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Tips for Coping with Crisis and Traumatic Events

1. Limit watching news – especially graphic and repeated views of explosions, injuries, and commentary of violent or traumatic scenes.

2. Engage in our everyday “normal” activities and routines. This will vary for each of us as more immediate needs may arise, but our everyday activities can help us feel more in control of our lives and environment. 

3. Don't isolate! Stay in touch with your friends and love ones. Speak, text, Skype(C), email, meet for a snack or quick walk. Resist repeated urges to "stay in."

4. Get plenty of sleep! Our emotional wellbeing, judgment, resilience and physical health need sleep for us to function and feel at our best. All-nighters can be harmful after a trauma.

5. Limit your alcohol intake. What sounds like a relaxing way to forget or ease stress may limit our judgment and interfere with emotional stability, judgment, and decision-making, sleep, and our overall ability to take care of ourselves and those important to us.  “Recreational” drug use is no better an idea during or after a trauma than it is at any other time.

6. It is normal to have feelings of helplessness in the wake of traumatic events and their reminders. We can help counter these feelings by doing something to help those in need following a traumatic event, such as volunteer and engage in opportunities to support those directly affected by the event. 

7. Stress management steps really do work! Follow as many of them as you can! See the UHCS Health and Wellness webpages and Health-N-You blog for more resources.

8. Be patient and kind to yourself. It is natural to feel helpless, sad, angry and anxious in the midst of a tragedy. It’s also easy to become angry at ourselves thinking that we could be doing more or that we’re letting others down. Our emotional reactions may surprise and worry us with their range and intensity - even in response to everyday events. Give yourself a break.

9. Don’t hesitate to seek help. Talk to your family, loved one and friends. Come to UHCS to speak with a counselor, if:

a. you feel the need to talk with someone about how you are doing,

b. you are having difficulty functioning due to being upset by the surrounding events,

c. and/or the disruption in your mood and concentration continues over an extended period.

10. Encourage a friend to get help if you see him or her having a difficult time.

Call NUPD immediately at (617) 373-3333 if you feel at any risk of harm to yourself or others, or if you become aware of anyone else who is experiencing the same.

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