Ten strategies for coping with bad times

Let’s not beat around the bush.

There are times when we all have to deal with situations and circumstances that are likely to be mood-lowering, even for the most resilient individual.

When this happens it’s helpful to have some coping strategies on which to fall back.

Think of them as a kind of first-aid kit for the mind.


I’m sure you’ll already have a few of your own for such challenging times, but here’s a list of ten, one or more of which may be new to you, or at best forgotten.

1. Make a list of the things you like most about yourself.

2. Get out of the house or office to enjoy some time in nature.

3. Forget technology. Talk face-to-face with your family and/or friends.

4. Listen properly to your favourite music, giving it your 100% focus.

5. Fill the bath tub for a long hot soak. Bubbles always help.

6. Polish off a few small jobs you’ve been meaning to do for ages.

7. Sit down and absorb yourself in a really good book.

8. Watch an amusing TV show or movie.

9. Play with a pet – someone else’s if you don’t have your own.

10. Do something – anything – spontaneous. Just get up and do it.

Of course not all of these will suit you, but some may.

So keep them in the back of your mind ready for a grey day, just as you might keep medicines in a kitchen or bathroom cupboard.

2 thoughts on “Ten strategies for coping with bad times

  1. Plenty of effective tips here, Jon. It’s the first and the last that I particularly notice – the most challenging and the most helpful, respectively.

    I’ve just finished a week where every evening I was supposed to write 5 things I loved about myself. Well, you guessed it, I never got over 3 a day – a bit disheartening. So maybe I’ll try again, listing things I like, rather than love, about myself, that might be less challenging.

    Number 10, doing something spontaneously, however, totally works for me. I do a 15 minute art challenge, during which time I have to cover 20 pages in a particular way. There is absolutely no time for thought, I have to be totally spontaneous to complete the task in time. It’s actually very restful for me to switch off my thinking mind. (It’s called Journalling By 5s and you can search on YouTube if anyone is interested.)

    1. Thanks Helen. I’ll certainly be checking out the Journalling By 5s video(s) on YouTube. And good luck with longer lists of things you like (love, even) about yourself.

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