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Taking Care of Self

There are a number of useful strategies for dealing with your responses to trauma.

  • First, recognize that you have been exposed to a very stressful event and that it is bound to have an impact in some way. There is no right or wrong way to think or feel about the event.
  • Accept your feelings and reactions, as well as those of others.
  • Talking to others about your feelings can help you cope with your reactions.
  • Notice if there are any dramatic changes in your diet, exercise, and substance use. These might be indicative of a stress reaction and a need to re-evaluate how you are taking care (or not) of yourself.
  • Spend time with friends or family. Note that being alone is important at times too, but if you find yourself spending more time alone than usual, you might be experiencing a withdrawal from others as a response to the stressful event. Seeking support and community is important.
  • Don't make any big life decisions or changes during this time as you may not be acting in your usual manner.
  • Limit your amount of exposure to media reports of the stressful event, especially if you are having a difficult time coping with such exposure.

Last Updated: 10/2/08