"Coping skills" is a term that I hear a lot in therapy. It's also a term that totally flummoxed me. I'm having anxiety so bad that I want to literally claw my way out of my skin and you tell me to do a crossword? Thanks, but I think I'll use that pencil to gouge out my own eyeballs.
Of course crossword puzzles don't help panic attacks when you're in the moment. But the idea is to start using your coping skills before you get to the I-wanna-be-like-Oedipus-and-blind-myself-with-a-stick stage. I just needed help figuring out what the hell a coping skill was, anyway. I had several that reliably decreased anxiety and improved my mood, but they were pretty self-destructive. I got worksheets with ideas, some of which were useful and others of which didn't jive with me at all. Paint my nails? I don't know that I own nail polish!
However, the lovely Grey Thinking has come to our rescue with a series of posts on underrated coping skills that are, in my mind, spot on and really fantastic.