• Coping Skills Home Practice

    One Step at a Time

    One Step at a Time


    Take one step at a time:   During challenging and uncertain times we may find that completing tasks feels more overwhelming than usual.  We may feel anxious and stressed when we think about or try do too much at once.  Reminding ourselves to take it one day, and one step at a time can help.

    Tips for taking one step at a time:

    • Break large tasks into many smaller tasks: If an assignment or chore feels overwhelming, try to switch your focus to view it as many smaller tasks instead of one large one.  Make a list of all the small steps that you will need to take to reach your goal of completion.  It will feel so good to check off each little step, and completing the assignment or chore will feel less overwhelming.


    • Plan ahead: Once you have made a list of all the small steps you will take to complete your assignment or chore, determine when you will need to complete each step. Completing these smaller steps a little at a time, and in advance of a due date will help reduce the stress of rushing to complete too much at once.


    • Take a break: As you go through your day working on assignments and tasks that need to be completed, plan a couple breaks into your schedule.  Set a timer or alarm for 5-10 minutes, and use this time to take a quiet break and listen to music, take a quick walk outside, get a drink of water or a snack, etc.  You may find that a short break re-charges you a bit, and allows you to focus on your next step.


    • Keep focused by working towards a reward:  When you complete your tasks for the day reward yourself with time to engage in things that are healthy and enjoyable.


    • Focus on today: Take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and keep trying your best!


    For Middle School and High School students:

    “My Calm Place” card deck combines yoga, meditation, mindfulness and guided imagery activities to calm emotions and promote self-regulationPractice strategies from “My Calm Place” card deck:

    • “Sensing the Outdoors”: Close your eyes and listen to the sounds you hear outdoors.  Birds, leaves rustling, wind.  Smell the fresh flowers, trees and grass.  See the new plants blooming.  Appreciate all the beauty around you.


    • “Meditate to do Well”: Before completing school work or assignments, try meditating.  Clear your mind by focusing on your breath.  Shift your weight in your seat to find the bones you sit on.  Breathe and see yourself being successful.”


    • “The Open Sky”: When you feel cramped, stretch out your fingers.  Imagine an open sky or field.    Imagine your breath filling each part of you with space as open as the sky.


    For Middle and High School students:

    “Growing Mindful” card deck provides unique mindfulness activities to teach awareness, how to be present in the moment, and cultivate kindness and curiosity.  Practice strategies from “Growing Mindful” card deck

    • “The Three R’s”:  Rest your awareness on your breath.  Recognize when and where it wanders.  Return your awareness to your breath.  Repeat


    • “When is my Mind?”: Take one minute and count on your hands how many times your mind goes to the past, to the future, or somewhere else.  Then return to the present for a rest.


    • “Square Breath”: Breathe in for a count of 4.  Hold for a count of 4.  Breathe out for a count of 4.  Hold for a count of 4.  Repeat until breathing is reset.


    Positive Coping Strategies/Fun Activities: Choose a few activities you would like to do this week...

    Listen to music mindfully

    Go for a walk, run or bike ride

    Lie down and look at the clouds, find different shapes


    Draw, Paint


    Play in instrument

    Spend some time outdoors, enjoy nature

    Spend time with a pet

    Play a game

    Write a story about a fun memory you have


    Send a card or letter to a friend or family member (through the mail)

    Practice a sport outside

    Make a meal for your family

    Practice breathing, relaxation techniques

    Listen to Guided Meditation

    Write something you are grateful for each day

    Send a thank you note or card

    Call a friend or family member (on the phone) just to say hi

    Practice an instrument and then record yourself playing; share with family and friends

    Play a game with friends or family through video chat

    Organize or clean your room

    Watch a funny movie