Coping Skills for Teens

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Coping Skills for Teens to Turn to in Times of Stress

1. Talk to a trusted adult about the situation
2. Sit in the hall and just breathe
3. Take a bath or hot shower
4. Blow out a candle: Hold up finger and pretend to blow out candle making sure to get a big deep breath in and complete exhale
5. Write it down, crumble it up, and then throw it away
6. Play a game of basketball
7. Scream into your pillow
8. Punch a pillow or the bed
9. Read
10. Take a nap
11. Talk about your feelings with school counselor or nurse
12. Look out the window
13. Draw
14. Talk to friend (when allowed i.e. not during class w/o permission)
15. Listen to the ocean: Rub hands together quickly then place over ears, listen for ocean (This is also a good sensory activity for special learners or spectrum kids)
16. Get a drink of water
17. Watch TV
18. Listen to music
19. Count
20. Cuddle with pet
21. Take 15 deep breaths
22. Ignore, or pretend to ignore what is stressing you
23. Rip up some paper
24. Go to your room and close the door, leaving the stress outside
25. Playdough: Squeeze it, smash it, pound it
26. Color or paint
27. Hug a teddy bear
28. Clean and organize your closet or drawers
29. Stare at picture and make up story about it
30. Throw a deck of cards and pick them up in order
31. Make a collage of images that please you
32. Rip up old phone book or newspaper
33. Throw ice cubes outside (not at anyone)
34. Break up sticks
35. Engage in positive self-talk
36. Use guided imagery to visualize a positive outcome
37. Use progressive muscle relaxation, starting with your feet and working your way up to the top of your head
38. More positive self-talk, affirming your strengths
39. Allow yourself a good cry
40. Write a letter (then throw it away)
41. Meditate
42. Help someone who is needing assistance
43. Make up a rap about the situation
44. Think of all the people who love you
45. Think of consequences of acting out your frustration
46. Get away from upsetting peers
47. Turtle technique:
Step 1: Tuck under your covers and think about your feeling(s)
Step 2: Think “stop”
Step 3: Tuck inside your “shell” and take 3 deep breaths
Step 4: Come out when calm and think of a “solution”
Practice steps frequently
48. Laugh
49. Ride your bike
50. Rub a memory stone
51. Take a time-out to focus on something else
52. Play with toys or games
53. Imagine yourself as an eagle soaring — with a higher perspective
54. Make silly faces in mirror or with another person to see who laughs first
55. Read the comic books
56. Blow real or imaginary bubbles
57. Write a silly or angry story to get it out
58. Write a letter to yourself or to God
59. Pray for guidance and peace
60. Chose random object and name 30 different uses for it
61. Play 54321 game: Name 5 things you can see right now, 4 things you can feel right now, 3 things you can hear right now, 2 things you can smell right now, and 1 good thing about yourself
62. Dance to your favorite music
63. Have some hot chocolate
64. Imagine a favorite day, memory, or vacation
65. Imagine a safe place you’d like to be right now

Not all of these are appropriate for every teen or situation. Some are specific to releasing anger or getting feelings out, others for anxiety or safety issues, and some for physical aggression and self harm.

… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.

“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

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