Coping Skills (For Individual or Family Use)

Relax, Soothe, Calm



Take a deep breath (Variations: Blow Bubbles, Blow a Balloon, Whistle, Aromatherapy candles, oils lotions or scents)

Listen to music

Read a book or Listen to audio books (Be careful of books that may cause triggers; choose a book that will evoke positive emotions (inspiration, laughter, excitement) or will be relaxing

Curl up in blankets (Variations: Wear comfortable or favorite clothing, Wear cheerful colors, Build a “fort”)

Play a game

Take a warm bath or a bubble bath (Suggestion: Add a few drops of essential to a teaspoon of honey or antibacterial soap to add fragrance to the bath)

For a girl: Style hair, paint nails, play dress up

Cook/Bake (If you are having a tough day, make the cooking as simple as possible.)

Go out to eat (Go to a coffee shop with a play area, For a teen going to a coffee shop can also be used to spend quality time together)

String Beads




Watch a comedy or go to a movie

Play a game  (Charades, Bingo, Pictionary, etc)

Read a funny book

Visit friends or family members

Spend time with a pet

Plan something fun

Play (Get down on the child’s level and take time to play—let the child direct the play and do not judge or criticize, take time to enjoy their imagination)

Make a paper airplane


Go to a thrift store (Try on unusual or funny outfits, Donate old things or things that cause triggers, Explore, Make up stories about an object’s history or how it was used)

Go swimming

Treat yourself

Blow Bubbles


Spiritual Comfort




Meet with a pastor or spiritual counselor (Variations: Participate in church activities, Volunteer, Ask the assistance of a pastor or spiritual counselor to develop a coping plan)

Read spiritual texts

Spend time outdoors

Listen to music

Smudge the room with sage, incense or essential oil diffuser

Visit a church or sacred site

Journal (For kids this could be an actual journal or drawing/arts)




Exercise (Variations: Dance, Yoga, Sports, Bike Riding, Roller blade)

Change of environment (Go outside/take a walk, visit a friend or family member, visit a museum, go on a day trip)

Play games that engage the mind (models, puzzles, mazes, sudoku, word finds etc)

Go on a “treasure hunt” or a “scavenger hunt”

Scrap booking (Variations: Sticker book, Collage, Editing a photo on the computer)

Write (Learning how to write in poetic forms is helpful. Child may enjoy using chalk, finger paints, or a Magna Doodle. Writing letters can also be therapeutic—you can send a letter to a friend or loved one OR write a letter to express thoughts or feelings without actually giving it to the person)


Be Positive



Buy some fortune cookies

Talk to someone positive or plan an event with someone positive

Listen to music

Watch a movie

Look at photos (Be careful the photos are of good memories, try to avoid triggers)

Read affirmations

Write down or talk about positive things about yourself—or things to be thankful for

Create something (Garden, Arts/Crafts, Models, Photography, Writing, etc)

Take a class/Learn something new (Variations: Go to the library, Listen to live music or poetry, Go to a museum, Try something different OR Do something you have always wanted to do). Look for opportunities to share what you have learned or help others.

Work Through Issues


Set goals (Try to be reasonable and if a goal is not met, ask for help or use coping skills—don’t be too hard on yourself)

Seek counseling or therapy

Join a support group

Join parenting groups or family activities (Through church, neighborhood groups or community ed, etc)

Ask for help

Talk to someone you trust

Gain additional information or education

Take a break when needed or using coping skills

Take care of yourself (Get enough sleep, Eat healthy, Exercise, Spend time with friends or family, Work towards goals, etc)