Below is an edited version that Tamara Grasz of the Counseling Center of the Savannah College of Arts and Design so kindly shared with other college counseling centers with the permission to share and use as needed. With the open forum we held at the college yesterday, finding this in my inbox was a gift from God.
I share it here with hope it helps.
“Where do I go From Here? What do I do?”
1.) Keep busy! Focus on your projects and classroom assignments! Research indicates keeping focused on day to day required tasks or routines helps mitigate the effects of stress.
2.) Seek out persons who care for and support you. Share your reactions, thoughts and how the experience impacted you.
3.) Know that the reactions to trauma described are normal responses to a very abnormal experience. They occur in varying degrees of severity and type for each person.
4.) Limit the amount of time that you watch details about the tragedy on TV.
5.) “Baby yourself” – eat well, get your sleep, and do nurturing things.
6.) Express your feelings with your art! Drawings, poetry etc. are all healthy ways to manage the feelings related to trauma.
7.) Consider writing a journal of your experience or feelings.
8.) Seek to gain perspective on the experience. This is often helped by participation in counseling. Other aids may include meditation, reading, spiritual refection or involvement in support groups.
9.) Consider sending cards, emails of support. Helping others often is the healthiest way to manage our own feelings of powerlessness.
We are here for you to process the recent events. If you need to talk to someone please give us a call. We will set up an appointment or come to your class.
You may experience some of the symptoms below, this is normal!
• Shock: often the initial reaction to events like this. Shock is the person’s emotional protection from being too overwhelmed by the event. You may feel stunned, numb, or in disbelief concerning the event.
• Suffering: this is the long period of grief during which the person gradually comes to terms with the reality of the event/loss. Feelings that life is overwhelming, chaotic and disorganized are common.
• Sadness: The most common feeling found following traumatic events like this. It may become quite intense and be experienced as emptiness or despair.
• Anger: Can be one of the most confusing feelings for the grieving person. Anger is a response to feeling powerless, frustrated, or even abandoned.
• Anxiety: Can range from mild insecurity to strong panic attacks. Often grievers become anxious about their ability to take care of themselves, or fear an event like this will happen to them or a loved one.
It’s good to talk about it! We are here for YOU…give us a call!