Trauma Coping Skills

Coping skill hare things we can do to help us better manage trauma symptoms. They help us calm our brain and body, think more clearly, and develop inner strength to overcome past trauma.

Develop Resilience
– Set, and work towards goals.
– Focus on your strengths, improve upon your weaknesses.
– Discover your purpose/passion.
– Practice flexibility, go with the flow, let things go, don’t let things get to you.
– Practice optimism, think about what you can learn from every difficulty.
– Use problem solving skills.

Relaxation Skills
– Practice deep belly breathing with long out breaths, or use an online breath pacer.
– Use a relaxation app.
– Tense and relax your muscles.
– Visualise a peaceful place.
– Self massage neck/shoulders.
– Take a nap, or warm bath/shower.
– Stretching/Yoga/Tai Chi/Qi Gong

Emotional/Physical Release
– Do pushups, wall sits, or planks until you’re tired.
– Take a cold shower.
– Squeeze ice.
– Yell into a pillow, let yourself cry.
– Dance, laugh, run, use a punching bag.
– Rip up old newspaper/cardboard.

Shift Your Mindset/Thoughts
– Understand your trauma symptoms
– Understand your triggers to distressing emotions.
– Notice, and challenge negative/unhelpful thoughts.
– Encourage/coach yourself through difficult moments.
– Think of 3 things you are grateful for each day.
– Adopt a growth mindset.

Health Habits/Self Care
– Practice self-compassion
– Get good sleep
– Good diet/nutrition
– Exercise regularly
– Make a self-care box
– Daily hygiene routine
– Drink plenty of water
– Reduce caffeine consumption
– Get out in nature
– Avoid drugs or alcohol

Mindful Isolation/Distraction
– Remove yourself from triggering interactions or places
– Creative outlets such as writing, art, music, building hobbies.
– Watch TV/movie/read a book
– Colour, puzzles, word search
– Play with a pet.

Grounding Skills
– Practice mindfulness
– Look : Name 5 things you see
– Feel : Name 4 things you touch
– Listen : Name 3 things you hear
– Smell : Name 2 things you smell
– Taste : Name 1 thing you like to taste

Ask for Help or Support
– Talk with supportive friends, family, or teachers.
– Talk to a therapist/counsellor
– Connect with a trauma support group
– Talk to your doctor if you feel medication might be helpful

If you found this post useful, please share with others.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Annie says:

    Thank you for this post! This is such a vital part of recovery. Many people are struggling with all kinds of trauma, I wish I could bookmark this post to have simple tips just on difficult days. Your post is very important! Thank you, xoxo Annie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Thank you Annie. I agree with your assessment. For many years, the traumatic things that happened to people were overlooked as a possible cause of frightening, distressing, and sometimes disabling emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, phobias, delusions, flashbacks, and being out of touch with reality. In recent years, many researchers and health care providers have become convinced of the connection between trauma and these symptoms. They are developing new treatment programs and revising old ones to better meet the needs of people who have had traumatic experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Annie says:

        Well said. I offer a meditation session at the high school that I teach at to allow kids to decompress. Trauma can also include those who live in constant stress and unrealistic expectations. The kids love the deep breathing and at times fall asleep. I told them that your body will tell you what it needs if you would just slow down enough to listen. I was able to save your post. Thank you ❤️ Annie

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GS says:

        That is such a great initiative, Annie. Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. You can also use it to relax and cope with stress by refocusing your attention on something calming. Meditation can help you learn to stay centered and keep inner peace.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Annie says:

        I hope the kids can take it with them through life. It is a very important practice for everyone at any time. ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

      4. GS says:

        Absolutely, they will come back to meditation all their lives. Thank you for doing this.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Thank you Karen.


  2. Great tips. People should practice these more, instead of depending on the medicines only.

    Liked by 1 person

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