Emotionally Surviving Disaster
I originally wrote this post, a year ago, it saddens me to know that as a collective we are still struggling. We feel swallowed by the world. Everywhere we look there is tragedy and trauma. Many empaths, feel immoblized by the overwhelming feelings they are experiencing. This blog offers suggestions to help you, empath or not to navigate through life during hard times.
As I sat down to write this, I was sure the internet would be full of articles to help, in light of 911, Aurora Theatre Shooting, France, the women burned by ISIS, Brook Turner, the night club in Florida (and all the other acts of violence happening daily). And yet, there was barely anything. Really? No resources for others who are in pain and suffering? Those who are outraged? No resources to help? Yes, there are resources, but I wanted an article that said this what you can do to help you emotionally. To keep from falling into paranoia, when you feel like you can't breath, when you panic, when anxiety sets in, when you hate the world, when you want to crawl under a rock and never come out, to keep yourself safe, your family safe, to help those who hurt, what to say…
We all handle pain, trauma, loss and tragedy differently. Some of us are profoundly affected. Moved beyond words. Some of us, stuff away, pretend that life is the same. Some of us are moved to outrage, yelling and fighting with other for social changes, becoming defensive against those who disagree with our ideas of what will make the world a better place.
For those of us who are moved, who want change, to make the world a better place. Whose hearts cry every time we hear of another horrifying event. For those of us who know people first hand, who have experienced pain and trauma. This is for you!
1. Don’t let it swallow you. Don’t let it consume your life. Don’t let it eat you up. Don’t let stop you from living. Give yourself limits on how much news coverage you are going to watch. How much time you are going to be on social media. How many articles you are going to read. The more time you spend watching, reading, commenting the more you drain you. Give yourself limits and give yourself permission to take care of you. Go for a walk, spend time in nature, call a friend, read a book, make tea- do something that fills you back up.
2. Talk. Share. Connect. Share how you feel with others. Share your story. Connect to like minded people who support you. Don’t keep quiet and lock yourself away. There is strength and support in community. Shared grieve can a powerful healing tool. Locking the door and closing the blinds keeps you isolated and feeling depressed. If you need to call a crisis line, start therapy or group therapy for people who are dealing with the same things you are.
3. Know your strengths and offer them to others. What to help? Know how you can help. Awesome cook, make a meal for someone grieving. Awesome listener, listen to someone’s story. We all have talents. Share yours.
4. Allow yourself to feel. Don’t shut down. Let the emotions come. Let them visit. Listen to them. Give them space to be heard. Each emotion is a messenger, to help you grow and heal. Shutting the door in their face doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help others. Feel your emotions.
5. Donate. If you can donate money to help victims of violence or donate to a cause you support.
6. Volunteer. Share your time with the causes you care about. Volunteer for an organization that supports your believes.
I can offer a sacred, safe place for you to come and process how you feel, how tragedy affects you.