Crying, help and psychologist with a woman for therapy, depression notes and talking about trauma.

Activities & writing prompts to cope with stress, trauma, or post-traumatic stress


Here are some activities to cope with symptoms of stress, trauma, or PTSI.

Share your stress with a loved one

It can be a heavy burden to carry the weight of your challenges on your own. Let a loved one know how you’re feeling and ask them to take some time to listen without offering advice or trying to “solve the problem.”

Identify your triggers

Write a list of people, places, situations or memories that you find difficult to cope with. This could be a patient who reminds you of someone you’ve lost, or a particular place where your stress is agitated.

Writing prompts

And here are some writing prompts that can help you too.

Letter to a loved one

Write a letter to a loved one (that you may or may not send) about the event that you experienced and how it has impacted you since.

Next, pretend that you are receiving that letter. Write a letter back to yourself, responding as you would if your loved one had been through a difficult situation. 


Write a list of the unhelpful thoughts you have about yourself since the traumatic event. Then, for each item on the list, write one or two pieces of counter-evidence. For example, if one of your thoughts is “I’m not good enough,” then write down two ways you have felt useful or important.