Have a Crisis Plan
If you are an individual who struggles with managing intense emotions, you might benefit from preparing a crisis plan for yourself. A crisis plan prepares you for effectively managing and overcoming the events that trigger these emotional responses.
1. Identify your triggers. Know the events and situations that are likely to lead to your emotions feeling overwhelming.
2. Know your body. Know the physical symptoms that your body experiences as you near your crisis point. Does your heart beat faster? Do you feel dizzy our nauseous? Know your body, and how it communicates to you.
3. Know your thoughts. Generally as we near a crisis point, our thoughts take on a very negative spin. We will often find ourselves doubting our self, others, and the future. We may find ourselves thinking thoughts such as: “things will never work out”, “why am I so incompetent?” or “she’s such an idiot”. Knowing our thought patterns helps its to identify when we are nearing a crisis, and changing the way we think can help us to reduce the impact of a crisis.
4. Know what soothes you. Know what makes you feel good. Think about your 5 senses, often we find what soothes us in our 5 senses. Sight – perhaps you find pictures of beaches relaxing, or maybe photos of friends or family? Sound – relaxation music, nature sounds, white noise? Touch – cuddling with a pet, a warm blanket, a hot shower? Smell – vanilla, chocolate chip cookies, aromatherapy? Taste – a favourite meal or treat, a strong mint, a cold drink?
5. Distract yourself. Do something that will keep your mind busy. Try a sudoku puzzle, reading a book, or solve some riddles or logic puzzles. Try things that are fun or that will keep you occupied – go to a coffee shop, take a walk, draw a picture, call a friend, do a hobby.
6. Know who you can call, or where you can go if your crisis doesn’t pass. Call a friend/relative, a crisis line or 911. If your suicidal or self-harming thoughts take over, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Include in your plan, the phone numbers to your local crisis center, your friend/relative contacts and 911. Tell someone how you are feeling!