What is a Coping Box?

Therapists teach people healthy coping skills to use when they are anxious, panicky or distressed, and a coping box is another tool that can be used at these times. A coping box contains special items you have gathered to provide soothing self-care specific to your own needs.

Coping boxes do not need to be fancy or costly, in fact, shoe boxes make great containers. Some people like to paint, collage or otherwise decorate their box though it is not necessary. Once you find your container fill it with items that help you relax. One idea is to pick items that include the five senses: taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight.

Fill with items that are relaxing and bring good memories.
Coping boxes can be fun as well as relaxing.

Examples are:
Taste: Chocolate, peppermint candies, gum, protein bar, bottle of water, tea
Touch: Koosh ball, stress ball, rubber bands, healing stones
Smell: small scented candles, essential oils, lotion
Sound: Music for relaxation or meditation,
Sight: Photos, pictures from magazines
Other items to add include bubbles, puzzles, paper and pen, art supplies such as watercolors, colored pencils or markers, affirmations, or a list of people you can call for support.

Contact a therapist at Yurk Counseling Services to learn more about coping skills for anxiety or stress or how to make your own coping box.

Tina Gray-Siebers, BS, Intern
Tina Gray-Siebers, BS, Intern