Happy Couple on the Beach

Amy Morin, LCSW, the author of three books including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," She stated coping skills help manage distress, and not avoid it, for which I agree. Trauma work can help us get the inner workings of our unconscious behaviors and responses. Prior to making changes, however, it is a good idea to have some tools in place (like giving up drinking alcohol). Here is a list of some useful coping skills when experiencing distress.

Healthy Coping Skills for Uncomfortable Emotions

  • Bake a treat

  • Clean the house (or a closet, drawer, or area)

  • Cook or enjoy a slow meal

  • Dance to your favorite songs

  • Do yoga

  • Do your hair

  • Draw

  • Drink tea

  • Garden

  • Go for a walk

  • Engage in a hobby

  • Exercise

  • Have a picnic

  • Join a book club

  • Laugh

  • Lift weights

  • Listen to music

  • Look at pictures that bring joy and remind you of important people or place

  • Make a gratitude list

  • Meditate

  • Play a game with your kids

  • Play with a pet

  • Practice breathing exercises

  • Pray

  • Read a book you have always been curious about

  • Self-compassion exercise

  • Spend time in nature

  • Take a bath or a shower

  • Take care of your body in a way that makes you feel good (paint your nails, do your hair, put on a face mask)

  • Use a relaxation app

  • Use aromatherapy

  • Use progressive muscle relaxation

  • Watch a movie

  • Write in a journal

Trauma Care: Some Coping Skills