Dealing with Tragedy
Keep busy. Focus on your projects. Research indicates keeping focused on day to day required tasks or routines helps mitigate the effects of stress.
Seek out persons who care for and support you. Share your reactions, thoughts and how the experience impacted you.
Know that the reactions to trauma described are normal responses to a very abnormal experience. They occur in varying degrees of severity and type for each person.
Nurture yourself – eat well, get your sleep, and do nurturing things.
Express your feelings with your art. Drawings, poetry etc. are all healthy ways to manage the feelings related to trauma.
Consider writing a journal of your experience or feelings.
Seek to gain perspective on the experience through meditation, reading, spiritual reflection, etc.
Consider sending cards or emails of support to those most impacted. Helping others often is the healthiest way to manage our own feelings of powerlessness.
You may experience some of the symptoms below – this is normal.
Shock: often the initial reaction to events like this. Shock is the person’s emotional protection from being too overwhelmed by the event. You may be stunned, numb, or in disbelief.
Suffering: this is the period of grief during which the person gradually comes to terms with the reality of the event/loss. Feelings that life is overwhelming and disorganized are common.
Sadness: The most common feeling found following traumatic events like this. It may become quite intense and be experienced as emptiness or despair.
Anger: Can be one of the most confusing feelings for the grieving person. Anger is a response to feeling powerless, frustrated, or even abandoned.
Anxiety: Ranges from mild insecurity to panic attacks. Grievers may become anxious about their ability to take care of themselves, or fear a similar event will happen to them or a loved one.