Your Student Life: Personalized Coping Skills Based on Your Favorite Senses

May 23, 2021

Often, we read about coping skills to use based on our struggles, but we’re all so different. One coping skill may work wonders for one person, but may not work at all for another. One way to personalize coping skills just for you is to look at your favorite human senses. Below is a list of coping skills for each sense, to help you find strategies that might particularly resonate with you.  

Sight 

  1. Go on a hike 
  2. View beautiful art 
  3. Look in the mirror and half-smile 
  4. Stargaze 
  5. Organize something  
  6. Candle meditation
  7. Sit in nature with your eyes open and observe silently for 5 minutes 
  8. Draw or paint 
  9. Write a poem 
  10. Journal your thoughts and feelings 
  11. Clean your house 
  12. Watch an inspiring movie 
  13. Guided imagery
  14. Read that book you’ve been meaning to start 
  15. Write a to-do list 
  16. Write a bucket list 
  17. List 5 things you’re grateful for 

Sound 

  1. Pick a personal mantraand use it when stressed 
  2. Name the feeling out loud (“I’m feeling ______ because ______”) 
  3. Mindfulness meditation
  4. Loving-kindness meditation
  5. Talk with a loved one 
  6. Listen to music 
  7. Sit in nature with your eyes closed, simply listening for 5 minutes 
  8. Laugh 
  9. Sing 
  10. Listen to the birds
     

Taste 

  1. Eat one meal a day with no distractions 
  2. Try a new fruit or vegetable  
  3. Cook with plenty of herbs and spices 
  4. Eat mindfully
  5. Give yourself a real lunch break 
  6. Drink some calming tea 

Smell 

  1. Go outside and literally smell the flowers 
  2. Surprise your nose by cooking a new meal 
  3. Think of a favorite memory and what it smelled like 
  4. Go to a candle-making store and let your nose run wild 
  5. Diffuse calming essential oils 

 Touch 

  1. Draw or paint 
  2. Knit 
  3. Exercise 
  4. Garden 
  5. Get a massage 
  6. Mindfulness meditation 
  7. Buy a houseplant (or 17) and learn to take care of them 
  8. Give someone a hug (if they are in your circle) 
  9. Progressive muscle relaxation
  10. Yoga 
  11. Tai chi 
  12. Squeeze a stress ball 
  13. Play an instrument  
  14. Clean your house 
  15. Cook a meal from scratch  
  16. Take a long bath with Epsom salts 
  17. Give your pet some love 
  18. Dance 
  19. Create something with clay 
  20. Make a “calming rock” to carry in your pocket 

Seeking to learn more ways to cope? Check out Wellness Coaching. Wellness Coaching offers one-on-one, group, and workshop services for all Ohio State Students. Using a strength-based approach, Wellness Coaching helps you gain awareness regarding your capacity to create the life you want to live, both now and in the future.  

Joe Doherty
Wellness Coordinator, Wellness Coaching
Student Wellness Center
Office of Student Life