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Handling a National Tragedy on a Personal Level

by Dr. Kathleen Hall
newtown tragedy, the shooting of Sandy Hook Elementary School, stress and grief tips,

Friday’s killing spree caused many people in the nation new levels of shock. Anger, sadness, resentment, pain, and grief are the emotional aftermath for everyone involved in the shooting of Sandy Hook Elementary School. This shooting massacre is second only to the 2007 Virginia Tech campus event where a lone gunman took over 30 lives.

People that are affected by Friday’s event include survivors of the shooting rampage (children, teachers, and staff), the community, victims’ families and friends, and finally, the rest of the world that watched this event unfold.

While we wait for details to come out about the shooting of Sandy Hook Elementary School, many of us are going through survivor’s stress, guilt, and grief. Without properly dealing with and managing this level of stress and pain, physical symptoms like headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and heart disease can manifest themselves. Please take a moment to stop and consider the following stress and grief tips.

Stress and Grief Tips for National Tragedies
  • Talk about it. Share your feelings with others to reduce stress. Releasing these feelings through communication will help you cope.
  • Surround yourself. Spend time with family and friends enjoying the emotional support bonds bring.
  • Limit your exposure. After living through it, you do not need to relive it. Avoid images of the disaster as well as 24-hour news channels that play the footage again and again.
  • Busy yourself. Anchor yourself and your mind in any activities you enjoy. Keep your mind busy by reading, watching movies, taking a walk, or going for a run.
  • Take care of yourself. Utilize our S.E.L.F. care methods and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which will make you more anxious and depressed. Browse our site for articles on S.E.L.F. care.

We are all shocked and filled with sadness for the victims and their families. If you need more information on managing survivor stress or grief, please email me at kahall@mindfullivingnetwork.com.

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