I have a mental health problem. What are some strategies that I can use to cope?

Positive Coping Strategies

Depending on the situation, some strategies work better than others in terms of reducing stress and helping you manage in the long term. Feel free to try those strategies that work best for you.

Building better coping skills

  • Talk to someone you trust – it helps to share your thoughts with someone who is able to help work through your thoughts and get some clarity and perspective.
  • Write your thoughts down – writing can be therapeutic and helps organize your thoughts as well as express yourself. Write down what’s worrying you, why and what possible solutions can be.
  • Walk away – learn which situations are stressful and don’t help you grow. As legendary jazz musician Nina Simone said, “You've got to learn to leave the table when love's no longer being served."
  • Reduce your workload – oftentimes stress results from huge workloads, working long hours and straining ourselves. If this takes a toll on you, keep a schedule and prioritize your tasks such that you have time to work and rest.
  • Consider the big picture – if you’re going through a challenging situation, ask yourself whether it’s important in the long run. Will this matter in a few weeks/months? If it doesn’t, then it doesnt help being stressed out much by it.
  • Learn to forgive – we are human and we’ll get hurt by those we love, by their words or actions. Learn to forgive and not hold on to resentment. This will lead to a happier life.
  • Hone your communication skills – when you can communicate well, you will be able to express what doesn’t agree with you well, therefore avoiding escalating conflict with people.
  • Relax – get yourself a glass of water and listen to the radio, or go for a walk, or just enjoy the sun. Relaxing is a great way to refocus your thoughts when things get overwhelming
  • Build your gratitude – take a few minutes of your days and identify 3 things which you are grateful for.