Coping Skills Val Gelsinger October 13, 2015 @ 11:46PM

Self Care Activities


  • Find a notebook and write down all your thoughts; happy, sad, angry whatever you are feeling.
  • The act of physically writing is more cathartic than typing or speaking into a voice recorder.
  • Don’t read it after. It is not meant to make sense, nor is it meant to be corrected. It is meant as a way to get all your thoughts and emotions out and help the process of feeling better.

Talk therapy

  • Counsellor
  • Friends
  • Family


  • Church
  • Nature
  • Meditation

Time management

  • Establish goals
  • Make lists
  • Prioritize activities and tasks
  • Schedule activities and tasks

Positive mental attitude

  • Avoid:
    • All or nothing thinking – extremes.
    • Labelling – I am a loser.
    • Rigid expectation – I should always give 100%.
    • Self-focus – I am being punished that is why I have this illness.
    • Psychic reasoning – assuming that you will know how things will turn out, i.e. I will always feel this way.
    • Emotional reasoning – relying on feelings or interpreting reality, I feel so useless – I am useless.
    • Helplessness – letting your feeling and self-esteem be controlled by outside factors, my sister makes me feel stupid.
  • Hope
    • See yourself getting and feeling better.
    • Be in control of your body and mind, stop when you feel tired, don’t push yourself.
    • Don’t allow others to upset you when they ask a question. When someone says “why can’t you just snap out of your depression?” You don’t have to defend yourself. You can answer the question bluntly and honestly. Because I am ill and I can’t snap out of it.
  • Thought stopping
    • Tell yourself I am not going to think about that right now and stop the thought. Focus on thinking about something else.
    • Wear an elastic band around your wrist and whenever you have a negative thought snap the elastic band to jolt you out of the thought and move your focus to something else.
  • Worry stopping
    • Take a worry break – set aside 5 – 10 minutes and think about the problem or situation. Then after that try to not think about it again until the next worry break.
    • Is this a realistic worry? Is it realistic that my plane will crash? Do the research, find out the answer *
    • What can I control in this situation?
    • What can I let go off? The pilot is flying the plane he knows what he is doing. I trust his judgement in flying the plane.
  • Boundaries
    • Establish clear boundaries with people.
    • Don’t do things you don’t want to do to please others.
    • Tell people what you do and don’t need from them (note – it is important to do this when you are calm and when you both are available to talk).
  • Humour
  • Sometimes humour can be used to help cope with negative feelings. Watching a funny tv show or movie or reading a funny book can help us break out of negative funk.
  •  Affirmations
  • Exercise
    • Start in small increments.
    • Do something you like.
    • Make it part of your daily routine.
    • Join a class. This will do two things, get you out socializing and establish a routine.
    • Exercise with a friend and this too will get you out socializing
  • Disqualifying the positive.
    • You may receive ten positive comments and one negative, but most people will disregard the positive comment and focus on the negative one. Why focus on the negative? It is the positive ones that you want to focus on and the people they came from. They are positive thinking people that you want to surround yourself with.
  • Jumping to conclusions
    • Don’t hesitate to ask questions to clarify before you assume you know what the person means.
    • This helps avoid hurt feelings on both parties.
  • Routine
    • In life it is helpful to establish and maintain a routine to stay well and healthy. That doesn’t mean you can’t break the routine and do something else once and awhile. Moderation is always the key.
  • Challenging self-talk
    • What is the internal tape that runs in your mind telling you?
    • Challenge it.
    • Is it right?


*Writer does not endorse these websites. They are simply cited as examples of the type of site that may be helpful when learning about these topics.