Mental Health Coping Strategies

*This is a repost of an old article and I have updated it to reflect a COVID-19 world we now find ourselves in today.

My Tips on Coping with Mental Illness

At some point we find strategies to cope with the many issues that come along having a mental illness. I know being Bipolar for the last thirteen years I have found things that help with my depression. I am still working on better coping strategies with my social anxiety but I am always a work in progress. Now more than ever this is important to the world that we are living in with the coronavirus.

I want to talk today about some of those coping strategies that I have found effective. I will also talk about some strategies that the experts recommend.

1. Use self-talk – This is one isn’t my recommendation but it makes sense as a coping srategy. I am my own worse enemy and sometimes it can be effective to use self-talk when your depression takes over. You can also use it to convince yourself to get out of bed that day. Talking to yourself can mean the difference between letting depression take you over. It is also very effective against anxiety. Talking to yourself to get up, take a shower, brush your teeth, and eat breakfast is more important as we self isolate. Talking yourself into still finding a routine is paramount in these times.

One of the worst parts of my social anxiety is the catastrophic thinking that goes through my mind. Self-talk can be effective in changing the negative thoughts. I always spend so much time worrying about the possible outcomes of any social interactions. It starts to control me and that it drives me to stress. Which always leads to panic attacks. Talking myself into positive thoughts is one strategy that can work. I have recently talked about the dangers of anxiety in a COVID-19 world, in one of my recent blogs that you can find here.

2. Think Positive thoughts. – I can attest to how thinking postively as a mental health coping strategy. Thinking positive thoughts is so simple and it is an effective way to cope with mental health. Positive thoughts can change your day. It can change a single minute, and it can mean the world.

3. Get More Sleep – Sleep is the most important part of mental health. I can trace all my issues with my Bipolar Disorder to my lack of getting real sleep. My sleep has gotten so bad, that I can’t sleep without the aid of Seroquel. I would love to get eight hours of real sleep a night but my reality is more like four hours.

Sleep hygiene is so important. I wrote a blog post a few months back that will be very helpful with this area. Sleep Hygiene – Top Ten Sleep Tips


4. Listening to Postive Music. – I love this one because it is so effective. It is why I dedicated a whole series on my blog to music that changes my mood. . Find some music that can help you get through the worst of things. I have a playlist dedicated to this coping strategy.

5. Postive Social Contact – This is something I am bad at in my mental health. It makes sense. The more we interact with other humans in a positive setting it can mean real change. One of the worst things I do with my social anxiety is isolating myself in my own little world. I will spend weeks not leaving my house. Meeting people has changed, but you can still be social online. Sites like Zoom have made it safer and secure to set up meetings between friends and loved ones. 

It’s hard to describe the feeling that comes with when I finally leave my house for a few hours. It means the world to get out and interact with the world. This is one coping strategy that I will have to work on in my own mental health.

6. Writing and Sharing your story. – I can’t imagine a world without me writing in it. It took me so long to get to a place where my writing is a part of me and now I will fight for it forever. It is what makes me get through each day. Its my greatest coping strategy.


Finding ways to cope within the confines of your mental health is one important strategy. It won’t always be easy. I went through so much trial and error. But I have laid out a few good ways to cope.

I offer this challenge to my mental health bloggers. Write a post about your own mental health coping strategies.

Always Keep Fighting.

James Edgar Skye

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron!

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoIsaac Davis

unsplash-logoKinga Cichewicz

unsplash-logoThought Catalog

32 Replies to “Mental Health Coping Strategies”

  1. Positive self talk is key. Your thoughts can spiral into tumult if you’re not careful. I have to censor myself when I notice this happening, and it works! As long as I’m vigilant. Good post, also congrats on the followers 🙌🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are awesome. I have started a section that I add coping techniques to my blog from time to time. There are so many things we try. Some work part of the time, but not all the time. I constantly keep adding to my toolbox. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is another great post, James. I struggle with positive social contact, as well. It feels like such a difficult thing to do, I wonder if it’s worth all the anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder about positive social contact as well. It makes sense that it would be useful but it is difficult if you suffer from severe anxiety. Maybe a pet would be a better choice at least until you can go with that step.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pet therapy is a BIG hit with those that deal with Mental Issues. Holding a cat will cause your breathing to become regular. Petting a dog or a cat will lower your blood pressure. Come see my website at for more information.


  4. Thank you for this post. You mentioned getting enough sleep…the majority of people who suffer from mental health conditions have issues sleeping. Have you used any techniques (i.e: meditation) that you would recommend?. Also, I was really able to relate when you mentioned social interactions. They are such a struggle because you can’t help but focus on what people think which is crazy because they are probably not even thinking about what you think they may be.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing! I will take this writing challenge. As I’ve told you before, I’m always looking for a good writing prompt. Great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been working on a few of these points lately. Music is almost always playing here and there are some songs that just make me feel good inside. I’ve been working on a “feel good” playlist that I sometimes play in the morning when my anxiety seems to be the worst. Positive thinking has helped and thinking of how sweet my youngest daughter is helps to push me to get out of my mood and to continue on so I can be a good father for her. I haven’t written anything on my blog in quite a while, which I need to do, not that I am extremely well versed or an expert on the matter but it makes me feel good to put down some happy thoughts and positive experiences that may make someone else smile or trigger a nice experience they had as well. I’ve been extremely busy so I haven’t read much lately but I appreciate the work you put in on your posts.


  7. This is a great post! It’s given me some ideas as to how to cope when I’m in a stressful situation. I struggle in crowds and the ideas from this post might help me to push through. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. These are all great. Thank you. I feel like sleep is the keystone. Without sleep everything feels like such a heavy lift.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sleep Apnea machines really help you sleep! Don’t know what’s in it that makes me sleepy, but whatever it may be, I get at least six hours of sleep a night unless I wake up during that time. Regardless, if you’re having trouble sleeping and suffer from Sleep Apnea, my machine has turned my hours of sleep from 3-4 to 6 or very close to it.


  10. I resonate with this post so well! I was just diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar 2 disorder and anxiety, but I’ve been struggling since the age of 13. I agree that sleep is so important. I have insomnia when I’m hypomanic and hypersomnia when I’m depressed. It’s a viscous cycle! Self talk and socializing are both important as well – I always seem to isolate myself, especially when I’m depressed! Great article and I wish you well!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s