It has been a difficult summer for the people of Colorado—coping with the devastation caused by the extensive wild fires and now dealing with the tragedy of the movie theater massacre.
My husband, Tom Kelsall, has spent his entire career as a licensed clinical social worker, working with families in crisis and helping them cope with tragedy.
Tom compiled a list of some helpful and practical hints for dealing with traumatic events:
• Express yourself and use your support network by talking to a trusted spouse, friend, family member or colleague at work about the trauma and your feelings about it.
• In addition to or instead of talking, write about the trauma and your feelings in a journal or draw pictures about the trauma and your feelings.
• Take care of yourself by attending to your spiritual needs.
• Nurture yourself by enjoying some fun activities with your family and friends.
• Continue normal routines and activities of interest, i.e. sleeping, eating, exercise, work, social/recreational activities, contact with family and friends.
• Protect yourself by avoiding over-exposure to trauma through electronic, social media and your own social network. Turn the television off when overloaded.
• Try to make a difference and build a better world. If interest, time and resources are available, do something that is positive and supportive in the community, i.e. volunteer, give money, donate blood, visit a memorial, attend a religious service, visit victims and families, make and deliver meals, etc.
• For helpful tips in dealing with children, read How to Help Children Frightened by News Events at http://www1.cyfernet.org/hotnew/07-12-news.html