‘I have learned various coping skills’


Julia Fiskin

PV senior mentions coping techniques that she discovered from High Focus and her own experiences with mental health. She talks about scenarios where these strategies were helpful in bringing her to the present.

Editor’s Note: Kayla’s Korner will be a reoccurring column that deals with mental health and teenage issues.

Since I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for most of my life, I have learned various coping skills from my therapist and High Focus to deal with everything.

My most used coping skills involve distracting myself. To distract myself, I will:

  • Hang out with friends
  • Listen to music
  • Watch a movie
  • Do my homework
  • Go out somewhere

For the distractions to work, I have to usually be with other people. For me, friends easily help distract me. It is easy to forget about everything going on in my head when my friends are there, making me laugh or having a conversation about their life.

Whenever I get depressed or anxious, I try to talk to someone right away. I usually will text my friend or my mom and tell them what is going on. Although I feel guilty in making them worry about me, talking to them always helps to calm me down.

My other major coping skill is writing. It really helps to just get everything out. Writing does that for me. I will write for hours, just explaining to my journal what is going on in my head.

For anxiety, I use deep breathing and grounding techniques. Deep breathing is helpful when I am in the middle of an anxiety or panic attack. I also use deep breathing when I am about to cry or about to scream. I take a few deep breaths and talk myself down by saying things like “everything will be okay” and “it’s okay.”

The grounding technique I use the most is mentally looking around and naming 10 things around me. Grounding techniques, like these, are used to calm you down and show that you are in the present, not the future or past.

Another grounding technique I use often is considered physically grounding myself. This means that I will stomp my feet on the ground. I will tap my fingers on the desk or wherever I am. I will pinch myself. This is again used to snap me back into reality and show that I am in the present.

I remember I was in school last year and ran to the bathroom. I was having an anxiety attack. I was short in breath and my mind was racing. I stood in the bathroom stall and to calm myself down, I just started jumping up and down as hard and fast as I could. I then just kept repeating to myself to breathe. This got me through the attack.

Coping skills are useful even if you do not have anxiety or depression. They can be used every day for simple things, including if you are an aggressive driver or you are feeling upset.

Coming next: Kayla’s Korner will be continuing with weekly articles. Next week will involve the importance of feeling supported.