This video has been brought to you by the Kinions on Patreon. If you would like to support the creation of these mental health videos, click the link in the description and check it out. Hey everybody. Happy Thursday. Now today’s video is actually really cool and I’m super excited about it, but before I get into that… are you new to my channel? Make sure you’re subscribed, and have your notifications turned on — you know that little bell thing? Turn them on because I put out videos on Mondays and on Thursdays and I want to make sure you know about it. But let’s get into this very exciting idea. Now, I received today’s question on YouTube, I think, but it says: “Kati, it’d be super cool to do a video, like ’25 Coping Skills.’ I spent a lot of time trying to find healthy coping skills and, as usual, overthought it to the point that I figured there were no other skills that I could do.” And I really wanted to talk about this because I mention “coping skills” all the time in so many videos, yet I’m pretty sure that I haven’t actually ever defined it or given you some ideas or options to help get you started. First, let’s define “coping skill.” “A ‘coping skill’ is any characteristic or behavioral pattern that enhances a person’s adaptation.” Meaning that if we feel stress all the time, we can create those “defense mechanisms” or “coping skills” to help us better manage or lessen the stress. These can be distraction techniques or tools to help us process through all that we may be feeling. Due to the two types of coping skills — those distraction techniques as well as the process — I’m going to break these into two sections, and the first section will be all about distraction techniques. So let’s jump into those. Number one: going for a walk. Not only is this good for your physical health — walking — and it gets you vitamin D. By the way, do you know how important vitamin D is for your mental AND physical health? Please get your blood work done and talk to your doctor because it’s so, so important. But anyways, getting some fresh air, moving your body, and getting away from any of your unhealthy coping skills — you know like being around your self-injury tools, or food to binge on, or alcohol to drink — it can be a GREAT distraction. And number two: painting your nails. This works if you struggle with purging in particular, or self-injury as well as many other issues. It makes us focus on ONE THING. And then we can’t do much with our hands until it dries, and by then, maybe that intense stress or urge to act out has passed us by. Number three: blowing bubbles. Yes, I know children love this, but adults can love it too. And it’s actually really relaxing to watch the bubbles grow, just go out into the air and burst. And even have my patients sometimes imagine that their issue is that bubble — and when it pops, they let that bad or stressful thought go away, too. Number four: read a good book or listen to a wonderful audio book. This is a great way to escape the world that you’re in and live in a more exciting or happy one. That’s why I loved Harry Potter so much. I mean, come on… Who doesn’t want to live in a world where you can do magic and hide under an invisibility cloak when you don’t want to get caught? Number five: exercise. Obviously this can only be done if it’s okay with your doctor AND your body, but moving and exercising regularly can lower our blood pressure, release endorphins — which can help boost our mood and reduce any pain may be feeling. Number six: Deep breathing or breathing techniques. I personally love the “Four By Four Breathing.” You know, when you breathe in for four, hold it for four, and breathe out for four… but find one that works for you, and give it a try. And if you need more energy instead of needing to relax, you can try the “Breath of Fire” technique. I’ll link my video — it’s an oldie but a goodie — in the description so you can click over there and check it out. Number seven: watching your favorite show or video series. Just like reading, watching a TV show or a series can get us out of our head and away from our world and allow us to live, you know, in another one for a little while. Number eight: draw or doodle. I am terrible at drawing… terrible. But doodling can be great and it doesn’t require any artistic talent. Draw loops, flowers, animals or whatever you like to doodle. Number nine: color. Duh. You knew this one was coming. I personally love to color and it’s just such a great distraction. There’s just something about feeling a crayon or colored pencil on paper that’s so relaxing to me. So maybe give it a try and see if it works for you, too. Number ten: do a crossword puzzle, or, really, any puzzle that you like. There are whole books and websites catered to puzzles, so if you need your brain to be challenged a little bit in order for you to truly be distracted, maybe this one’s the one for you. Number eleven: writing down some positive or motivational quotes and sticking them up all over the house. Not only do we know that writing down happy or positive things — like the actual act of writing can improve our mood — but putting them in places that we will see and read each and every day can help us feel better and better able to overcome any unhealthy urge. Number 12: cleaning your house! I know many of you just hid from this video and pretended you didn’t hear me, lalala, but cleaning — if you find it relaxing and enjoyable — can really help and be a great distraction. Also, you can be really proud afterward at how nice and clean your place looks. Thirteen: playing music or even creating new playlists. This can be really relaxing and focus our mind on something other than the stress or upsetting issue at hand. This tip can also be a way to process through all that you may be going through because music can be a great way to express all that we’re feeling and get it out of our own head. And with that, let’s move into the processing type of coping skills. Number one is: to write a friend a nice card. This will not only brighten their day when they receive it, but it can also help you focus on someone positive in your life and remind you that you’re not alone with all that you’re going through. Number two: call or text a friend. And I know you don’t like this, but calling is preferred. This helps us connect and possibly vent to someone that we care about and who cares about us. Whenever I’m creating a ‘Safety Plan’ with one of my patients, I have them write down five different people that they could call or text, and that way, one is bound to be available when they need them — even if it’s 3:00 in the morning. Number three: “impulse logs.” I know I’ve talked about these before but I don’t know if I’ve ever really gone into detail about how they work. Now, these logs will first ask you what your impulse was — for example, to self-injure, lash out at a friend, etc… then, what it is you would hope to get out of doing the impulse, what it is you’re trying to express — like what it is that you’re really feeling or hoping to get out by doing that unhealthy thing — then what you could do instead, and how you feel after having filled it out. These “impulse logs” are amazing, and not only help us process through what we may be feeling and going through, but they slow our impulses down so we don’t make a decision in panic. Number four: Use “feelings charts.” We can often feel so overwhelmed by life that we don’t take a second to even consider what we’re going through. Slowing down and taking time to go through all the emotions that may have come up that day can help us better see why we are feeling sad, mad, or elated about that day. Taking stock of it all can just keep us in closer touch with ourselves and our experiences. Number five: Journaling. You knew this one was coming. And as long as we don’t ruminate too much — because journaling can sometimes make that worse — it can be helpful to write out all that has happened that day or week, how you’re doing and what you’re grateful for. It just helps us get it out of our head and see it on paper so that we can let it go and move forward. If you didn’t know, I started a text messaging club. You can sign up — it’s $5 a month and I text you twice a week. Once a week is kind of a motivational keep-you-going thing, and the other time is a journal prompt. So, if you struggle to get started, that could be a great way to, you know… get on the journal wagon. I’ll put the link in the description. You can check it out and see if it’s something that works for you. Number six: “Feeling-Word Collages.” I’ve talked about these before as well, but these are a great way to process through an emotion that we may have been experiencing. So take a piece of paper, write the “emotion word” in the middle and then fill in the rest of the paper with other words or pictures that you associate with that “feeling word.” You could even add in certain memories that may come up while you’re doing this collage and putting that together. Number seven: write down two to three things that you like about yourself and your situation. Sometimes all we need is a shift in our mind, and moving it on to more positive and uplifting thoughts. So doing this can help shift our thoughts that way in the morning and at night so it kind of bookends our entire day. Number eight: talking to a therapist. I know this one may take a bit more planning, but seeing a professional could help us cope with all that we may not be able to cope with on our own. So please: reach out, speak up and start seeing someone — it helps SO much. Number nine: taking stock of how an emotion feels in our body. I’ve had many of my clients do this when trying to focus in on, like, an actual emotion word or an emotion itself… it’s just too overwhelming or they don’t even know where to start or how to describe it. Instead, I may ask them to tell me how their neck feels — “is it tight? Is it loose? How about your hands? Or your feet? ” By taking stock in our body and working to relate it to what’s happened that past day, week, or even year, we can sometimes more easily connect to our emotions and how it’s affecting us physically. It can even help explain why we might be extra achy or tired at that particular time. And number ten: write a letter to your younger or older self. This can help to give us perspective, share insights and advice and even see how much progress we’ve made. In therapy, we can also do this to help us heal our “child self” and give them the love and support that they so desperately needed. Writing a letter to another time can also help us get unstuck, so that we can finally move past that really difficult “trigger,” or the issue that has continually held us back. Number eleven: write letters to those who are upsetting us still — but never send them! You can, of course, tear them up or burn them or whatever, but it can help to get it out; you know — get out all that you’ve been wanting or needing to say, but you never got the chance to. And by not sending those letters, it gives us the freedom to express it ALL without holding anything back. So be raw, be honest… maybe even cry or scream while you write them. This is one that I myself have done over and over throughout the years and it’s really helped me move on from past hurts. Now, I know… you realize that was only twenty four ideas. So please leave the 25th in the comments down below. What coping skills do you find to be the most helpful for YOU? Because with your experience and my expertise, we will keep working together towards a healthy mind and a healthy body. And I will see you next time. Bye!