stressful situation can affect everyone differently, and certain coping strategies are best suited for certain situations.
Efficient coping means developing a coping skill “toolbox” of different strategies that can be used in different situations and/or when resources may or may not be available.
Life stressors can include both:
Types of Coping Strategies
SOME COPING STRATEGIES MAY WORK IN THE SHORT-TERM, BUT MAY NOT BE EFFECTIVE IN THE LONG-TERM.
Example: Let’s say you and your best friend got into an argument and have not spoken to each other in a few days.
You have avoided talking to them because you’re worried the conversation may be awkward or uncomfortable, especially if you talk about what caused the argument in the first place.
While avoiding the problem may feel good in the moment, it may cause more stress later on when it comes time to talk about it, and could be very damaging to that friendship.
Coping Skills Toolbox
Other Helpful Resources
Consider tracking the coping strategies you've tried!
Some coping strategies work best in certain situations, locations, and at specific times. What may work one day when you are at home, may not work so well at school, for example.
Try out this free worksheet from Encourage Hope and Help. Write down the date, time, and location that you completed the activity. Then write down what activity you completed and your thoughts on using that coping skill.
Consider these questions as you fill out the tracker:
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
- Do you see yourself using this coping skill in the future?