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Coping Skills Toolbox: go-to's when dealing with anxiety and depression

What is it? A coping skills toolbox is a place for you to keep things that calm you down in periods of distress. If you have everything gathered in one place it’s easier to remember to use your coping skills, rather than using negative behaviors.

SELF-SOOTHING Comforting yourself through your five senses. 1. Something to touch a. (ex. Stuffed animal, stress ball) 2. Something to hear a. (ex. Music, meditation guides) 3. Something to see a. (ex. Snowglobe, happy pictures) 4. Something to taste a. (ex. Mints, tea, gum) 5. Something to smell a. (ex. Lotion, candles, perfume)

DISTRACTION: Taking your mind off the problem for a while Examples: puzzles, books, artwork, crafts, knitting, crocheting, sewing, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, positive websites, music, movies, etc.

OPPOSITE ACTION: doing something the opposite of your impulse that’s consistent with a more positive emotion. 1. Affirmations and Inspiriation a. (ex. Looking at or drawing motivational statements or images) 2. Something funny or cheering a. (ex. Funny movies/TV/books)

EMOTIONAL AWARENESS: tools for identifying and expressing your feelings Ex. A list or chart of emotions, a journal, writing supplies, drawing/art supplies

MINDFULLNESS: tools for centering and grounding yourself in the present moment Ex. Meditation or relaxation recordings, grounding objects (stone, paperweight, sand), yoga mat, breathing exercises.

CRISIS PLAN: contact info of supports and resources, for when coping skills aren’t enough. Family/frinds, therapist, psychiatrist, hotline, 911

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER Once you’ve gather all of your items, put them together in a box or other container, decorate it to your hearts content, and put it in a place where you’ll remember it. then USE IT!

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