Coping Strategies in Times of Need


Need some Coping Strategies for Stress? Here are some tips from the Hylton Counseling Department:

  • Reach out to your School Counselor for a check-in, refresh, vent, or counseling session. Your counselor is a great resource. Please come see us in the counseling office, make an appointment using the QR code, or email us.


  • Grounding (5-4-3-2-1 and 3-3-3 methods)
    • What are 5 things you can see?
    • What are 4 things you can touch?
    • What are 3 things you can hear?
    • What are 2 things you can smell?
    • What is 1 thing you can taste?


  • Scaling
    • On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel right now?
    • What tells you that you are at that number?
    • What would it take to move 1 point higher?
    • What would need to happen to help you see the number go up and stay up?


  • Journaling
    • It involves the therapeutic use of journaling exercises and prompts that will help you write down your thoughts and reflect on what is happening in your life right now. Writing is important to bring thoughts out of your mind and into a visual form.
    • This is the art of self-expression
    • 5 easy steps to journaling – W.R.I.T.E.
      • W – What do you want to write about? (current situation, feelings, or thoughts)
      • R – Review and reflect on it
      • I – Investigate what you are thinking and your feelings (write and if you get stuck close your eyes and concentrate on what you want to say)
      • T – Time yourself – Give yourself a time to write and for how long
      • E – Exit and only reflect if you feel led to.


  • Guided Imagery & Visualization


  • Using Positive Self-Talk
    • Use encouraging words to uplift yourself
    • Use positive words when thinking about yourself
    • Use phrases such as “I have the power”, “I’m proud of myself”, “I’m capable and strong”, “I can and I will”


  • Taking a break/going for a walk


  • Breathing/Meditating
    • Breathing exercises are a good way to relax, reduce tension, and calm yourself.
    • If done incorrectly, it can cause you to feel dizzy or hyperventilate
    • Steps you can follow:
      1. To start, put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest as in the belly breathing exercise.
      2. Take a deep, slow breath from your belly, and silently count to 4 as you breathe in.
      3. Hold your breath, and silently count from 1 to 7.
      4. Breathe out completely as you silently count from 1 to 8. Try to get all the air out of your lungs by the time you count to 8.
      5. Repeat 3 to 7 times or until you feel calm.
      6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.


  • Making a List/Getting Organized
    • Keep a planner, schedule, or other organizational tools to structure your day for both school and personal life responsibilities
  • Create a routine for yourself. Create and set a morning routine, after-school routine, and night routine. Doing a set of activities to start or finish your day can make room to alleviate unwanted stress or anxiety because you know what to do at certain times of the day


  • Use art tools
    • Coloring paper
    • Mandalas
    • Paint
    • Draw lines
    • Draw your feelings
    • Take pictures of things you find beautiful and/or inspiring
    • Paint a rock
    • Create a snowflake


  • Tactile and Sensory Tools can help keep you calmed, engaged, and on task
    • Stress Balls
    • Pop-Its
    • Legos
    • Salt Trays – we have them in many of our counseling offices
    • Fidget spinners