When national tragedies occur the aftermath can still be lasting whether you live near of far away from the tragedy at hand. Everywhere we turn it seems we are constantly reminded of the tragedy and the loss of life from news reports on the television or on the radio to social media feeds.
As a military wife it can be alarming and shocking when national tragedies happen like the 2015 Chattanooga Shootings which occurred at several recruiting offices in Tennessee to the Boston Marathon Bombings to last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, France. Your heart hurts for those who have been lost and your heart hurts for your soldier who protects our country. As human nature kicks in we tend to overthink things and go to the worst case. However, it’s better to know what to do when tragedy happens.
What should you do when tragedy strikes?
It’s important to remain calm and not panic when a tragedy strikes. Wait, until you know all the details of what’s going on before making decision of what you need to do in your area. Look to the media for information and announcements or instructions provided. Your local communities are wonderful resources to help unite everyone in difficult times.
Take Care of Yourself
Remember it’s okay if you take a “news break” and come down from negative or ongoing coverage of an event. Long exposure to news coverage of a tragedy can increase fears and cause unneeded stress and anxiety. Get back in the rhythm of your life, take time to do all the things you usually do and find the balance. Try not to get too overwhelmed or obsessed with watching every update regarding an event. Take time to rest and don’t over think things that have not happened. Spend time with your family and enjoy the small things you love.
Use your Support System
When tragedy strikes even if it isn’t close by; it can still affect you. Don’t go it alone, take time to talk with your friends or close family members who you trust. Talk about how you are feeling regarding the tragedy share you sadness, grief, or anger. It’s always helpful to acknowledge what happened to begin the process of healing no matter if you’re feeling helpless, in disbelief, or having feelings of sorrow.
Take Action and Focus on What you can do
Being social helps the healing process whether a tragedy happens near or far. Social media in the recent years has helped people from all over the world come together and support each other when tragedy strikes. I’m a writing this blog to share tips to help others. In turn writing about tragedies helps me feel connected and like I am doing something even if it’s writing a small blog post about the topic. Contribute in any way you feel can make a difference if you can and want to.
You can take action when tragedy strikes afterward by participating in activities like moments of silence or ceremonies to commentate those who have been lost. Donating to charities specifically set up for the victims of a tragedy is another way to be involved. Lastly, you can volunteer in your local community to educate others about how to cope when tragedy strikes.
What do you do to cope when tragedy strikes? Leave a comment and share you thoughts.