- Journaling: great way to get emotions out!
- Art: drawing, coloring, arts and crafts can be very relaxing. Many people enjoy adult coloring for stress relief.
- Watching a Comedy: there’s nothing better than to laugh when you’re feeling anxious or down. Look up funny videos online or watch your favorite comedy! (I enjoy watching clips from Ellen (DeGeneres) on YouTube, they always make me smile.
- Talk to a friend or family member: It’s good to have someone you can talk with who will listen without judging.
- Getting Out of The House: This is a big one. The worse you feel the more you isolate and it becomes an endless cycle because you start feeling even more depressed or anxious as a result not getting out. Staying inside all day by yourself feeds into obsessive/repetitive negative thoughts. So get out, go somewhere. Anywhere. Sit outside in the fresh air, take a walk, visit a museum, sit in a park, go to the zoo. All these things can make you feel more connected with the outside world. I know for myself the longer I stay indoors and don’t leave (sometimes it border on agoraphobia) the more distorted my thoughts become.
- Play With a Pet: Pets are amazing, they can decrease anxiety and even reduce blood pressure. If you don’t have a pet maybe volunteer at a local shelter and help care for the animals, or play with a friend’s pet. I know the most relaxing thing for me is when my two cats take nap with me or lay on me and purr.
- Socialize: Join some sort of group. It doesn’t have to be a long term commitment. There are many free activities at public libraries such as yoga, arts and crafts, book discussions. Or hang out with a good friend. When I hang out with a really good friend of mine it pretty much completely takes my mind off my problems because we have so much fun together.
- Exercise: one of the most effective ways to deal with anxiety is to get out all that extra energy. Physical activity can greatly improve sleep quality. It’s good for the body and the mind.
- Play a game/do a puzzle: perfect for taking your mind off problems and focusing it on the present moment. It can provide a brief escape.
- Read or engage in some other hobby: I have many hobbies and I find that I almost never get bored now. I always have something to keep my mind occupied when I have down time. Learning new languages, music/instruments, find something you enjoy and stick to it!
This is a very basic list of some of the coping skills that have helped me, there are many others you can try. I’ve seen lists with hundreds of coping ideas, so look around, your bound to come across something that may be beneficial to you, good luck! 🙂
(Picture taken by me Summer 2018 at a local rose garden)