Crisis Counseling Experience

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In December, I started volunteering at the Crisis Text Line following my 30-hour crisis training. Since my training, I have worked a minimum of four hours each week and have learned how to communicate and support texters experiencing a crisis. Volunteering can sometimes feel draining, especially after dealing with a heavy crisis, however, I have developed some healthy coping mechanisms that I want to share here.

  1. Talk to friends. Because of the pandemic, I have tried my best to FaceTime and call friends as a way to unwind after a stressful shift. Also, friends are a great support system and thoughtful listeners.
  2. Go on a walk/move your body. Walks can be great, and I underestimated how fun they are. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, I found myself because quite inactive. However, once joining the Crisis Text Line, I found that walking around and moving relieved my stress and anxiety.
  3. Listen to music/podcast. My allowing myself to zone out and just focus on the music or podcasters’ voices, I find myself living in the present and releasing tension. My favorite podcasts, related to true crime and social justice, have helped me get through each difficult shift.
  4. Take a warm shower. This is similar to listening to music or a podcast because I can zone out during a shower and be present. Additionally, it is a great feeling to clean your body and just sit with your thoughts. Showers help me reflect after each shift.
  5. Eat and drink water. During my shifts, I have noticed that I become very hungry and dehydrated since I focus on others’ wellbeing instead of my own. Because of this, I have started to carry two water bottles with me during my shift, to make sure I stay hydrated, and keep a snack or fruit by me so that I can satisfy any hunger.

Overall, being a Crisis Counselor has been a great and rewarding experience. I feel that I have matured and learned to practice empathy because I have seen, first-hand, that you truly never know what someone is going through.

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