Together We Give Hope

Coping with Crisis

It’s okay to not feel okay.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call from anywhere in BC:

  • 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
  • 310-6789 (mental health support line)

Stress and crisis are a part of life, and can result in symptoms such as anxiety, worry, and withdrawal. 

Coping strategies can help us manage the turmoil that is felt while in a crisis.

Talking to another about your feelings can be one of the best ways to cope. The Crisis Centre has crisis responders ready to listen and also offers programming that will help you manage your wellbeing





Being aware of the impact stress is having on you, can help you take action.   A few signs that might indicate you are stressed include:

  • Headache
  • Muscle tension
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Short temper
  • Fidgeting
  • Sadness
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Increased use of alcohol & drugs


It is important to remember that it is ok not to be ok. 

We don’t always feel happy or motivated. Sometimes we are prone to fall into the trap of our negative thinking process. To step out of our thoughts and reconnect with life, being in nature and in contact with significant others can be helpful. 

Nature has been proven to have a positive impact on our wellbeing: forest bathing, taking long walks or enjoying a beautiful sunset can help shift our perspectives while feeling stressed or blue.  

Engaging in meaningful conversations with others and sharing our feelings and worries can make the load feel less heavy. 

Stress sometimes occurs when we focus too much on the future, which is and will always be uncertain. Trying to be present and grounded can help us feel less anxious. 

Long Term Stress Management Techniques

Here are some ways to increase wellbeing:

  • Improve your sleep (have a good sleep routine)
  • Exercise 
  • Eat healthy food
  • Do things that bring you enjoy 
  • Talk to people you feel comfortable with
  • Find balance in your work and personal life
  • Be mindful of your needs 


Some coping strategies might only provide temporary stress relief and might eventually increase the amount of stress in the long term.  

Therefore be mindful of:

  • Procrastinating
  • Skipping sleep
  • Seeking too much distraction with TV, social media, video games
  • Your use of substances such as drugs, smoking, alcohol, sugar, caffeine and medications


Many of us can be hard on ourselves, especially when we are struggling with stress, worry, and feeling overwhelmed. Our brains are wired to focus on the negative, especially when we are under stress.  

Strategies to help with negative thoughts and thinking:

  • Acknowledge that struggling with negative thoughts and feelings is a common experience
  • Try the practice of talking to ourselves as we would to a friend. 
  • Practice reframing negative thoughts in a more useful way.  

Some examples are:

  1. Negative: I am only okay when everyone likes me.
    Reframing: I’m okay just the way I am.  I can acknowledge that it’s okay if not everyone likes me. 
  2. Negative: I can’t do anything right.  Nothing works out for me. 

Reframing: It feels really hopeless right now.  Everyone feels like this sometimes.  I can note at least one thing that I do well. 

  1. Negative:  Everything sucks in my life and always will.
    Positive: Everything changes. Nothing is permanent. I can note one thing that I appreciate right now. 
  2. Negative: I can’t help how miserable I feel. It will never change.
    Reframing: I am allowed to feel miserable.  How I feel right now is temporary and likely to change.   
  3. Negative: I worry about everything that could go wrong.
    Reframing: I can learn to concentrate on the present moment and relax.




It is ok to ask for help if you feel overwhelmed. Reaching out to a counsellor can help us gain tools to help manage stress and crisis.  

If you or someone you know needs help while in crisis. contact the Crisis Centre, we have crisis responders available 24/7.