Coping Skills Cheat Sheet

As a part of therapy, I regularly ask clients to make some kind of wellness plan or coping plan using their favourite coping skills. Strong emotions from anger, to depression, to anxiety, to stress all benefit from the use of coping skills. At the same time, it can be hard to think of strategies in a moment of intense emotions. It can also be hard for kids to think up a good variety of strategies within a session. So here is a list of 50 coping strategies that kids can use as a kind of “cheat sheet” as they build their own repertoire of coping skills.

Coping Skills List

 

You can download the list to print and use with clients here. This is a general list with strategies that will help kids deals with all kinds of intense emotions. However, kids are working on a particular issue (e.g., anger) some items on the list will prove more helpful to that issue than others. Parents and therapists can help kids to pick the skills that will be most effective

50 Coping Skills to Help with Strong Emotions

  1. Take slow belly breaths
  2. Ask an adult for help
  3. Share your feelings with someone you trust
  4. Kick a ball
  5. Shoot a basketball
  6. Stretch
  7. Count to 10 or 100
  8. Watch funny Youtube videos
  9. Take a shower or bath
  10. Blow bubbles
  11. Blow up a balloon
  12. Lie down and relax
  13. Tighten all your muscles and then go limp like spaghetti
  14. Cuddle a stuffed animal
  15. Play with a pet
  16. Paint with a brush or your fingers
  17. Draw or colour
  18. Scream into a pillow
  19. Listen to a happy song
  20. Go for a walk
  21. Ride a bike
  22. Do jumping jacks
  23. Lie down and watch the clouds
  24. Write a song or poem
  25. Write in a journal
  26. Draw with sidewalk chalk
  27. Pull weeds in a garden
  28. Plant a flower
  29. Have a cold glass of water
  30. Make a scrapbook
  31. Take some pictures
  32. Make a video or slideshow
  33. Rip up old newspapers
  34. Look at the stars
  35. Read a book
  36. Think happy thoughts
  37. Think of a happy memory
  38. Help someone else
  39. Clean your room
  40. Squeeze a stress ball
  41. Make a stress ball
  42. Play with play dough
  43. Look at a magazine
  44. Make a collage
  45. Dance
  46. Look at pictures of things you love
  47. Skip
  48. Bake a dessert (with an adult)
  49. Splash your face with cold water
  50. Watch a movie
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Carey EmmersonCoping Skills Cheat Sheet

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