It is 'normal' to have difficulty managing your feelings after major traumatic events. However, if you don't deal with the stress, it can be harmful to your mental and physical health. Here are some tips for coping in these difficult times:
-- Talk about it. By talking with others about the event, you can relieve
stress and realize that others share your feelings.
-- Spend time with friends and family. They can help you through this
tough time. If your family lives outside the area, stay in touch by
phone. If you have any children, encourage them to share their concerns
and feelings about the disaster with you.
-- Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest and exercise, and eat
properly. If you smoke or drink coffee, try to limit your intake, since
nicotine and caffeine can also add to your stress.
-- Limit exposure to images of the disaster. Watching or reading news
about the event over and over again will only increase your stress.
-- Find time for activities you enjoy. Read a book, go for a walk, catch a
movie or do something else you find enjoyable. These healthy activities
can help you get your mind off the disaster and keep the stress in
-- Take one thing at a time. For people under stress, an ordinary workload
can sometimes seem unbearable. Pick one urgent task and work on it.
Once you accomplish that task, choose the next one. "Checking off"
tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment and make things feel less
-- Do something positive. Give blood, prepare "care packages" for people
who have lost relatives or their homes or jobs, or volunteer in a
rebuilding effort. Helping other people can give you a sense of purpose
in a situation that feels 'out of your control.'
-- Avoid drugs and excessive drinking. Drugs and alcohol ma
|SOURCE Mental Health America of San Diego County|
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