Calming Coping Skills

As a counselor, I know it’s important for everyone, both kids and adults, to know and use coping skills.  Coping skills are activities anyone can do to help manage difficult thoughts and feelings or challenging situations. Not all coping skills work in every situation, so it’s good to have a variety to help manage different challenges.  When I think about coping skills, I tend to divide them into 4 categories  - Calming, Physical, Distractions and Processing.  This week, I’m focusing on coping skills that are calming. 

Here are some ideas that that might work for your child.  Keep in mind that not all coping skills will work for all people.  For example, yoga does not work for my son (or me), but my daughter loves it. Even if you think your child won't benefit from a particular coping strategy, try it first to see if it will work before crossing it off the list.  Here are a few coping skills that can be helpful when you want your child to calm their energy or get settled to do work.  You might want to try one of these before school, before sitting down to start homework or before bed.  

  • Yoga - It doesn’t have to be an hour long class, just try a few yoga poses and see how it feels.  Check out these adorable yoga ABC’s for kids!

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation - Here is a script that I’ve used for kids I’ve worked with and my own children.  It goes through the entire body.  You can read it calmly and slowly and encourage your child to follow the directions to relax each of the parts of their body.  

  • Deep breathing - There are many different ways to talk with kids about deep breathing. A simple one is to tell kids to breathe in like they are smelling a flower and breathe out like they are blowing out birthday candles.

  • Take a bath/shower

  • Take a drink of water

  • Counting - I once worked with a child who would pick a random number like 76 and count to it to help him calm down.  Have your child pick a number and count to it!

 

 

 

Do you have other ideas for calming coping skills?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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