Easy Coping Skills for Teens (Just in Time for Summer)

May 31, 2023

With summer vacation around the corner, teens might benefit from some extra guidance to manage the increased downtime. Regardless of whether they grapple with significant issues like clinical depression and anxiety or just the everyday stresses of school, work, and social activities, teens can benefit from a set of effective coping skills. These can help them navigate their emotions, avoid burnouts, and build a healthier future.

The Importance of Coping Skills

Coping skills are vital across all age groups. Typically, there are healthy and unhealthy coping skills. Healthy ones aid us in regulating and processing our emotions and enable us to move beyond stressful situations. In contrast, unhealthy coping skills often involve suppressing or disregarding our emotional distress. Below, we share a list of healthy coping skills that teens, and even adults, can utilize.

Starting young with these skills can significantly contribute to a teen’s mental stability and health as they grow older. The following coping skills can help alleviate various issues, ranging from anxiety and depression to stress from school and social commitments.

Mindfulness for Adolescents 

Mindfulness refers to staying fully aware of the present moment without judgment. Simple activities like focusing on your breath, feeling the texture of a nearby object, or taking note of surrounding sounds can help anchor you to the present.

Breathwork Teens Can Use

Breathwork involves controlled breathing exercises to promote relaxation. One such exercise is square breathing: inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and hold for 4 seconds. Repeat this cycle a few times until you feel calmer.

Un-boring Exercise Options for Teenagers

Physical activities can significantly impact mental health. Whether it’s joining a local soccer team, practicing yoga at home via a YouTube tutorial, or taking a daily walk or bike ride around the neighborhood, exercise can be a powerful stress-reliever.

Creative Expression

Expressing oneself creatively can be a great outlet for pent-up emotions. It could be as simple as doodling in a sketchbook, writing in a journal, learning a new dance routine, or even practicing martial arts. The key is to let the teen choose the activity they resonate with most.

Teen Social Media Breaks

With the undeniable impact of social media on teens’ mental health, taking regular breaks from these platforms can be incredibly beneficial. Encourage teens to set specific times during the day when they disconnect from their devices and engage in other activities.

Adolescent Social Support

Connecting with others in real life, not just online, can be a crucial aspect of maintaining mental health. Encourage teens to spend quality time with friends and family – a walk in the park, a movie night, or just a heart-to-heart chat can do wonders.

Positive Self-Talk and Affirmations

Cultivating a habit of positive self-talk and affirmations can greatly boost self-esteem. Encourage teens to practice affirmations like “I am strong,” “I am capable,” or “I can handle this,” silently to themselves, especially during stressful situations.

Teaching Teens the Coping Skills They Need

The summer break provides an excellent opportunity to practice these ageless coping skills together. However, if the emotional struggles persist or seem to intensify, it might be an indication to seek professional help. At The Forum, we specialize in adolescent mental health and offer comprehensive, evidence-based therapies tailored to their needs, helping them unlock their full potential.