Signs you are struggling to cope

Struggling to cope? Feeling overwhelmed? Learn about the warning signs and get simple stress relievers to feel better.

Life can be full of stressors that make it hard to cope. From work and school pressures to family and relationship issues, stress can become overwhelming, leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In this article, we’ll explore some signs that you’re not coping and offer 10 ways of coping with stress to help you manage your emotions and navigate life’s challenges.


Signs you are not coping

Feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, or helpless are common signs that you’re not coping. Here are some other signs to watch for:

  • Changes in appetite, sleep, or energy levels
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feeling constantly anxious or worried
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, or muscle tension
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Difficulty managing your emotions, such as feeling angry or irritable
  • Feeling like you can’t go on or like things will never get better.

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s important to seek help and support from a mental health professional or a trusted friend or family member. You don’t have to face these challenges alone.


10 ways of coping with stress

If you feel that are not coping, there are lots of different ways you can support yourself and refill your cup. This is often referred to as self-care. Carving out time to do things that refill your cup and help to reduce stress and pressure in your life.

1. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice that involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. It can help you feel more grounded, calm, and centred, even during times of stress. You can practice mindfulness through activities like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga.

2. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve your physical health and boost your mood. Find an exercise routine that works for you and make it a regular part of your self-care routine.

3. Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential for good mental health. Lack of sleep can exacerbate stress and make it harder to cope. Aim for at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night and establish a consistent sleep routine to help you get the rest you need.

4. Reach out for support

Don’t hesitate to reach out for help and support when you’re struggling. This might be talking to a counsellor, speaking with your supervisor at work, calling a helpline, having a chat with your GP or confiding in a trusted friend or family member.

5. Take regular breaks and rest

Taking breaks and resting is essential for managing stress. Schedule breaks throughout your day, take a day off when needed, and engage in activities that help you relax and recharge.

6. Practice self-care

Self-care is any activity that helps you take care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. It can include things like taking a bath, reading a book, or practicing a hobby that brings you joy.

7. Set boundaries

Setting boundaries is important for managing stress and maintaining healthy relationships. Learn to say no when you need to, communicate your needs clearly, and establish limits that respect your time and energy.

8. Focus on the positive

Focusing on the positive can help you maintain a more optimistic outlook, even in difficult times. Practice gratitude, reframe negative thoughts into positive ones, and celebrate your accomplishments and progress.

9. Learn relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques can help you reduce stress and promote relaxation. Some examples of these are deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery. A free app like Smiling Mind can help get you started.

10. Seek professional help

If you’re struggling to cope with stress, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A mental health professional such as a counsellor or psychologist can provide you with the tools and support you need to manage your stress and improve your mental health.


Remember, reaching out for help is a sign of strength, and there is no shame in seeking support when you’re struggling. With the right coping strategies and support, you can overcome stress and lead a happier, healthier life.


Where to get help if you are not coping

If you’re struggling to cope with stress and need help, there are many resources available. In addition to seeking professional help, it’s also important to reach out to people in your personal network who can provide you with support and encouragement. This can include family members, friends, or colleagues who you trust and feel comfortable confiding in. Talking to someone who understands your struggles can help you feel less alone and provide you with new perspectives and ideas for coping.

Our counsellors are always available 24/7 to listen and offer support. You can reach us by phone or webchat and the service is free to all Victorians. Call 1300 651 215 or click here for more info.


Remember, everyone experiences stress and struggles at times, and it’s important to prioritise your mental and emotional wellbeing. With the right support, coping strategies, and self-care, you can manage your stress and prevent it from becoming overwhelming. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help and support when you need it and remember that help is available.


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.

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