Across the nation, the past week of unrest has dominated the news, impacted each of us uniquely and added to our collective stressors. Situations like these can cause complicated and painful emotions.
The simple steps below offer guidance for understanding and coping with your own response, as well as helping others who may be struggling alongside you.
- Find Someone You Trust – Talk about what you are feeling with family members, friends or colleagues. Don’t carry this burden alone – share it with those who care about you.
- Give Yourself Permission to Feel – Acknowledge your feelings as they arise and recognize them as normal reactions.
- Take Care of Yourself – Get enough rest and eat regularly. Keep up your exercise routine if you have one. Don’t abuse drugs or alcohol – they can hinder your coping abilities.
- Know Your Limits – Avoid excessive media coverage and other stressful situations for a while.
- Practice Relaxation – Meditate if you know how; if not, visualize a quiet scene. You may not be able to get away, but you can hold a vision in your mind that will temporarily take you out of the turmoil of a stressful situation. The Meditation Toolkit can provide additional guidance.
- Take One Thing at a Time – For people under tension, assignments or responsibilities may suddenly seem overwhelming. This is a temporary condition that you can work through, one step at a time.
You don’t have to go through this experience alone. If your reactions are overwhelming or persistent, please seek professional help. If you or someone you know is struggling, Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 to get help and support 24/7.
You can read more from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration on this tip sheet.
More information about talking with children, returning to work and dealing with stress during and after a traumatic event can be found at this link.