Welcome to COPING!

Now that we understand stuff like the “stress response” and what stress can feel and look like in our minds, bodies and behaviours, let’s talk about how we can DEAL with it all.

Handling stress is NOT a matter of getting rid of it entirely, it’s about learning how to ride the waves!

So, how can we learn to ride the waves of stress?



So what is Coping?

Copingis the word we use to describe the ways in which we manage all the stress, difficulty, pressure and tough stuff that comes up in our lives.

There are lots of different ways to cope with stress and we like to call these different ways “Coping Tools” or “Coping Strategies”.



You’ve probably heard of some common coping tools, like: “Take a bubble bath!” or “Go for a nice long walk!” or “Listen to your favourite music”…

All those are all great ones that can help reduce stress each in their own way, but… we’re going to share a BIG secret with you… ready?

life is complicated

It’s true! Because we will all deal with more than one kind of stressor across our lives, we can’t JUST use one single coping strategy or tool to solve ALL of our problems, right? Right!


So how do we cope?

To make sense of all the different kinds of coping tools to choose from, we like to talk about effectively coping with our stress in terms of practicing something called Self-Care


SELF-CARE: Let's break that one down...

Self: The “self” includes your body, mind, heart and soul – so basically, ALL of you! And you are someone worth caring for

Care: It’s pretty easy to be hard on ourselves, but think about how you would support a friend or loved one. How would you treat them to make them feel cared for?


With “Self-Care”, it’s all about taking the care we give to others, and turning it inward – essentially, it’s like being your own best friend!


6 Types of Self-Care

Click each category below to learn about all the different ways to self-care:


Making the most of your Coping Toolbox

As you can see, there are lots of different ways to manage stress and practice self-care, but it turns out that not all coping tools can help us with the all the different kinds of stressors we may face in our lives.



So how do we know what coping tool to apply to what stressor?

Well, it’s important to know that because each person’s life, experiences, knowledge, skills and situation are all different, it means we all learn to cope differently as well.

Getting to know ourselves, what works for us, and what we need to work at, are important steps in becoming a StressLESS pro!


Applying our Coping Skills

While there IS a place for each different kind of coping strategy in our coping toolbox (and we don’t like to judge one as ALL GOOD or ALL BAD), we CAN also get better at coping by learning to apply the best tool for the job!


Using the Right Tool for the Job!

Would it be a good idea to try to fix a broken lightbulb with a hammer? Hmmm… Our vote is NOPE!

Well, dealing with stress is the same thing – it doesn’t work super well unless your coping strategy matches what your stressor!



3 Tips to Stress LESS!

There are 3 super-tips to learning how to apply the right tool for the job when it comes to managing and reducing stress.

Name it to Tame it

We like to say “Name it to Tame it!” That means we need to know WHAT we’re feeling stressed about in order to know HOW to deal with it.

Pro tip: Often to name the stressor, it helps to also name the feeling or emotions you’re experiencing, the thoughts you’re having (remember back to what we learned about our stress response: fight, flight, freeze!)


“I have 3 HUGE exams coming up next week and I am feeling so overwhelmed!”

Ask: How could this help?

When we know what is causing us stress, we can then explore what kind of coping or self-care approach would help us most.

Questions to ask yourself:

Do I have a lot of control or only a little/no control over this stressful thing?


“I think if I could study enough to feel confident about going into these exams, I would feel less stressed…”

Will the coping strategy I am thinking of using help me feel less stressed in this moment (short-term) or help reduce stress later on (long-term)?


“If I choose to watch a full season of Netflix, I may feel better in the moment, but then maybe I’ll be WAY more stressed after and no more prepared for these exams. Maybe if I make a plan to study with a friend this week I can stay on track and studying would be more fun too!”

Practice Makes Better… WAY BETTER!

Well, we can’t say “practice makes perfect” (nothing and no one is perfect!), but practice does make better… way better!

Did you know that coping is actually a SKILL you can LEARN? That’s right! Coping isn’t just something you do naturally and perfectly and it helps every time to relieve your stress or fix your problems. It’s actually something that takes PRACTICE!


“Would love to share a REAL story from someone here to illustrate the point of practicing”


ACTIVITY TIME: Stress-busting Style Quiz!

To start this get-to-know-yourself process (and just for fun!), let’s play a little game to find out what YOUR go-to stress-busting style is!

What's Your Stress Busting Style?

We all experience different stressors and have different ways of coping with the tough stuff that life throws at us. So, what is YOUR go-to stress busting style?! There are lots of ways to cope with stress, but sometimes we get stuck in our ways, we feel overwhelmed, and we rely on what we know. This quiz will help you figure out how you tend to approach stress and stressful situations and help you learn more about yourself!

Question 1

When it’s crunch time with a school assignment and that deadline is coming down to the wire, I’m more likely to…

1. Throw on some Netflix (I swear, just one episode!).
2. Take a deep breath and remind myself that I’ve done this before and I can do it again.
3. Schedule the rest of my study time before the test into chunks of time that include breaks / Barrel down and get’er done!!!
4. Go for a quick run to clear my head before getting back to it.
5. Call my study buddy to see how they’re doing with it and for some moral support.

Question 2

When I am stressed about something I have to do, but I just CANNOT get myself to do it… You’ll likely find me…

1. Procrasti-baking.
2. Scrolling through my phone.
3. Making an action plan to complete the task.
4. Breathing exercise/going for a walk.
5. Finding a buddy that’ll check up on me!

Question 3

When I’m feeling the stress build up, I bust it by…

1. Busting a move.
2. Screaming into a pillow.
3. Doing a guided meditation.
4. Going out into nature.
5. Talking to someone/ letting it all out.

Question 4

You’re having some trouble at home - you seem to be getting into arguments with your siblings or your parents/guardians all the time! Do you….

1. On your own, plan out what you think a good compromise with everyone would look like.
2. Get out of the house and go play your favourite sport at the park.
3. Write out reasons you’re grateful for the people around you so you can focus on the positives.
4. Call your bff to tell them everything that happened (vent) and also to get their advice.
5. Make your favourite meal to treat yourself after such a stressful time.

Question 5

You’ve got a big test coming up that you’re SUPER stressed about! Do you....

1. Make a study plan ASAP.
2. Go for a run to get over my nerves.
3. Remind yourself that you can only do your best, and that it will all be okay.
4. Ask the teacher for some study tips, or to pair you up with study buddies!
5. Put your favourite movie on and watch it for the millionth time!

Question 6

You got a bad grade on that test and need to tell your parent/guardian. Do you....

1. Write up a script - you gotta make sure you deliver this news right!
2. Use your pillow as a punching bag when you get home until you feel ready to tell them.
3. Do a quick 5 minute guided meditation to relax yourself before you tell them the news.
4. Make your sibling/friend be there when you tell them.
5. What test? I won’t tell them until they ask!

Question 7

You have to go out to the grocery store, but when you get there you realize it’s packed full of people! You start to get a bit nervous. Do you….

1. Do a couple jumping jacks outside to get your heart rate up and fuel your shopping.
2. Use a quick grounding technique to calm your nerves.
3. Call your parent/friend to come do the grocery run with you.
4. Think to yourself, "I can go another day without groceries... maybe I can try again tomorrow!".
5. Make sure you're prepared with a good mask, hand sanitizer in your pocket, and grab a cart to make sure nobody stands too close to you.

Question 8

You’re at home, relaxing, and decide to take a nap. When you wake up, you check your calendar and realize you accidentally slept through an online test! Do you…

1. Go back to sleep. You can deal with this another time when you’re less tired.
2. Start making a list of all the assignments you have left and how you can get the mark you want in this course!
3. Immediately call the teacher and see if you can do a make-up quiz or assignment instead!
4. Remind yourself that you’re doing well in this course, and that you can recover from missing this test. You spend time focusing on all the great assignments and marks you’ve already gotten.
5. Follow a quick yoga or workout routine on YouTube to relieve your stress and anxiety.

Question 9

You’re having a great day at school, when your teacher suddenly tells you they want you to stay after class to have a chat. Do you….

1. Not stay after class! That’s way too stressful!!
2. Do a couple laps around the field before I have a chat with my teacher.
3. Do a quick check-in with how you’re feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically and talk to your teacher if you feel like you have to reschedule for a better time to have a chat.
4. Ask your teacher if you can have a friend there with you to hear the news!
5. Get your calendar and a notebook prepared for this talk so you can take notes & make a plan with the teacher if you need to!

Question 10

You really want to go out with your friends, but your parents/guardians say that you have to clean your room before you can go. Do you....

1. Feel like it's impossible to get all that work done in time, and instead cancel your plans and figure out a nice night at your house!
2. Do a stretch and march in place for a couple minutes to get pumped up for a super speedy clean-up!
3. Write out a plan of how much time to spend on each area of your room and get it approved by your parent/guardian. This way, even if you run out of time, you’ll have the most important things done first!
4. Get your friends to come early to help you clean, or offer to help your sibling with their homework if they help you clean up!
5. Do some deep breathing exercises on Youtube to help you focus and get in the zone before starting the process. You make sure to celebrate your progress along the way so that it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

All 10 questions completed!

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What's Your Stress Busting Style?

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Great! Now you hopefully know yourself a bit better and how you feel in different situations.

Remember that there are stressors with which we have more control, and those with which we have less control…


Check out the next section to learn about one BIG stressor we’re all dealing with.