These days, it feels like the rug has been pulled out from under us. Whether it be from natural disasters like Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico and Florida to terrorist bombings and shootings of innocent bystanders, we may feel like we’re walking around with post-traumatic stress that hasn’t been treated. Even if we haven’t identified it as such, there’s a feeling of unrest. While there is no easy answer in knowing how to deal with tragedy, these things may help.
Don’t deny what happened or how big of an impact it had
For example, the recent shooting in Las Vegas makes us all feel unsafe going to any major event. Whatever you’re feeling at the moment – sadness, grief, anger – let them surface. Pushing them down or bottling up your emotions doesn’t work.
Reach out to your loved ones
Share your concerns; don’t handle them alone. These tragedies remind us that we’re all in it together. Don’t wait until it’s too late to spend time with the people you care about.
Put yourself in intensive care
Watch any self-criticism – there’s no room for that. You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it and you can’t control the situation – you can just be an observer. From that mental space, you may know any kind of appropriate action you can take. Treat yourself as you would a child who has gone through something traumatizing.
Do your part
Out of these tragedies, if there’s a call to action – take advantage. Even if you feel like what you can offer isn’t enough, show your support. Any little bit may help and also make you feel a little better knowing you contributed in some way.
If there’s ongoing stress, know that you are not alone. Consult a therapist or professional if need be.