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Coping Cards: Your Pocket-Sized Support in Tough Times

Coping Cards
Coping Cards

We all face moments of stress, anxiety, or negative thoughts. Having a quick reminder of how to cope during these times can be invaluable. Coping Cards, a simple yet effective tool in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), serve this purpose. They are personalized, handy reminders that can help guide you through difficult situations.

What are Coping Cards?

Coping Cards are small, portable cards on which you write coping statements, affirmations, or strategies to manage distressing thoughts and feelings. They act as prompts to remind you of the skills and techniques you can use when coping with challenges. The cards are a tangible resource you can turn to when your mind is too overwhelmed to remember coping strategies.

How to Create and Use Them:

  1. Identify Challenges: Think about situations or thoughts that you find particularly challenging.

  2. Write Coping Statements: For each challenge, write down a coping statement, affirmation, or reminder that can help you navigate through it. These should be positive, realistic, and in the first person.

  3. Make the Cards: Use small index cards or pieces of paper. Keep them handy – in your wallet, purse, or on your phone.

  4. Refer to the Cards: Whenever you find yourself in a distressing situation, read the coping card related to that challenge.

  5. Update Regularly: As you develop and discover new coping strategies, update your cards accordingly.

For instance, if you struggle with anxiety in social situations, a card might read, “I have succeeded in similar situations, and I can do it again. Just breathe and stay present.”


Coping Cards can provide immediate support and guidance, helping to reduce anxiety and negative thoughts. They reinforce positive self-talk and remind you of your strengths and strategies in tough moments. They can also boost confidence in your ability to handle challenging situations.

Tips and Considerations:

The key to effective coping cards is personalization; they should resonate with you and address your specific challenges. Keep them concise and easy to understand. Regularly reviewing and practicing the statements on your cards can also help solidify these coping strategies in your mind.


Coping Cards are a simple, yet powerful tool in the CBT toolkit. They offer quick, accessible reminders of how to navigate through life’s challenges, reinforcing your ability to cope effectively. Carrying these little notes of encouragement can make a big difference in managing day-to-day stresses.

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