Coping Skills

This section of the website is focused on different ways to cope with your emotions and feelings.

  • 5 Ways to Cope

  • Coping strategies with examples

Get started below. 

What is Coping and What is a Coping Strategy?

Coping is just how we deal with things; it can change from day to day and even hour to hour. How we deal with things today might not be how we deal with them tomorrow.


A coping strategy is a thing we do to manage difficult things in our lives, it could be doing exercise for one person or watching TV for someone else. Some coping strategies are positive and some are negative.


We might try and cope with difficult things by getting angry and blaming other people, this is a negative coping strategy as we're not making ourselves feel better or dealing with the problem, in fact all we’ve done is make ourselves feel worse.


We all need to have positive coping strategies to deal with the difficult times we are all going to face in life and trying to focus on our positive coping skills and develop new ones can be really helpful.


We’re going to think about coping skills and what ours look like.

Coping Skills and Strategies


There are 5 different types of coping strategies, and within each type of coping strategy, there are a huge range of different things that you can try. 


Some will work better than others for you, and it is important to remember that everyone is different; this is all about finding what works for you.


Try them out and give them a go, even the ones that you might not think ‘are you’ – you might surprise yourself and might even enjoy some of them.


5 Ways to Cope

Releasing Emotions – this is about letting go or expressing any pent-up emotions

Distraction – this is used to feel better without having to face or deal with the problem

Managing Emotions – this is finding a way to address the cause of how you might be feeling and understand why you might feel that way

Meditating – this is a strategy to ground yourself in the present moment. This is sometimes used to help people into a better headspace to address things later down the line.

Relaxation & Self-Care – this is a strategy to look after yourself consistently and try to prevent things from becoming too overwhelming in the first place

Below are some strategies to help you relax, release emotions, distract yourself and manage your emotions:


  • Squeeze an object like a tennis ball or a stress ball

  • Listen to music

  • Look through old photos

  • Eat or drink something you enjoy

  • Lie down on your own for 15 minutes in silence

  • Something to smell, like scented candles

  • Try and complete a puzzle like a crossword, sudoku or jigsaw

  • Read a book

  • Draw or Paint

  • Colouring-in books (yes, these are for adults as well!)

  • Watch a movie or a TV programme or series

  • Make a list of your feelings at that moment in time

  • Keep a diary on the good and bad things about your day or week

  • Play on a games console or a computer

  • Phone one of your friends

  • Allow yourself to cry

  • Take deep breaths

  • Go for a walk or a jog (find out more on our exercise page)

  • Stretching or yoga (find out more on our exercise page)

  • Go for a nap or sleep (find out more on our sleep page)

  • Stroke a pet or an animal

  • Sing out loud

  • Dance to music

  • Make a list of all the things you are grateful for

  • Give someone a hug

  • Cook a meal or bake a cake

  • Make a plan for tomorrow or the rest of the week

  • Have a bath or shower

  • Wash your hair

  • Watch funny YouTube videos

  • Spend time with family or friends, in person or online

  • Paint your nails

  • Brush your hair

  • Video call someone you have a laugh with

  • Clean your room or your flat

  • Meditate

  • Download coping apps on your phone like Headspace

  • Take old clothes to a charity shop

  • Job search

  • Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby

The list above is just to get you started – a good tip to help you to identify coping strategies you already have is to think about the last time you had an urge to do something that wasn’t going to be positive, if you didn’t do it then you successfully coped with the situation.


If you are able to remember what you did instead then you have just identified a coping strategy that already works for you.


HAVING POSITIVE COPING STRATEGIES IS REALLY IMPORTANT – It's crucial that we have positive coping strategies, they help us manage the ups and downs of life that we all face. 

YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON FINDING WHAT WORKS FOR YOU – Everyone is different and everybody has different coping strategies. What is important is finding ones that are positive and work for you.