10 Coping Strategies for Emotional Well-being

Written by The Nan Project

A large part of maintaining your emotional well-being is taking the time to utilize a coping strategy when you feel worked up. Coping strategies are ways we learn to manage various stressors, and everyone copes with stress differently. Some examples of possible coping strategies to share with your young person are:

Strategy #1:
Mindfulness Exercises

Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. Many people adopt this into various different exercises that can be used when a person may experience anxiety. A few examples of these are Mindful Breathing, Mindful Observation, and Mindful Listening. Mindfulness teaches us how to respond to stress with an awareness of what is happening in the present moment, rather than simply acting instinctively, and being unaware of what emotions or motives may be driving that decision.

If you and/or your young person would like to give some mindfulness strategies a try, check out BLOOM’s Mindfulness section of the HUB or UC San Diego’s Center for Mindfulness for free live online practices!

Strategy #2: Exercise

Aerobic exercises such as walking, bicycle riding, and swimming have been proven to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Some of the beneficial effects of physical activity are that it offers a distraction, social interaction, and promotes self-capability. It is also proposed that physical exercise increases one’s mood because it increases the blood flow to the brain and provides deep pressure sensory input, which can be regulating to our bodies.

Though it may be difficult to get started, exercise can make a huge difference. Even just taking a walk can be a great start to incorporating exercise into a self-care regime.  Starting with a ten-minute workout, and working from there is a great way to begin! If aerobic exercise isn’t an option, many people support their mental health by practicing yoga.

If you’re looking for exercise ideas for your young person or want to learn how to get started, visit BLOOM’s Exercise section of the HUB. And if you are looking for an exercise and a substance recovery community, specifically, check out The Phoenix. 

Strategy #3: Eating Well

A change in one’s diet, such as drinking more water or eating more fruits and vegetables can increase your mood, energy levels, and overall health and well-being. Limiting caffeine and sugar might have a more dramatic impact than you’d think! For tips on how to best fuel your body, check out BLOOM’s Nutrition & Recipes section of the HUB or try some options from the Eating with Mental Health in Mind guide. For healthy recipes that consider a limited time and budget, check out www.Mealtime.org.

Strategy #4: Pets

Taking care of an animal is a great way to relieve stress and reduce isolation. Pets have been shown to increase one’s feelings of responsibility and feelings of being needed. Animals can bring comfort to those who may need it, and caring for a furry or scaly friend can give you a sense of purpose.

If caring for animals could improve your young person’s mental health, see if a local animal shelter needs volunteers!

Strategy #5: Sleep

A lack of sleep can contribute to a higher rate of depression in young people. Make sure your young person is getting plenty of sleep, so their body can recuperate after a stressful day.

If they are having trouble getting an average of eight hours of sleep each night, try limiting their screen time and caffeine before bed and check out BLOOM’s Sleep section of the HUB for more tips and tools.

Strategy #6: Social Connectedness

Social connection improves physical health as well as mental and emotional well-being. Take a moment to include your young person in a call to family, have them message a friend, or find some ways to get them involved in your community or school. Reaching out and connecting with others is just as important for mental health as eating well and getting exercise!

Check your town’s or library’s local calendar for free ways your young person can connect with people!

Strategy #7: Creative Expression

Expressing one’s creativity can give people an outlet for their emotions. Creative expression can be a variety of things including painting, dancing, poetry, etc. Art is utilized as a tool in various psychological practices.

Many cities and towns offer drop-in style community centers that create space for young people to get creative.

Strategy #8: Hobbies

Hobbies can allow people to unwind after a stressful day, and enjoy doing something they love. Helping your young person find a hobby they find fun is another positive way for them to enjoy themselves.

Strategy #9: Spirituality

Spirituality is defined as the “quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul, as opposed to material or physical things.” This doesn’t necessarily have to mean a belief in a Higher Power. Spirituality is doing anything that makes our soul happy. This, again, means different things for different people. Some examples could be meditating, prayer, hiking, or fishing. Connecting with the natural world can also bring calm and centeredness to an individual.

Strategy #10: Music

Music offers a way for people to relate something to their emotions. Many people will say that nothing is better than blaring one of their favorite songs after a long day.