How To Develop and Implement Healthy Coping Skills Into Your Daily Routine

There is no doubt that we’re a stressed-out nation. Nearly half of Americans report feeling more stressed now than they did five years ago. What’s more? Almost 80% of Americans indicated regularly experiencing physical symptoms (fatigue, headaches, gastrointestinal distress, muscle tension) due to their stress.

Life doesn’t stop moving, and stress doesn’t stop happening. We’re busier than ever, and we all have many essential responsibilities to juggle.

When you don’t manage your stress adequately, you’re more prone to physical and emotional ailments. And then, there’s a good chance that you feel even more stress due to those ailments! It’s a vicious and self-defeating cycle.

That said, healthy coping skills can provide you with a stronger grip for managing life’s ups and downs. They can also provide you with the much-needed relief you need to take care of yourself during your busy routine.

What Are Healthy Coping Skills?

Healthy coping skills refer to activities and tasks that positively promote self-care and self-esteem. They also help boost either your physical, emotional, or spiritual health. Coping skills are an essential part of healthy living. They help reduce stress, foster happiness, and build a sense of self-empowerment.

There are infinite types of coping skills that people use. Some examples include:

  • Creative expression (writing, art, playing music)
  • Exercise and physical activity
  • Spiritual and religious connection (prayer, meditation, church, reading spiritual text)
  • Interpersonal connection (spending time with friends and family)
  • Volunteering and service work
  • Additional passions and hobbies
  • Relaxation skills

Most people benefit from having more than one skill in their self-care toolbox. For example, if you feel passionate about dancing but injure your leg, you will need to lean on other skills in the interim.  Likewise, certain skills may yield better benefits for treating certain emotions. A person who enjoys both journaling and volunteering at a shelter may find that she experiences the most relief when writing about her sadness.

Coping skills can evolve. You may find that, as you grow as a person, your preference for particular coping skills changes. That’s perfectly reasonable. Healthy people are willing to grow and adapt to their needs. They are not rigid about what should and shouldn’t work for them.

How Do You Find The Best Skills?

There are no perfect coping skills. What works for one person may not be as sufficient for someone else. The key is finding what works for you, and this process may require some trial-and-error. Fortunately, it’s an enjoyable process that will allow you to learn more about yourself and your preferences!

You may want to start by making a list of all the skills that seem enjoyable to you. It doesn’t matter how many skills you have. Just write down the ones that resonate with your well-being.

Of course, you aren’t going to know how effective they are until you put them into practice. That means taking the time each day or week to implement them.

How Do You Make Time For Healthy Coping?

Time management is often the hardest part of self-care. Everyone has 24 hours a day, but it’s easy for work, family obligations, and other daily tasks to gobble up each of those hours. Yet, it should be noted that, even though it may feel like you’re always racing against the clock, Americans spend a whopping 28 hours watching television per week!

Is it time management or priority management? Remember that it’s usually a myth that you don’t have time for something. Instead, there’s a better chance that you haven’t prioritized that something.

There’s also another problem to address. Most people wrongfully associate self-care with selfishness. We live in a society that often prioritizes giving to others before giving to ourselves. Of course, being kind and compassionate to people is never a bad thing. But, you’re not doing yourself (or anyone else) any favors if you aren’t taking care of yourself.

When you’re first starting your journey towards self-care, you may need to keep a daily or weekly schedule. This schedule will help remind you to block time for engaging in your healthy coping skills. Just like you would schedule a doctor’s appointment or work meeting, you should also plan your self-care. Don’t make it negotiable; the more “mandatory” it feels, the more likely you are to commit to it.

Remember, self-care doesn’t need to take an entire day. Even just ten minutes of engaging in healthy coping can make a profound difference in your mood and well-being.

Final Thoughts

We all face stress and encounter difficult situations regularly. By developing, strengthening, and using healthy coping skills, you learn how to cope with life more effectively. Likewise, you’ll increase your self-esteem and feel more adjusted overall.

Self-care is a fundamental component of your mental health. Furthermore, therapy can undoubtedly be a fantastic piece in your self-care puzzle. Do you want to learn more about working together? Contact me today for an initial consultation.

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Austin, TX 78759
(512) 988-3363

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