How to Stay Strong: 12 Tools

Limiting stress and discovering the things that help us feel most alive can support our mental health and help us stay strong. Try one new coping tool at a time, and when you find one that works for you, schedule it into your day/week until it becomes a habit.

A dozen coping tool ideas to keep you strong and stress-free:

1. Connect with someone who makes you laugh, someone who inspires you, and furry friends who offer endless unconditional love.

2. Create: Do art, dance or sing your heart out, write a story or blog/journal.

3. Play a sport, stretch, take an exercise or yoga class, take a walk surrounded by nature.

Always make time for the things that make you feel alive.

4. Breathe: If you’re anxious, try exhaling longer than your inhale (count of 4 in, 8 out). Try slightly constricting the back of your throat to make an “ocean” sound, helping to slow the breath. If you’re feeling low, try energizing breath.

5. Explore your spiritual side.

6. Read anything interesting and uplifting.

7. Collect personal mantras (affirmations) that work for you. Demi Lovato is a big fan of using mantras, so much so, she wrote a book of them.

8. Discover: Try ANYTHING new; explore a place you’ve never been.

9. Disconnect: Take a break from anything with a screen, especially in the hour before bed.

10. Nourish your body with good food, hydration and TLC.

11. Detox: Take a break from alcohol and caffeine.

12. Sleep: Try going to bed an hour earlier and see how you feel the next day.

If you find yourself getting stressed out or having a relapse of symptoms, give yourself a big break and know that you’re not alone: recovery is not a straight line.  It’s a process — and often one that requires a lot of work.  It’s OK to take a little step back now and then – it’s part of life.

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