• Coping Skills Tool Box 

    Grounding - Grounding is a skill you can use when you feel worry in your mind or body. Sometimes when we are worried about things our minds take us on a trip to the future and we start thinking about "what if's" what if this happens or what if that... or we head into the past and focus on negative things that have happened before, replaying them over and over in our minds. One great way to feel better is to connect with the present moment, focusing on the safety that is available for us in the here and now. 

    • What are 5 things you can see 
    • What are 4 things you can touch
    • What are 3 things you can hear
    • What are 2 things you can smell 
    • What is 1 thing you can taste 


    Progressive Relaxation - Slowly squeezing our muscles and then releasing them to let go of tension and feel more relaxed!

    • Face- scrunch your face (like you smell stinky cheese and you don't like it) hold for 5 seconds and let go
    • Shoulders- start by lifting your shoulders up towards your ears (imagine mom is asking, "Who ate the last cookie?" and you are shrugging,"I don't know!") hold for 5 seconds and let go
    • Arms- squeeze your fists together and tighten up your arms, hold for 5 seconds and let go
    • Belly- sit up nice and tall and squeeze your belly as tight as you can, hold for 5 seconds and feel your lower back relax too 
    • Legs- imagine you are having a dance party in the mud and your feet are sinking to the bottom, then tenses up your legs and try to pull them out, squeeze and pull for 5 seconds

    * Watch this fun YouTube Video to do a guided progressive relaxation *


    Controlled Breathing  Sometimes when we are worried or stressed it can change our breathing, making it hard to take a deep breath or feeling like we are breathing too fast. When we practice controlled breathing we take time to stop and think about the way we are breathing so that we can slow things down and help ourselves feel calm.

    • 4-7-8 breathing -breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and breath out through your mouth for 8 seconds 
    • Pizza breath- hold out your hand and pretend you are holding a nice, hot slice of pizza...smell the pizza (take a big whiff) and then blow on the pizza to cool it off
    • Roller coaster breathing- put your hand up like you are going to high 5 someone, then start to trace your hand with the finger of the opposite hand, inhale as you go up the hill of each finger and exhale as you go down the other side...trace your whole hand and then repeat as needed
    • Bubble breathing - imagine you are blowing bubbles, hold the imaginary wand up to your mouth and blow as hard as you can to make lots of bubbles 

    *Watch this fun YouTube Balloon Video  to learn how to do Balloon Breathing *


    Move that Body - Doing something physical to connect with our bodies is a great way to burn off stress


    • Jumping - do 25 jumping jax, jump up and down in one place, or jump on the trampoline
    • Running- run as fast as you can, run in place, set up an obstacle course, or go for a jog around the block
    • Push ups- do 10 push ups or mountain climbers
    • Sit ups- do 20 sit ups
    • Push the wall - push against the wall as hard as you can or do wall sits, putting your back against the wall and sliding down to where your knees are bent like you are sitting in a chair
    • Yoga 

    *Watch this fun Yoga Video for a great yoga class for kids*


    *Watch this fun Go Noodle video for kids* 

    Express Yourself  - It's important not to let big feelings build up. All feelings are OK but all ways of dealing with them are not. We need to find healthy ways to let out our emotions that don't harm ourselves or others

    • Journal writing- write down your thoughts, feelings, worries, wishes, and anything else that you feel inspired to express 
    • Talk to a someone you love- sharing your troubles, fears, or worries with someone elsee can help lighten the load 
    • Take it out on a pillow - punch or scream into a pillow when you are mad instead of hurting someone you care about
    • Dance - put on your favorite song and dance your heart out 

    Focus on the Positive  - It's only natural that our brain notices the negative things in life. It's our way of protecting ourselves from danger, but sometimes we can get stuck in a negative thinking loop and we have to stop and remember to see the positive side of things too 

    • Gratitude- think about the things you are grateful for and why. Start a gratitude journal or think of 3 things you are grateful for when you wake up and before you go to bed
    • Look for the silver lining - every problem we face helps us grow and become an even stronger version of ourselves. Look for the the lessons when you are dealing with something challenging 
    • Positive thinking- focus on what you can do, give yourself a pep talk, say positive things to yourself like "I can do this", "I'm awesome", or "I will get through this"

    *Watch this fun video on having an Attitude of Gratitude*