Developing Coping Strategies

In some situations, despite our best efforts, we still can’t fix the problems we find ourselves in. If you’ve tried a number of problem-solving strategies and none of them have worked, it might be time to focus on developing skills to help you cope with your problem. Coping strategies can help you learn to accept situations that are beyond your control and find ways to help you feel better even if the problem still exists. Try taking the following actions:

Challenge negative self-talk that can make you feel bad. For more information, check out the Challenging negative self-talk fact sheet.

Talk to people who can support you. For ideas on who you might want to talk to, check out the Get Help section.

Relax. Check out the Relaxation fact sheet for tips on how you can chill out.

Distract yourself, try hanging out with friends, watching a movie, or going for a run.

Get involved and enjoy some activities that you like.

Practice acceptance
When you’re faced with a difficult situation, an important question to ask is What’s the best thing I can do to resolve this problem?

If there’s anything you can do, it’s important to work through the options one step at a time. But sometimes you might find yourself in a situation that you can’t change, no matter how much you would like things to be different.

What has happened has happened, and we can’t change the past. Accept the way things are without insisting that they should be different and try to get on with your life in a positive way.

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at, a website that helps teens get through tough times. 

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