Suggestions on ways to care for yourself after a traumatic event or disaster:
- Don't be isolated
- Use natural support systems, friends, families & co-workers
- Communicate your experience with those close to you or keep a diary.
- Avoid telling stories in a repetitive way that may deepen the trauma.
- Watch news in time-limited intervals and then turn the news off.
- Focus on your personal resources, the things that make you feel calm, strong and grounded.
- Don’t get preoccupied with the things you can’t control.
- Do things that allow you to get your mind off the trauma: watch a movie, knit, garden, cook, play with children or a pet.
- Eat well-balanced meals and get plenty of rest. If having difficulty sleeping, try some relaxation exercises before bedtime. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and drugs.
- Establish or re-establish routines.
- Avoid making major life decisions such as switching careers or jobs.
- Volunteer to help by donating blood or send money to victims.
- Get involved in groups, lead by trained professionals, that process the traumatic event.
What to expect after a traumatic event:
shock, fear, denial, grief, anger, helplessness, hopelessness, feeling numb or empty, diminished ability to feel interest, pleasure and love
tension, fatigue, edginess, insomnia, bodily aches or pain, being startled easily, racing heartbeat, nausea, change of appetite, change in sex drive.
confusion, disorientation, worry, shortened attention span, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, recurring thoughts or nightmares, unwanted memories
distrust, conflict, withdrawal, work problems, school problems, irritability, loss of intimacy, being over-controlling
Contact University Counseling Services