Not every coping skill works for everyone, so I have included a variety of skills that have worked for a variety of people. If one doesn’t work, move on to the next. You should be able to find something that works for you. My favorite all time coping skill is deep breathing, done on a regular basis, working to calm the stress centers of the brain. But there are many here, see if thinking differently and trying something new helps. If you feel stuck, contact a therapist to see what might work for your personal situation.

  1. Picture your anxiety/depression as a cloak that you put on/take off as needed. It is not your identity any more than your winter coat is your identity.
  2. Your anxiety is your body’s way of signaling you that it thinks you are in danger. Acknowledge, thank, and then remind your body that you are safe.
  3. Ignoring symptoms will only make them more persistent, like a whiny child. Acknowledge the symptoms, address them, (by using one of the following quick fixes) and continue on with what you were doing.
  4. Take a deep breath from the belly to the collarbone and release slowly from the collarbone to the belly. Repeat.
  5. Change your self-talk. I am safe. I am smart. I am ok. I am not in danger (if you are, then get out of there!)
  6. Don’t condemn yourself. Use affirmations. I am resourceful, I know exactly what to do. I will take a short rest, then things will look better.
  7. Step outside and breathe in the fresh air.
  8. Take a walk: short or long, whatever you have time for.
  9. Spend time in nature, observing each thing.
  10. Spend a few minutes focusing on each sense. What do you see? Smell? Taste? Feel? Hear?
  11. Make a list of as many things as you can think of to be grateful for; make that a habit.
  12. Purposely distract yourself with a new activity: make a phone call, read a book, turn on a TV show, play a game.
  13. Jump for a few minutes on a rebounder (small trampoline),repeating affirmations: I am amazing. I am powerful.
  14. Do some yoga poses that energize/or relax, whichever you need. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjHH2er8DkM or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-vGV5B1UFE
  15. Locate the origin of the anxiety physically, then stretch out that muscle group: chest, stomach, shoulder, jaw, back.
  16. Drink a glass of water, it will help flush out toxins.
  17. Another breathing exercise: breathe in deeply for 4, hold for 4, exhale slowly for 4. Repeat.
  18. Pet a dog or cat or other animal.
  19. Doodle, sketch, paint. Don’t rate the quality, just do it.
  20. Watch a funny video. Laughing helps expel toxins created by stress.
  21. Close your eyes and visit a lovely relaxing place where you are perfectly safe in your imagination.
  22. Listen to a guided meditation. Here’s a couple to get you started. http://bit.ly/2qf4CaH
  23. Do some acupressure: Find the point 3 fingers down from your wrist. Press firmly and massage in a tight circular motion for 2 minutes.
  24. More acupressure: Find the point where your writs and hand meet on the opposite side from the thumb. Apply circular pressure for 2 minutes.

Try this book, as well. Un-Leashed: Practical Steps to Get Your Life Unstuck

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