THINGS TO TRY AFTER AN EVENT:
- WITHIN THE FIRST 24-48 HOURS periods of appropriate physical exercise, alternated with relaxation will alleviate some of the physical reactions.
- Structure your time; keep busy.
- You’re normal and having normal reactions; don’t label yourself crazy.
- Talk to people; talk is the most healing medicine.
- Be aware of numbing the pain with overuse of drugs or alcohol, you don’t need to complicate this with a substance abuse problem.
- Reach out; people do care.
- Maintain as normal a schedule as possible.
- Spend time with others.
- Help your co-workers as much as possible by sharing feelings and checking out how they are doing.
- Give yourself permission to feel rotten and share your feelings with others.
- Keep a journal; write your way through those sleepless hours.
- Do things that feel good to you.
- Realize those around you are under stress.
- Don’t make any big life changes.
- Do make as many daily decisions as possible that will give you a feeling of control over your life,
i.e., if someone asks you what you want to eat, answer them even if you’re not sure.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Don’t try to fight reoccurring thoughts, dreams or flashbacks – they are normal and will decrease over time and become less painful.
- Eat well-balanced and regular meals (even if you don’t feel like it).
FOR FAMILY MEMBERS & FRIENDS
- Listen carefully.
- Spend time with the traumatized person.
- Offer your assistance and a listening ear if they have not asked for help.
- Reassure them that they are safe.
- Help them with everyday tasks like cleaning, cooking, caring for the family, minding children.
- Give them some private time.
- Don’t take their anger or other feelings personally.
- Don’t tell them that they are “lucky it wasn’t worse;” a traumatized person is not consoled by those statements. Instead, tell them that you are sorry such an event has occurred and you want to understand and assist them.