10 Coping Skills

Here’s a list of coping skills for dealing with life difficulties, especially mental health related ones. I’ll continue to grow this list. I’ll write posts over time that’ll go into more detail about these skills.

Journaling

  • Emotional outlet
  • Record of your life history. Could be fascinating at 50 to look back and be reminded of what you were like as a 20-year-old. Will show how you grow over time personally, professionally, socially, etc.
  • Crystallizes patterns in your inner landscape or life choices that may help you decide what works for you and what doesn’t. Helps you get to know and understand yourself.

Taking baby steps

  • Break overwhelming tasks down into smaller ones
  • Example: if making friends is overwhelming, you can start with going to one group activity each month
  • Take your time

Using a planner

  • Protects you from forgetting to do something important. Also protects you from accidentally double-booking yourself and having to cancel something.

Doing something fun

  • If you’re prone to ruminating, or overworking, set aside time to do something pleasurable. It can be just leisure or something that would challenge yourself, but in a way that doesn’t pressure you too much.
  • Example: reading a novel or making a dessert
  • Ideas if money is tight: check out library books, go for a walk at the park, play a cheap game, like Uno
  • Ideas if time is tight: listen to an audio book during your commute, do a word search puzzle during your work break, let your place get slightly messier to make time to work on a small flower garden every day

Engaging Your Senses

Examples

  • Sight: look at a beautiful piece of art
  • Smell: smell a a soothing candle
  • Taste: slowly eat a creamy chocolate bar
  • Touch: wear a soft robe while lounging at home
  • Sound: listen to harp music

Asking Friends/Loved Ones for Help With Tasks, or Hiring Someone

  • Favors: i.e, a friend helping you move. Giving them generous helpings of delivery pizza while they box up your shit.
  • Hired assistance: babysitter, housekeeper, cab driver, vocational specialist, pet groomer, editor, etc

Cutting Your Losses if it’s Just Not Working

  • Looking for a new job
  • Ending a relationship with a partner, friend, or family member
  • Quitting a group activity
  • Scrapping a project
  • Letting go of an item that you can’t fix
  • Dropping a hobby

Lowering Expectations of Yourself and Others

  • Examples for yourself: working part time if you find full-time too tiring, painting a picture once a month instead of once a week, volunteering with children if you like kids, but parenting would be too big of a commitment
  • Examples for others: complimenting your child on their B average report card, hiring a housekeeper so that you and a messy partner can live in peace, keeping a perpetually late friend, but just meeting in your home so that you’re not stuck waiting for an hour at a restaurant

Using Mental Health Apps

  • i.e, I’ve been using Happify, which has cute activities, such as touching hot air balloons with positive words on them

Reframing/Balancing Your Thinking

  • Mistakes can be growth opportunities, and you can do better next time
  • If you don’t have the love life and/or social life that you want, you can use the extra time to develop yourself more
  • Rejection can be either a sign to work on your skills (i.e, editing your resume if it was a job rejection) or a sign of incompatibility. No one is compatible with everyone.