It’s normal to feel up and down in life – we can’t be happy all the time. But if you haven’t been feeling quite right for a while, it’s important to get help and take steps to feel better. Not sleeping well, no longer enjoying the activities you usually do and feeling tired all the time are some of the most common signs that you may be struggling to cope.
There are many reasons why people struggle to cope in life – relationship breakdowns, becoming a new parent, losing a job, dealing with the death of a loved one. Whatever the reason, we all deal with difficult situations differently, and there is no right or wrong way to cope. What’s important is to recognise the warning signs if you are struggling to cope and take steps to feel better before your feelings become worse.
Signs you are struggling to cope
Struggling to cope with life is different to feeling a bit down or tired.
People who are struggling to cope tend to feel the following symptoms on an ongoing basis:
- Low energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Making mistakes
Other signs can include no longer wanting to do the activities you usually enjoy and not wanting to be around people (especially if you’re a people person).
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take steps now so they don’t build up and become worse.
Simple stress relievers to help you feel better
Many people struggle to cope at some point and taking proactive steps to feel better can help you to overcome your negative feelings.
Here are some tips that can help:
- Talk to others – while talking might be the last thing you feel like doing, you often feel better when you open up to a trusted friend, family member or health professional
- Change your routine – sometimes a change in routine can force you to think differently
- Practise self-care – do something kind and relaxing for yourself, such as a massage or take a long weekend; put yourself first without feeling guilty
- Reduce stimulants – alcohol and caffeine can make you feel worse and increase feelings of stress and anxiety
- Eat a healthy diet – eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, and drink water
- Practise relaxation techniques – exercises that focus on breathing can help relieve stress. A free app like Smiling Mind can get you started
- Focus on sleep – maintaining a regular sleep cycle of 7-8 hours per night may help you feel better.
Where to get help
Remember that you are not alone. Even if you feel like you have no one close by to talk to, you can speak to a health professional to get help.
SuicideLine Victoria is a free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service offering professional support. Call us on 1300 651 251.
If it is an emergency, call 000.