RAPP & DayOne NYC - Stress Management Tips

General Tips for Managing Stress

Changing your routine and spending your time in one place can be stressful for anyone.

This is an opportunity for all of us to develop healthy coping skills that will last us through these weeks and beyond. If you find yourself overwhelmed, try some of the strategies below. Try each a few times, rating your stress level from 1-5 before and after using the strategy.


Then check off the ones that work well for you.

Processing Skills

  • Write in a journal.
  • Write a song or poem.
  • Draw.
  • Talk to a friend or trusted adult.
  • Rate the intensity of your feelings.
  • Make a playlist.
  • Write a letter to someone.
  • Write your worries on slips of paper and put them in a box. When you feel ready, take out one at a time and make a plan to address it.

Relaxation Skills

  • Breathe in for 4, hold for 4, out for 4, hold out for 4.
  • Hold your hand to your heart and feel it slow down.
  • Name 3 things you can see, 2 things you can hear, and 1 thing you can feel.
  • Imagine your favorite place.
  • Take a shower or bath.
  • Repeat a positive statement about yourself three times.

Distraction Skills

  • Call a friend, just to talk.
  • Limit watching or reading the news to 15 minutes per day.
  • Do a crossword or word search.
  • Play with a pet or sibling.
  • Make up a game.
  • Sort/organize something.
  • Read a good book.
  • Write a creative story.
  • Make a list of your favorite things.
  • If it’s safe, cook or bake something.
  • Do a crafting project.

Physical/Sensory Skills

  • Squeeze something squishy.
  • Touch a soft surface, like a fuzzy blanket.
  • Look at a calming image or video, like this one.
  • Run water over your hands. Focus on the sensations you feel.
  • Tense and relax your muscles, one by one.
  • Stretch.
  • Do jumping jacks, push ups, or any exercise you can do at home.



Dealing with Coronavirus Stress


During times of uncertainty, it is normal to feel some fear or anxiety[1] .

 Here are some changes you might notice if you are feeling anxious:

  • Fear for the safety of yourself, family, or friends.
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual.
  • Appetite changes, like eating more or less than usual.
  • Unexplained headaches or stomach aches.
  • Irritability.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Difficulty completing schoolwork.
  • Avoidance of activities you used to enjoy.

Here are some tips to help you relieve stress related to the coronavirus:

  • Limit news reading/watching to 15 minutes per day.
  • Remember that the information people spread online, and especially in social media posts, is not always accurate. Ask an adult for clarification..
  • Take action to protect yourself. Wash your hands, especially when coming in from outside, before touching your face or eating, and after using the bathroom.
  • Even if you can’t go outside, use modern technology to keep up with your community. Video-chatting with friends and/or your advisor can help you maintain your social life and feel connected to both friends and school.
  • Make time for physical activity. Here’s a workout you can do from home with no equipment.
  • Keep a regular sleep, eating, work, and break schedule. Normal routines are comforting in times of change or uncertainty.
  • Make time for activities you enjoy, or try learning a new hobby. Crafts, meditation, physical activity, music, writing, and drawing can all be therapeutic.