When your resiliency runs low, tips such as reflecting on situations you’ve overcome in the past may help you cope. You’re not alone. Support is available.
Sometimes, life’s demands can overwhelm our inner coping skills. We may feel like we’re hanging from a string, heavy with emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion.
When you feel like you can no longer cope, consider taking time to actively bolster your resilience and reignite your inner flame.
If you feel you’re being pushed past your limit, know you’re not alone — and people do care for you.
Here are five things to remember when you feel like you can’t go on.
1. Recognize how strong you are
Consider thinking about a time you went through a really tough situation and made it through. You’re a lot stronger than you think.
If your life story was written down in a book, and you could see yourself as the hero you really are, you may recognize that you’re capable of making it through trying situations. It can take time, but you can do this.
You may also consider reaching out to a trusted loved one that can support you during this time. You don’t have to go through this alone or rely on your own strength.
2. Take it one day at a time
Try not to dwell on the past or worry about tomorrow. Try to focus on getting through this day — without judging your situation as good or bad.
Research from 2016 shows that practicing present-moment awareness can increase your resilience to stress and coping abilities.
Today, do your best not to ruminate on everything that’s gone wrong in your life. Just be here, right at this moment. You may consider practicing deep breathing exercises or gently observing areas of your body that are making contact with the ground beneath you.
3. Know you can be happy again
In your mind, go back to your fondest memory and replay it in your head. Remember, this feeling came from you, and it can come back again. You’re still capable of being happy, and you will be.
4. Emotions are fleeting
This too shall pass. Though this phrase has become a cliche, it’s still as true as ever. That’s why it’s repeated so often.
When we’re emotionally and mentally overwhelmed, it feels like the pain will last forever. We may hyperfocus on the problem, allowing it to take up space in our brains.
One month from now, or even a week, you might have some distance from this situation, and you’ll be able to focus on other things. Try to give it time.
5. Nature is healing
Nature has a calming effect on the mind and body.
As much as you can, go to a park-like setting with trees or a body of water. A 2020 research review shows that spending time in nature can reduce the body’s reaction to stress and improve your mood and attention levels.
According to a 2020 research review, exercising can reduce symptoms of depression and positively affect brain plasticity. It’s suggested that the following types of exercise can be beneficial:
aerobic exercises: walking, jogging, swimming
resistance exercises: weightlifting, elastic band resistance
mind-body exercises: yoga, pilates, tai chi
Consider stretching or taking a walk while you’re there to get your endorphins going.
Why do I feel like I can’t cope anymore?
During chronic stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, putting you in a perpetual state of “fight, flight, or freeze.” Chronic stress contributes to brain changes that can lead to:
But the good news is that these symptoms can be managed and even reversed. You can begin to heal your body and increase your resiliency day by day by:
making changes to your diet
starting an exercise regime
changing your perception about your circumstances
When to seek support
If you’re struggling to get up each day and see no way out, consider reaching out for help. A therapist can help you identify unhelpful thinking patterns and teach you new coping skills.
There are several opportunities to see a therapist online. It’s less expensive and easier to fit into a busy schedule.
If you’re having suicidal thoughts or really need someone to talk with right now, you can call a suicide hotline.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988) offers free, confidential, 24/7 support. Anyone can call to get emotional support, including those who don’t feel suicidal.
When you first call, you’ll get an automated message asking you to stay on the line. The call is then routed to your local crisis center. It typically takes less than a minute to be connected with a trained worker who will talk as long as you’d like.
Consider visiting Psych Central’s suicide prevention resource for additional suicide hotlines and resources that can help you during this time.