5 coping skills activities

In this article, we will take a look at all the different types of coping skills activities that can be utilized to deal with stressful situations in life. We would also understand how we can develop our coping skills with these activities

What are the coping skill activities?

The coping skills can be classified into different types according to their characteristics. For example, the activities that provide distractions can be called diversions, and the activities that generate resilience are called positive coping skills. Following are a few examples from some types of coping skills activities.  

  • Engaging in creative exploration such as Writing, drawing painting, photography; etc.
  • Playing mu sic or an instrument while singing and, dancing
  • Relaxing with a warm bath or shower 
  • Gardening or tending to animals.
  • Take a long walk in a park or any other open space or go for a long drive.
  • Having reasonable or low expectations from the situation
  • Integrating the words spoken by inspirational figures into your life
  • Try to be adaptable and flexible=
  • Create a list of goals;
  • Get in touch with your inner self through spirituality.
  • Spending quality time with your pets;
  • Having a good sleep 
  • Consuming a nutritious and healthy diet

Everyone goes through difficult times even if they are mentally strong and have the resilience to sustain hardships. Coping with negative aspects in life is a part of the journey, We all cope with different types of things either consciously or unconsciously. 


Coping methods differ from person to person. Each person might have their way of dealing with the same situation. If someone is feeling sad they might hang out with their friends to feel better. On the other hand, if their friend is feeling sad they might prefer being alone by themself until they feel better. To each their own. No one can claim that their coping methods are superior to others as they work effectively according to the needs and personality of the person. But it is also important to note that not all coping methods are healthy. Sometimes people get swept away with unhealthy coping methods and end up ruining their lives. Therefore it is important to choose our ways to cope with difficulties,  responsibly.  

In this blog, we will explore many different coping activities that can be classified into different types. As we discussed before everyone has different needs and dispositions when it comes to dealing with difficulties. It is not necessary that all the coping activities would be suitable for everyone. We all have to explore and identify the activities through careful examination and practice that best fit our needs and personality. Following are the different types of coping skill activities. 


These kinds of activities work as divergent and help us turn our attention away from our stressors. They include

  • Engaging in creative exploration such as Writing, drawing painting, photography; etc.
  • Playing music or an instrument while singing and, dancing
  • Relaxing with a warm bath or shower 
  • Gardening or tending to animals.
  • Take a long walk in a park or any other open space or go for a long drive.
  • Watching entertainment on television or going to a movie;
  • Watching adorable videos of pets or animals on social networking sites or youtube. 
  • Play sports with friends or even an online game;
  • Indulge in shopping
  • Clean or tidy up the house or your workspace
  • Curl up with a good book and warm drink
  • Go on a vacation or even a weekend trip.

Social/Interpersonal Coping

In this type of method, you use socialization or social relationships or rules to help you deal with your stressors. They include

  • Discussing or confiding in a trustworthy person
  • Establish firm boundaries and learn to say no.
  • Get in touch with the person you miss
  • Don’t be afraid to be assertive;
  • Spend quality time with friends and/or family;
  • Help someone in need or do volunteering and charity work
  • Play with your pet 
  • Role-play difficult situations and try to come up with solutions with your friends and family
  • Be an encouraging figure to others.

Cognitive Coping

Over here people utilize their cognitive skills to help them tackle the stressors.

  • Create a list of gratitude to help you understand and remember the good things in life
  • Analyze the situation and come up with alternative solutions
  • Habe reasonable or low expectations about a situation to avoid disappointment 
  • Listen to inspirational quotes and keep one with you. 
  • Be adaptable and  flexible;
  • Create a list of goals;
  • Join a class to learn a new thing or become better at what you already know.
  • Act in the opposite way of negative feelings. If you are feeling angry try to be calm and happy. 
  • Analyze and create a  list of pros and cons for decisions;
  • When things are going well reward yourself and if things are not going well then pamper yourself.
  • Make a list of all the strengths in your life
  • Don’t run away from challenges and accept them with a positive attitude. 
  • Engage in activities that help you release tension
  • Play sports or exercise to help relieve stress. 
  • Release your pent up frustration by Engaging  in catharsis (yelling in the bathroom, punching a punching bag);
  • Don’t be afraid to cry out your feelings.
  • Laugh as much as you can whenever you can 

Physical coping activities

In the physical coping method, you can utilize physical activities and exercises to eliminate the stressors. It also includes taking care of your physical state for a healthy mind and body.

  • Have a good sleeping schedule 
  • Consume a nutritious and healthy diet
  • Set a fixed and good routine;
  • Eat chocolate to feel better but only in moderation
  • Avoid caffeine or alcoholic substances
  • Practice relaxation exercises such as deep/slow breathing.

Spiritual coping activities

In the spiritual method, you connect with your inner self and practice mindfulness and spirituality to elevate your emotional state, 

  • Pray or meditate;
  • Bask in the magnificence of nature;
  • Dedicate your time and effort to a worthy cause and help create a change


In a limit setting, we recognize our limitations and work in a way that does not pose harm to us. We learn to prioritize and give importance to ourselves.

  • Reduce unnecessary involvement
  • Prioritize important tasks;
  • Be respectful but assertive in your communication approach
  • Schedule time for yourself.

As mentioned earlier there are healthy coping skills as we have seen above but there are also negative or unhealthy coping skills. These coping skills are deterrent and destructive in the development and growth of an individual. Therefore it is very important to only rely on positive, healthy, and helpful coping skills

Healthy Coping Skills

  • Practicing meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques;
  • Saving time to spend on yourself;
  • Engaging in regular physical exercise and activities that boost cognitive processes.
  • Reading and writing or engaging in your favorite hobby
  • Spending quality time with friends and family
  • Finding humor in even difficult situations
  • Spending time on your hobbies;
  • Engaging in spiritual awakening
  • Spending quality time with your pets;
  • Getting a good night’s sleep;
  • Eating healthy.

Negative Coping Skills

  • Using illicit or recreational drugs
  • Rely on alcohol to forget about the difficulties 
  • Self-harming or mutilation
  • Ignoring or bottling up feelings or running away from what you truly feel
  • Consuming sedatives to numb your senses
  • Taking stimulants to tackle difficult scenarios or situations 
  • Becoming a workaholic
  • Ignoring or being in denial of your problems;
  • Be stubborn in accepting your issues.

Following are  ten ways to build resilience which is a necessary component along with coping skills to tackle adverse situations

  • Working on your confidence and self-esteem issues
  • Learn to accept and believe in the compliments you receive]
  • Be there for your loved ones when they need you 
  • Be a supporting and helpful figure to the people around you and learn to be helpful when they are in need 
  • Create a realistic budget and follow it sincerely
  • Do Volunteering for a worthy cause  in your community;
  • Always try to come up with different ways to tackle stressors in your daily life
  • Learn to share your burden with others and empathize with someone going through a similar predicament as you. 
  • Identify and address your shifting moods;
  • Learn how to be at peace with yourself.


We learned about the various types of coping skills and many different activities that come under them. This article also provided us with ways to build resilience to sustain and persist in difficult situations.

Frequently asked Questions

How do you teach coping skills?

Coping skills are very easy to learn and adapt to in our daily routine. To teach coping skills we must also utilize them in the first place. Following are how coping skills can be taught effectively

We should set an example by practicing healthy coping skills by ourselves.

Children are influenced by the actions and behavior of adults around them and pick up how to cope from observing them. So be careful of the kind of message and skills you end up teaching them even unintentionally.

Always try to teach new coping strategies when everyone is calm.

Make sure to learn and try lots of different coping skills

Make coping skills a part of your daily routine.

Make practicing coping skills fun.

What are the 3 broad types of coping strategies?

To make things easier coping skills have been broadly classified into three categories appraisal -focused,problem-focused, emotion-focused, and occupation-focused coping. Appraisal focused strategy helps in dealing with thoughts associated with the stressor. The problem-focused coping strategy affects the stressor itself whereas the emotion-focused coping strategy affects the feelings associated with the stressor. Coping strategies can be either positive or negative.

What is a positive coping skill?

Positive Coping Skills do not cause any stress or issues instead they help you in becoming resilient and more tolerant towards your issues and stress. These activities could include 

Writing or drawing and  painting


Playing an instrument

Singing and dancing,

Take a shower or a bath.

What are active coping strategies?

Active coping strategies help in gaining an awareness of the stressor that can later be followed by attempts to reduce the negative outcome. But on the other hand, other types of strategies such as avoidant coping the is issue is ignored, and instead focus is shifted towards activities that only deny the existence of the problem. the issue, often resulting in activities that aid in the denial of the problem. (e.g., drinking, sleeping, isolating).

How do kids use coping skills?

The coping skills developed for the kids should be appropriate for age and temperament. They should also be willing to engage in these activities and hence these activities are designed by keeping the kid’s general nature in mind. 

  • Deep breathing using bubbles.
  • Remember the words to a song you love.
  • Calming jar.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Create a music playlist.
  • Write what is bothering you and throw it away.
  • Make a comic strip of what happened and what you can do next time.
  • Jump rope.


10+ coping skills worksheets for adults and youth (+ pdfs). PositivePsychology.com. (2021, December 14). Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://positivepsychology.com/coping-skills-worksheets/