Many times I will ask a client during the first few sessions what their coping skills are and all too often I get a very confused look followed by, “what do you mean coping skills?” We all have ways that we cope. After all you have done something to get through the trauma you have experienced. Often time’s people are just not aware of the things that they do to cope. Coping skills typically fall into two categories…
Self Soothe skills are characteristically anything that makes you happy or makes you feel good. Personally, I tend to think of girlie things like paining my nails, doing a facial, or taking a bath. Other self-soothing skills may include putting on fake tattoos, coloring, drawing, take a nap, watching your favorite movie, exercise, playing with your pet, baking, yoga, praying, or doing a puzzle.
Distract skills include anything that will distract you from your negative thinking. Many times self-soothing skills will double as skills that will distract you. Some distraction skills include cleaning, listening to music, going for a walk, spending time with friends, playing a sport, taking up a new hobby, watching tv, journaling, play a video game, re arranging you furniture.