These past few days have been eventful in the most unfortunate of ways. But, the truth of the matter is, these events are not an uncommon occurrence in 2017. For many of us, these events tend to overwhelm us with the thought that there’s not a lot we can do to make things better. This is not true. No matter the terrible events we, as individuals and as communities, experience, we can come together to support each other and cope with the events.
It’s important to take care of yourself during these stressful times. We’ve listed five tips that can help you heal.
Turn off the news.
When an international crisis strikes, any and every media outlet will be covering every detail. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on, but there is no need to surround yourself with every little detail relevant to the events that occurred. Take a break from social media, turn off the news channel, and close your news apps.
You may have a lot of feelings stirring up that are hard to process when tragedies occur. It’s important to let these feelings out into word, verbal or written, so you don’t find yourself dwelling on them. Keeping your thoughts inside can sometimes lead to feeling overwhelmed and helpless. You can free-write in a journal, meaning you can write anything and everything your mind is thinking, to just get the thoughts out on paper. Or you can make voice or video recordings of your stream of thoughts to release yourself from the thoughts.
Reach out to loved ones.
You may feel overwhelmed, helpless, or alone. It may be hard to believe, but so many others are feeling exactly how you’re feeling as well. Ringing a parental figure or your close friends to talk through how you’re feeling and checking in on them to make sure they’re feeling okay is one very big way of how you can help. This will ease the feeling of helplessness, and it’s another way to make sure you don’t internalize all of the stress.
Write a Gratitude List.
It’s easy to notice all of the horrible things going on in the world and how things can get worse. Yes, again, it’s important to be aware. But, it’s also important to remember that this will not last forever, and this doesn’t have to be a reason for you to halt everything and stop enjoying life. Write a list of everything you’re grateful to have in your life and everything you’re excited about in the future. List your prospective plans and use that feeling of excitement to empower yourself to help those around you and move past this event.
As you may notice, many others around you feel emotionally distressed as well. First, take care of yourself as much as you need. Take the time to process everything and re-energize. When you feel strong enough, reach out to your community, and offer support. Being supportive of others in stress can also help you heal from the distress the tragedies cause. Reach out to help centers and organizations in your area. You can even publish a post to offer a listening ear to anyone who needs it on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
It’s very important for us to recognize that we need help and support. This does not define you as a weak individual. Recognizing that you are emotionally distressed takes strength. Reaching out for support, and taking time to recuperate takes courage.
If you or anyone you know is in need of assistance, we’ve listed some resources below.
Panic Disorder Information and Support: 1 (800) 64-PANIC [1 (800) 647-2642]
TalkZone (Peer Counselors): 1 (800) 475-TALK [1 (800) 475-2855]
National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1 (800) 442-4673
Youth Crisis Support: 1 (800) 448-4663 or 1 (800) 422-0009
Crisis Help Line – For Any Kind of Crisis: 1 (800) 233-4357
Self-Injury Support: 1 (800) DONT CUT [1 (800) 366-8288] or www.selfinjury.com
PTSD Support Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255
LGBTQ+ Youth Lifeline: 1 (866) 488-7368 or thetrevorproject.org
Online Support: Tweet Women’s Republic for support.