It's generally what I do - that is, either a positive spin, or a neutral/matter-of-fact tone, or a battle plan. And it's not really a coping mechanism in itself, for me, as much as it is a brand new outlook resulting from an internal crisis that I probably never shared with anyone - or a matter-of-fact recitation of words I've been using to comfort myself that haven't necessarily
Here's an example: Last semester I wasn't in any extracurriculars at all, except for my work study. That really frustrated me, for a lot of reasons, and made me feel inadequate compared to friends of mine who were able to join quite a few extracurriculars AND maintain their work study job AND get good grades. It was especially frustrating because I had tried about three different student groups and hated all of them, therefore quitting. I felt horrible and embarrassed and very insecure about it, so I told myself "Firstly, you tried really hard to find a group, so it's not like you're being lazy. And secondly, you're in your first year at a brand new college five times more difficult than your previous one. You're allowed a semester to ease in to it." So after reasonably successfully reassuring myself with that, the next time anyone asked me what extracurriculars I was in, I would tell them "I'm not in any right now, besides my work study, but I figure that I can spend my first semester easing into life at this school, and next semester I'll start looking for groups again." And I'll say that so matter-of-factly that the person will have no idea how much soul-searching went into it (and they'll probably never know). They'll think it was just some logical statement I came up with off the top of my head.