Whether you have had a bad day at work, an argument with your partner, or are overwhelmed by the global health pandemic, healthy coping skills can help you manage stressful situations and diminish symptoms of depression and anxiety. There many ways to cope and it is valuable to have multiple tools you can turn to. Different coping skills will help you in various ways, so I am going to introduce you to five types. It may seem easier to just use strategies you know work for quick relief, but understanding what coping skills work best can better assist you in reducing your emotional distress.
Here are Five Coping Skills To Help You Manage Depression and Anxiety
Distraction works as a great coping skill because it gives your mind a break; it’s an excellent tool for short-term relief. It is a way for you to remove yourself from the situation, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally. Engaging in activities like talking to friends or family, watching television, playing a game, cleaning or organizing, or doing arts and crafts can all be healthy ways to distract yourself from whatever is causing distress. Finding new activities to engage in can not only be distracting, but you may find a new hobby you actually enjoy doing for self-care!
Grounding is a great technique to use when trying to calm your emotions. Sometimes we just need to slow down. Grounding involves getting in touch with ourselves and with nature. You can practice grounding techniques through using your senses- try lighting your favorite candle, walking on grass or sand barefoot, practicing yoga or meditation, sitting outside, or engaging in deep breathing. Another great tool, especially fun for kids, is to play the “rainbow” game- spend time noticing the different colors around you, trying to find each color of the rainbow. Taking a moment to ground yourself can help you better regulate your emotions.
Emotional release is a great tool when you need to release some of that pent-up energy. Emotions can affect us physically as well as mentally, and giving yourself the space to let it out can relieve a lot of that tension. Instead of letting yourself overflow without any control, willingly let yourself experience emotion. Watch a movie that is going to make you laugh or cry, do a really intense workout, journal, dance like no one is watching, take a cold shower! Sometimes what we really need is a release of the overwhelming pressure so we can reset and move on.
Another area to work on is self-love. Self-love is about appreciating yourself and showing yourself that support we all need. What are you doing for yourself? If the answer is “I don’t know,” find something to add into your routine. Maybe treat yourself to a nice bath, take a few extra minutes to straighten up your room, get a manicure or a massage, or eat your favorite meal. If you have the resources, go to your favorite place or buy a small treat. Most importantly, speak kindly to yourself. Take the time to do something you love and something that is good for you- you deserve it! This is another crucial aspect of self-care.
Challenge Your Thoughts
Though we have been over several great options for you to use in coping with depression and anxiety, one of the most important skills and the one that can have long-term effects on your mental health is thought challenging. Thought challenging is an attempt to shift your negative thinking habits into more constructive ones. Check for evidence for your negative thought. Consider all the ways your negative thought may not be true. Along with challenging negative thoughts, you can engage in more positive self-talk. Try expressing positive affirmations, talking to yourself like you would talk to your best friend, and practice gratitude. Think of the things going right in life.
Coping Skills are Beneficial at All Times
In therapy, I work on teaching you how to master these skills until they become second nature. Coping skills need not just be reserved for when you are in a crisis or in distress. Practicing a variety of coping skills should be a part of your self-care routine. It is easier to utilize these tools in a moment of need when you are already accustomed to doing them. It is also essential that you have a variety of tools you can use, as not every coping skill is going to be as beneficial depending on the situation. Try out different things and see what brings you peace and a sense of calm, allowing you to better manage any depression or anxiety and live a more fulfilled life.
If you are ready to talk to one of the therapists at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch can help! We provide counseling and mental health services. To begin counseling in Katy, TX follow these three steps:
- Contact our office to set up an appointment or to learn more about emotionally focused therapy
- Meet with one of our knowledgeable therapists
- Find ways to thrive in your relationship!
Other Therapy Services We Offer
Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch, we offer counseling services for people of all ages in areas including counseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, couples counseling, eating disorder treatment, men’s issues, women’s issues, anxiety treatment, depression therapy, trauma counseling, family therapy, and group counseling. Our therapists strive to post blogs regularly. We provide helpful information on a variety of mental health topics. To learn more about our therapists and counseling services, please reach out to the Counseling Center today!