coping skills

I have a bullet journal that I fill with all types of coping skills. Mostly ones that speak to the creative in me!

Coping refers to conscious strategies used to reduce unpleasant emotions. 

Coping strategies (or skills) can be thoughts or behaviors and can be individual or social. 

Coping is to deal with and overcome struggles and difficulties in life. 

It is a way for us to maintain our mental and emotional well-being.

Benefits of learning coping skills:

-Build self confidence

-Help manage emotions

-Improve independence

-Help manage stress

-Improve behavior (reactions to overstimulation)

-Improve self-regulation

-Help work through challenges

Learning what coping skills work for you is paramount to healing and dealing with depression and anxiety.

To me, coping skills are like little "time-outs," where you give yourself time to think through what is happening, what is truth, and how to respond in a healthy way.

My top, go-to coping skills I turn to (to keep me from spiraling) are:

-Box breathing (breathe in 4 seconds, hold 4 seconds, breathe out 4 seconds, hold 4 seconds, repeat)

-Writing (duh...blogger for over a decade here with boxes of used journals.)


-Organize something

-Do something creative

Below, I've listed a few (okay, a LOT) more skills.

Find one that might suit you and try it out the next time you feel overwhelmed or overstimulated!


-Watch TV

-Drink water

-Word search

-Crossword Puzzle

-Paint nails

-Do your hair


-Study the sky


-Hot shower/bath




-Create a vision board


-Rip up paper into tiny pieces

-Write a letter

-Plan a dream room


-Play with clay

-Build a fort

-Go outside and sit

-List your blessings/joys

-Read the Bible

-Jump on a trampoline

-Talk to someone




-Organize/color coordinate closet

-Plan an event

-Plant seeds

-Make words out of your full name (Anagram/Acrostic)

-Sort/edit pictures


-Collect something

-Play a computer game

-Visit your lifeyourvoice.com

-Rearrange furniture

-Smile at 5 people



-Hug someone

-Write a list of goals

-Deep breaths

-Think of something funny

-Take a time out

-Count to 10/100

-Say something kind to yourself

-Close your eyes

-Say, "I can do this."

-Imagine a happy place

-Eat a healthy snack

-Jog in place


-List your positive qualities

-Write a thank you note

-Organize something

-Play cards/board games

-Take pictures

-Laugh out loud

-Notice 5 things you can see, feel, smell, hear

-Use a relaxation app


-Drink hot tea

-Plan a trip

-Identify your emotions

-Make a day schedule

-Tell someone you're thankful for them

-Relax your muscles

-Ask, "What do I need right now?"

-Tapping fingers (or the dance...you do you, boo.)

The internet is FULL of even more examples, these are just the ones that stand out to me.

Hopefully you find one that you can put into practice and it'll eventually become second nature to you when you need it most!


tuesday letters


VBS cuties!

Dear VBS, 

You were awesome and I'm practically a real astronaut now, so...thank you. (Except, no thank you to the pie in the face.)

Dear Summer,

You've been great. So great, But, when does school start again?

Dear School,

Start sooner? Please?

Dear Pumpkin Patch,

I have never been more proud of something I literally did nothing to achieve. You are tripling in size weekly and Husband hates you, but I don't care. I am a gardener. I claim it.

Dear NYC,

I miss you.


life after tms

{Lunch with my biggest support group after my last IOP day.}

I just looked back at my posts during my TMS (Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation) journey and now they make me cry.

I want to delete them and forget it ever happened.

I want to re-write them and erase all the hope.

I say that to say...it didn't stick.

About a week after my TMS treatments ended, I started to feel a steady decline.

My anxiety and depression returned, almost double in power.

I felt like a failure.

Like my brain didn't do what it was supposed to do.

I re-read my past posts and felt like a liar.

All the words of hope and healing were so.far. from what I was experiencing.

Which is probably why it took me so long to write this post.

(In my heart, I feel the need to apologize, like I led everyone on. In my head, I know it's not expected.)

I ended TMS in March and I was admitted to a behavioral clinic by May.

I was at my lowest of lows and we knew something had to change.

I almost opted for inpatient, but thankfully, they offer a full day program that allowed me to go home each night and snuggle my babies.

I started PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) on May 16.

It consisted of 3 hours of group therapy, lunch, recreational therapy, and medicinal education.

9am-2:30pm. M-F.

The first thing they did was prescribe a new anti-depressant.

To tell you my "new girl" anxiety was at an all time high is an understatement.

I was put into a room full of strangers with varying mental disorders and a new-to-me therapist.

Two things immediately happened.

First, I quickly realized I had to "turn off" my bleeding heart/ministering heart. 

I wanted to speak God's love and truth into everyone I met, but I, too, was in a broken place.

I needed to take a backseat and allow the professionals to do their work.

Second, I felt an immense case of imposter syndrome. 

I looked around the room and saw homeless people, people coming out of comas after trying to end their lives, mothers whose children had been taken away from them, military men with severe PTSD, and almost all had terrible, horrible childhoods.

Who was I to be in this room?

I have a supportive husband and family. 

I have beautiful children under my roof, a roof that we own.

I never fought in wars.

I didn't have a terrible, horrible childhood.

Why am I here?

I asked myself that question multiple times a day for the entire first week.

Then God showed me that while the paths that lead us to this place were ALL different, the fact is, we ALL ended up in this place.

We were ALL struggling and we ALL needed healing.

Once I overcame that hurdle, this place became my absolute safe place.

My happy place.

Group therapy wasn't as intimating as I imagined it would be. 

It was life changing.

We spent 3 hours (with breaks) working on ONE coping skill.

Hammering it into our minds so it became muscle memory to use in times of need.

The things I learned in my two month stay will forever be a part of my daily life.

I've stopped the spiraling.

I've lowered the negative self talk.

I have a whole tool box full of ways to talk me off the edge, should I get there again.

After some time in PHP, you step down to IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) for 3 half-days a week.

Then, when the therapist (and mostly insurance) declares you ready, you walk out into the real world.

Last Friday was my last day at Valley Behavioral Clinic and I was an emotional wreck.

Not because I was unequipped, but because I knew I would miss my "friends."

The rag-tag group of people I would never in a million years had ever met, had become a sort of family.

I knew I would miss my therapists and their constant affirmation and guidance.

My medications have been working and I am not the same person I was 2 months ago.

I knew I was ready.

Only a handful of people were aware of what was happening in my life, as I kept it close to my heart until I was ready to share.

Now, I can't wait to share more of my experience and the tools I've learned that have changed my day-to-day living.