Getting a traumatic experience is easy: you can witness a brutal event, be directly involved in it or be a victim’s relative. You can get a psychological trauma even finding out about the news in the media. Psychologists say that it is normal to panic from what is happening around – even for the people who have never been to the city where the tragedy occurred and do not know anyone who died in the mass shooting.
After major tragedies, you need to find ways to help the victims. However, in addition to helping others, it is important to protect your mental health, as well. If you, your friends and family are in a difficult situation, these ways will help to recover.
1. Take measures
The first step to effective self-help is to do something. Prayers comfort, but in the real world, only actions matter. You can not change the situation, but you can call a lawyer you know or donate money or become a blood donor for the victims. Act, and you will feel better. It is important to remember that you will need small consecutive actions for a long period of time.
2. Disconnect the Internet
It is very easy to get stuck in the Internet, clicking on every news on the topic. We love Twitter, but when the tragedy happens, the best thing you can do is put the phone away and ignore the noise. When online, it’s important to disconnect before you are overwhelmed by dirty comments. Do not be afraid to avoid conversation, if it affects your mental health.
3. Call your loved ones
If you are going through tough times, the first thought that can come to your mind is to run away from everyone. However, it’s worth talking to your relatives, so that you feel even a little better. Talk with your loved ones not about the events that happened during the day, but about the feelings that you are experiencing. It is dangerous to hide one’s emotions from others – it increases the risk of depression, chronic anxiety and somatic problems.
4. Go for a walk
Feel the weather. Go outside and breathe. Changing the situation will certainly affect your state. Be sure to leave the windows opens to ventilate the apartment and fill it with fresh air.
5. Turn your fear into art
It may seem that you cannot achieve justice, and there is no sense in doing something. The negative energy that now overwhelms you needs a way out, and the best way to ease the soul is creation. Take something destructive and painful and turn it into something beautiful. Draw, sing, dance, embroidery, mold from clay – any creative activity will become an effective medicine. You will quickly feel alive again, and return the hope for change.
6. Work out
During the workout, your body emits endorphins and relieves the body of stress. Not everyone will want to go to the gym immediately after a tragic situation, and this is normal too. Wait a little, and then start acting. The muscles will get filled with blood, the negative energy will be released, and you will feel better.
7. Cook nutritious food
Turn on the music, take your best plates, add a glass of wine. Pamper yourself with something special, try any food that causes positive emotions. Do not forget that natural food improves brain function and helps fight stress.
8. Make an occasional good deed
Give money to the homeless, leave a good tip in the restaurant. Donate the old clothes. Sign up as a volunteer. Make the world a little better.
9. Ask for help from outside
The process of recovery after a tragedy is different in each person. If you or your loved ones have acquired new bad habits: smoking and other addictions, as well as lifestyle violations, such as insomnia or oversleeping – it is worth to turn to a specialist. Everyone who has struggled with the consequences of a tragedy knows how important support is. If you see that someone needs help, do not pass by and share this information with them.