4 (more) Tried and True Coping Skills for Managing Anxiety
A few weeks ago, I mentioned four tried and true coping skills — cleaning, hanging out with friends, spending time in a public place, and watching a favorite movie or TV show — that can help you healthily cope with life’s stressors.
If you’ve been feeling stressed out, anxious, or just stuck in a rut, here are four more coping skills you can try out this week:
1. Being active. No, I’m not going to tell you to go run 10 miles. Any sort of movement can be a helpful and healthy distraction, even if it’s walking around at the grocery store, doing a couple loads of laundry, or walking for 20 minutes around the block.
2. Listening to music. While this is an infamous coping skill for break-ups and hurt feelings (cue Taylor Swift), it can also be a useful coping skill for other feelings and difficult life situations. Sometimes what we need in the moment is to just connect with what’s going on internally and truly feel it — because avoiding emotions can eventually build up and make us feel worse.
And don’t be alarmed if the tears start flowing. Crying is a natural human response that can act as an emotional release and help reduce stress.
3. Taking a bath or shower. This is an awesome coping skill to help hit the reset button, and it can also be an opportunity to practice mindfulness. A simple mindfulness activity that I suggest to clients is to engage the senses while you’re in the shower. Noticing the sensation of the warm water, the smell of the body wash, the sound of the water drops hitting the tile… it’s a simple way to practice mindfulness that can help you tune in to the moment.
4. Painting. There’s something about creating art that is can feel so cathartic and relaxing. Many people cringe when they think of painting, but just give it a shot, and you may be surprised. I recommend watercolor painting if you’re just starting out. A fun activity I like to suggest is listening to your favorite artist (or playlist) and painting along to the feelings that arise with the music. Or just free paint and see what happens!
Try these out, and see what sticks. If you missed it, be sure to check out the four coping skills I mentioned last week. Coping skills can work wonders for helping you cope with stress and anxiety.
If you’re a young adult looking for extra support in learning how to manage anxiety, feel free to read more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in St. Paul, MN, or schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation with me so we can connect and see if we would be a good fit.