The teen years can be some of the most emotionally tumultuous times of our lives. When I think back to being sixteen, I can faintly recall a blur of emotions, intensity, social pressures, and an awkwardness that helps me relate to teens I have the honorof meeting every day. I cant even imagine how difficult it is these days with the internet and social media adding to the dramatic flair of the teenage years.

In the face of this distress there are coping skills that we can impart to our teens. Even in the most difficult of times, these steps can communicate a strong sense of empathy and support for our teenagers sense of being able to cope and manage their feelings more effectively.

Here is a list of coping skills that has been worked on by professionals and teenagers themselves. It has been incredibly helpful to get feedback from teens on the coping skills that have been helpful to them in facing their personal struggles.

  1. Breathing deeply and visualizing a safe calm place
  2. Drawing or painting
  3. Listening to uplifting music
  4. Going to the library
  5. Holding an ice cube
  6. Organizing space
  7. Sitting in the sun and closing your eyes
  8. Sucking on a peppermint
  9. Sipping a cup of hot tea
  10. Complimenting someone
  11. Practicing exercise
  12. Reading
  13. Writing yourself a nice note and keeping it in your pocket
  14. Dancing to music
  15. Going for a brisk 10-minute walk
  16. Going outside and listening to nature
  17. Calling a friend
  18. Writing positive affirmations on cards and decorating them
  19. Planting a flower in a pot
  20. Knitting or sewing
  21. Doing yoga
  22. Watching a funny or inspirational movie
  23. Making a collage of your favorite things
  24. Journaling
  25. Writing a poem
  26. Swimming, running or biking
  27. Making a gratitude list
  28. Doing a good deed
  29. Counting backwards from 500
  30. Writing something positive about yourself for every letter of the alphabet and decorating it