2 Growing up can be hard. You may face stress: What are coping skills?They are skills that can help you deal with the stresses and problems of growing up.Growing up can be hard. You may face stress:At homeEven when there are no serious problems, getting along with parents and other family members is not always easy. It’s normal for people to have different opinions.At SchoolPressure to get good grades, play a sport or make friends can be intense!In your school lifeFor example, friends may put pressure on you to do certain things or think a certain way.
3 Why learn about coping skills? -Because learning-and-using coping skills can help you give the confidence you need to move ahead in life.Coping skills can help you:Feel good about yourselfUnless you know how to handle stress, it can lower your self-esteem. Coping skills give you the tools you need.Making good decisionsThere is an art to making decisions. Once you learn it. You’ll be more likely to make decisions that are right for you.Stay positiveProblems can make you feel hopeless. Coping skills will help you see your problems for what they are – and help you find solutions.
4 Young people are under a lot of stress Stress is a tense feeling inside. You may feel it when you face a new, unpleasant or threatening situation.For example:Problems at homeViolenceA parent’s use of alcoholPhysical abuseEmotional abuse or neglectA lack of moneyDivorce in the familyA parent’s illnessCrowded living conditions
5 Peer pressureYour friends may try to get you to do things you don’t think are right, such as:Using drugsHaving sexStealingSkipping schoolPressure From ParentsYour parents may be so eager for you to do well in school that expect too muchYou can’t avoid stress completely. But when stress gets too high, you may often feel:TiredAngrySad or hopelessToo much stress can lead to headaches, stomach upset and other health problems.
6 Reduce your stress Identify the sources of stress Set realistic goals Reach out (talk to a parent, another adult you trust or a friend about how you are feeling)Be good to yourself (eat right, get enough sleep, exercise, do things you enjoy)Keep a journal (writing about a problem helps you to face the problem and think about possible solutions)Use positive “self-talk” (if someone wants you to use alcohol, tell yourself you can refuse-then do it)Find ways to “Let of steam” (if a problem gets you all worked up, do something to help yourself calm down)Learn relaxation methods (go to a quiet place alone, close your eyes and picture a peaceful scene, take a break from your worries)
7 Build your self-esteem Get to know yourself and what you want out of lifeAccept yourself – your weaknesses as well as your strengthsTake responsibility for your choices and actionsFace your problems – don’t run away from themFocus on the positive – don’t tell yourself you’re not good enough, develop a plan to meet your goals, write your plan in your journalStick up for yourself – hold on to your beliefs, ask for what you want in a direct way, speak up when others are do or say things that hurt youBe a good friend to yourself – the world will seem like a friendlier place
8 Make your own decisions Making good decisions means asking yourself the right questions:“Would you want to do it if no one else were doing it?”“What could I lose?”“What would my family think of my decisions?”Making a list of “pros” and “cons” can help you weigh your choices.
9 Good places to turn for help Reaching out is a key to coping with problems. You can turn to:FriendsParents and other adultsSchool counselors (counselors are trained to help with all sorts of problems)Self-help groupsHotlinesDon’t keep problems to yourself! Talking to someone can help you overcome difficult situations – and feel better.
10 You can learn to cope with anything life throws your way!