Some practical, common sense suggestions — that work.
It's normal . . .
- Remember you are having normal human reactions, just like others under similar stress. You are not going "crazy" or having a nervous breakdown.
- Give yourself permission to feel bad. Like the flu, emotional stress has to run its course.
- Unwanted thoughts, dreams or flashbacks are normal, too. Accept them as part of healing. They should decrease over time, and in most ways they are adaptive and healing.
Stay in touch with others . . .
- Don't isolate yourself.
- Talk it out with people. Talk is a very healing medicine.
- Allow supportive people to assist you.
- Reach out to people who care – family, friends, clergy, counselors.
Stay active . . .
- Maintain a normal, active and productive schedule; modify as necessary.
- Physical exercise (within your normal limits) is one of the best ways to reduce stress.
- Do things that you enjoy.
Help others . . . (It will help you, too.)
- Realize that those around you are also under stress.
- Assist family members who are also experiencing stress.
- And friends. How are they doing? Helping them helps you.
Take care of yourself . . .
- Exercise regularly (within your limits).
- Avoid stressful situations for a while.
- Have some relaxing times.
- Don't abuse drugs or alcohol. This can hinder and delay recovery.
- Eat well-balanced, regular meals (even if you don’t feel like it).
- Get plenty of rest; remember that sleep disturbance is common, too.
- Avoid hazardous activities – there is an increased likelihood of accidents.
- Delay making major life decisions until your stress level lowers (symptoms decrease significantly).