Managing Distress in the Aftermath of Gun Violence
It's typical for people to experience a wide range of emotions following a horrific event such as a mass shooting. You may also find that you have trouble engaging in day to day life as you did prior to the traumatic event. With support and time, the impact the event has on our well-being will seem more bearable. Consider these tips from the American Psychological Association for managing distress brought on by a traumatic event:
Talk about it. Ask for support from loved ones and seek professional help should you feel like you are unable to function or perform basic activities of daily living.
Find your balance. When everything seems negative and overwhelming, remind yourself of the people, events, and things in your life that bring you happiness and encouragement.
Turn it off and take a break. Set limits for how much news or other distressing information you take in every day. Try to do something that will instead lift your spirits.
Honor your feelings. Remember that it is common to feel a range of emotions after a traumatic event.
Take care of yourself. Engage in healthy behaviors that help you cope with stress: drink water and eat nutritious, comforting meals and snacks; exercise; re-establish routines; and avoid substances.
Help others and/or do something productive. Helping someone else often has the benefit of making you feel better, too.