The continuing violence in communities all over the country is a rising concern to us all. Scenes like the one in San Bernadino are becoming more and more frequent, and people turn to me as a Mental Health provider with various questions about why this is happening and how do everyday people manage seeing this violence over and over again.
When these horrible tragedies occur there are some things to look for in your own reaction to them:
- Thinking about the event over and over again. This may even include nightmares about what you have seen
- Physical problems like chronic pain, headaches, stomach issues and tightness in the chest
- Problems functioning at work, school or in social settings
- Using drugs or alcohol to cope with emotions
- Feeling depressed
- Overall lack of trust
Here are a few tips to help you get through the hard times:
- Connect with friends and family; don’t isolate
- Take time to nurture yourself: practice yoga, go for walk, get a massage
- Exercise to relieve muscle tension and improve mood and sleep
- Get enough rest
- Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you sort through them
- Limit the time you watch TV
- Find a support group to connect with other people with similar issues
Don’t be afraid to reach out and contact a mental health professional to help you feel better. A combination of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) can be very effective.
If you think you or a loved one needs someone to talk to, contact Melissa Babiarz LMHC at 716-572-8677.