Managing Distress

Managing Distress

Our community is mourning the loss of three members of local law enforcement, and praying for their families as well as for the recovery of the others who were injured in Sunday’s violence. Our hearts are heavy for their losses.

You may be struggling to understand how and why such a terrible thing could happen. We know that it is common for people to experience a variety of emotions following such a traumatic event. These feelings can include shock, sorrow, numbness, fear, anger, disillusionment, grief and others. You may find that you have trouble sleeping and concentrating. You may feel that the world is a more dangerous place.

It will take some time to recover your sense of equilibrium, but you can strengthen your resilience in the days and weeks ahead using the following tips:

  1. Talk about it. Ask for support from people who care about you and who will listen to your concerns. It often helps to speak with others so you do not feel so alone.
  1. Strive for balance. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and have a negative or pessimistic outlook. Balance that viewpoint by reminding yourself of people and events that are meaningful and encouraging. Striving for balance empowers you and allows for a healthier perspective on yourself and the world around you.
  1. Turn it off and take a break. You may want to keep informed, but try to limit the amount of news you take in. Being overexposed to news can actually increase your stress. Schedule some breaks to focus instead on something you enjoy. Try to do something that will lift your spirits.
  1. Honor your feelings. Remember that it is common to have a range of emotions after a traumatic incident.
  1. Take care of yourself. Engage in healthy behaviors. Eat well-balanced meals, get plenty of rest and build physical activity into your day. If you are having trouble sleeping, try some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga.
  1. Help others or do something productive. Find ways to help people who have been affected or have other needs. Helping someone else often has the benefit of making you feel better, too.

Source: American Psychological Association

Leave a Reply