Coping Skills


…or “Getting Through Life” Skills.

Self Soothing/Self Care Ideas

Use different senses…

  • Wear your favorite sweatshirt
  • Take a walk in the grass with no shoes on
  • Smell candles or flowers
  • Find all the square or green objects in the room
  • Observe and describe an object: color, texture, shadow, light, shape
  • Get a massage
  • Calming Bottles

Grounding Exercise

Look around and name:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can feel
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 things you can taste


Again this is anything that takes your mind off of the negative or stressful things for a bit.

What else can you do to distract your mind?

Opposite Action

Again this is where you do the opposite of what you are feeling or what you want to do.

If you are sad…watch a funny movie or YouTube video, look at funny memes, or read a joke book.

If you are feeling stressed or unmotivated…look up inspirational quotes or exercise.

Just DON’T Give Up. Failing at something does not make you a failure.

Emotional Awareness

Anything that has to do with identifying and expressing your emotions…

  • Journaling
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Poems
  • Creating Music

Identify Your Emotions


Being Mindful really means being in the present. It means not dwelling on the past and not stressing/worrying about the future. You must focus on the here and now.

See: Counsellor Talk – Coping Skills Just 4 You for Teens Ideas from A-Z

Square Breathing

Square breathing for mindfulness & relaxation

  • Step 1: Inhale for 4 counts
  • Step 2: Hold breath for 4 counts
  • Step 3: Exhale for 4 counts
  • Step 4: Repeat steps one through three 4 times

4-7-8 Breathing

  • Lay or sit with one hand on your chest and another on your belly.
  • Take a deep slow breath from your belly, counting to 4 as you breath in.
  • Hold your breath while mentally counting 1 to 7.
  • Release your breath completely and slowly, while silently counting from 1 to 8.
  • Repeat 3 to 7 times or until you feel calm.

Crisis Plan

Talk with a trusted adult (parent, friends parent, teacher, counselor, nurse, coach, etc.)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Hopeline Network

Deaconess Cross Pointe

  • 812-476-7200

Samaritan Center

  • 812-354-8785