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When No News Is Good News: Coping with Stress Related to Tragic Events (Pt. 2)

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ID-10051733In Part 1 of this article we discussed the effects of widespread tragic events on a person’s emotional and physical well-being. While many of us remain physically separated from these larger-scale events, most people experience direct tragedy at least once in their own lives, in the form of the death of a close family member, natural disasters, being victimized by crime, physical assault, severe illness or other tough situations.

The effects and experiences of each can be very similar, so whether you’re suffering from concerns about tragedy near or far, the following tips for coping can apply to you:

Care For Yourself Physically and Mentally
Experiencing stress and worry brought on by tragic events can disrupt your sleep, sap you of energy, make you hyperactive or impulsive and can impact your appetite (overeating or lack of hunger). If you experience stress in any of these ways, take special care to exercise, eat well and be as restful as possible – allowing yourself time off to cope. These things can speed your recovery time and lead to better overall health.

Take Up the Cause
If you feel particularly impacted by something going on in the world or by a personal experience, channel that energy into the cause. Organizing fundraising events, contacting the involved politicians, writing about the event or raising community awareness are all ways to build some good from all the hardship. But one caution here: don’t let that hardship define or consume your life. Victims can over-identify with their trauma or become obsessed with their cause, and this can fuel anger and depression rather than help it.

Seek Out Support
One of the best ways to deal with trauma? Talk about your feelings. Find a group of friends or local activists that can understand and empathize with your experience. Spend extra time with family. Find a counselor. You are not alone, and any extra support during times like this can mean the world to someone suffering.

So, what now?
If you find that you’re struggling with overcoming a traumatic event, there is hope. While the above suggestions will work for many, it is incredibly common and human to need a bit of support after a traumatic event. Contact Us at Stenzel Clinical Services. We’ll be happy to help.