During times of crisis and tragedy, it is important to remember to take care of yourself and those close to you. The most immediate concern for most people right now is for safety. The following guidelines may be helpful.
- Try to keep routine as much as possible.
- Take care not to isolate. Talk openly about your feelings.
- Restrict the amount of media coverage that you watch, listen to and/or read. We know that the more television coverage of a traumatic event(s) you watch, the greater likelihood that you may experience significant distress and trauma.
- Discuss the event with children in age appropriate ways.
- Do not allow children to watch television coverage of the event.
- Do not listen to news reports in front of children.
- Minimize the amount of details children read in the newspaper.
- For example, to a three year old you might say “Yes, a bad thing happened far away. But you are okay here and now”. For older children you should reassure them that they and your family are safe. Try to answer their questions or address their concerns with concrete information.
- Be prepared to spend more time with your children at bedtime. They may need more reassurance at this time.
- Know that everyone reacts differently to crisis and trauma and expect/accept those differences … this is normal.
- Keep an eye on your family, friends and co-workers for stress reactions. If you are concerned about how you or someone you know is reacting, call for help.