Mental health coping skills

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Stress is a normal reaction to the everyday pressures of life.  Whether you’re feeling nervous, sad, angry or stressed, coping skills can help you address your feelings in a healthy way.  Learning healthy ways to cope and getting the right care and support can help reduce stressful feelings and symptoms. 

There are a variety of coping skills.  Some may soothe you, distract you, or help you release tension.  

Here are some examples of healthy coping skills:
Take care of yourself: Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, take a bath and make time for yourself.
Try diversions:  Write, draw, paint, read, garden, spend time doing something you enjoy.
Talk to someone you trust or spend time with friends and family.
Exercise:  Try yoga, go for a walk or engage in sports.
Practice mindfulness:  Make a gratitude list, practice meditation or keep an inspirational quote with you.
Practice relaxation techniques:  Deep breathing exercises, get a massage or write in a journal. 

Experts agree that coping is a process rather than an event. You may alternate between several coping strategies in order to cope with a stressful event.  If coping skills are no longer helping you address your feelings, it may be time to talk to someone about them.  Talk to your health care provider or counselor.