Managing Stress Using the Crisis Text Line

This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Kate Endries, MSW, licensed social worker and BGCA Health & Wellness Director.

In this awful, weird, and uncertain time of Coronavirus, there is a lot of loneliness, stress, and anxiety being felt across the world.  The pandemic has impacted us in ways that we could never have imagined, interrupting our way of living, and forcing us to create a new normal.  It is okay, and perfectly normal, to feel anxious, scared, angry, sad, lonely, hopeless, overwhelmed, or any other feeling about the coronavirus and the way that it is impacting your life.

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Image Credit @GMF.Designs

There is a biological and evolutionary reason that we feel emotions.  Think of your emotions like your body’s push notification system.  Your body will send you a notification that you are feeling scared, sad, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, or lonely to warn you that something is not right and that you need to change your behavior to feel better.  Your body will also send you a notification that you are feeling happy, excited, loved, calm, relaxed, or joyful to inform you something feels good and to keep doing it.  Emotions like fear and anxiety, from an evolutionary perspective, help keep us safe in times of danger.

Let me say that louder for the people in the back.

Your feelings are normal, and your feelings are valid.

You are not being “weird,” “overreacting,” “crazy,” “overdramatic,” or “weak” by feeling any type of way about what is going on in the world.  And you certainly are not alone.  According to the Crisis Text Line, as of March 13th, 15% of all users have requested support over worries related to the coronavirus, with 80% of them feeling anxiety.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the current state of the world, lonely and anxious because you are working from home and practicing social distancing, or fearful about what the future holds, text “Club” to 741741 for immediate, confidential, 24 hour support from trained crisis counselors.  These crisis counselors are ready to provide FREE, long-distance mental health support to you while you are at home, on your couch, and in your jammies.

How It Works:

  1. You are feeling emotionally distressed (anxious, scared, angry) and could use someone to talk to about it.
  2. You text “Club” to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime, about any type of emotional need.
  3. You will receive an automated message which alerts you that you are being connected with a live crisis counselor, and invite you to share a bit about why you are texting.
  4. Your crisis counselor will respond to your text to introduce themselves, reflect on what you’ve shared, and invite you to share more about what is going on at a pace that you are comfortable with.
  5. You will text back and forth with your crisis counselor to sort through what’s going on and your feelings together.
  6. You and your crisis counselor can decide to end the text conversation when you both feel comfortable that you are in a calmer, and safer emotional state.
  7. Your crisis counselor may share information on how to seek additional mental health support depending on your needs.
  8. You feel calmer, more content, and at ease.

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This is a strange time for all of us, and its more important than ever that we prioritize our health and well-being.  You are not alone.  Your feelings are valid.  We are in this together. And we will get through this!

Check back in with the ClubX Blog often for more ideas and resources on how to maintain your mental and emotional well-being during this challenging time.  Stay safe.  Wash your hands.  Take care of yourself.  We are in this together! 

Get the latest updates from BGCA at BGCA.net/Coronavirus, find programming ideas at MyFuture.net, like the BGCA Youth Development on Facebook for YD updates including video from Sarah, and join the brand new BGCA Youth Development Community also on Facebook to connect with other Club staff on programming through coronavirus.

 

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