Reports of mass violence have become a frequent occurrence. Normally, you’re able to bounce back and reclaim your sense of security, but school shootings are different. They threaten our faith in the system and force us to question whether our children are safe. While there may never be satisfactory answers to how and why something like this could occur, we do know that it’s natural to experience a variety of emotions in the aftermath. To strengthen your resilience, and for some of you, manage the loss, we’ve compiled a list of tips, effective for the weeks ahead:
• Talk about it. You have a support system standing by, waiting to care for you and listen to your concerns. Their reassurance will serve as comfort during a time of disarray.
• Attend to self-care. Your first reaction may be to take care of your loved ones, but when you’re unstable, you’re of little service to them. Monitor and attend to your needs: eating, sleeping, and exercising.
• Aim for balance. When something of this nature occurs, your outlook on the world may change. Remind yourself of the meaningful people in your life, reflect on events that can provide you comfort, and remember, it was one bad person. Most people are good.
• Avoid overexposure to media. While it’s important to remain informed, media portrayals can increase your stress. Distract yourself from thinking by taking scheduled breaks, focusing on something you enjoy.
• Grant yourself time to heal. Grieving is a process. It may entail staying at home, and for others, getting right back to your routine. Despite the current intensity, it will get better.
For many people, the provided information may be sufficient to get through a school shooting, but for others, it’s just not enough. If you find yourself unable to function or perform basic activities, it’s important to seek professional help. As a licensed counselor, I can provide you assistance sensitive to your experience, developing an appropriate strategy to help you move forward.