7 tips to cope with traumatic news and events

Media and news feeds are often filled with devastating stories and tragic events, like the recent Parkland shooting in Florida. Unfortunately, it’s often impossible to ignore it and instead, you can feel really bad about all the terrible things going on. So, to help you cope with traumatic news and events, here are seven tips.

Connect to your body

Licensed psychotherapist, Rashida Latef, explains that people can respond to traumatic events with defense mechanisms, like denial and repression. However, she suggests coping mechanisms that get you into your body, like yoga, human contact and even mindful meditation.

Take time for guilt-free enjoyment

When you know that others are suffering, you may feel guilty for feeling happy. However, remember that taking care of yourself is important – especially if you want to help others.

Unplug from social media and news outlets

People check their phones constantly. But in the event of a tragedy, limit your exposure, and and even take a break from the news. Instead, give yourself restorative activities like walking, socializing and cooking.

Focus on the positive, not the negative

The human brain is attracted to negativity, but try to resist the urge to focus on the violence, or the perpetrator. Instead, try to focus on the brave men and women who are trying to help, even if small ways.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness can help reduce not only the feeling of stress, but also how it negatively impacts the physical body. Taking time to practice mindfulness and to even meditate can help you cope better.

Be a volunteer or make a donation

If you feel called to step up and volunteer, this can help you engage with what’s happening in a healthy way. If your life situation doesn’t permit you to volunteer, consider making a donation so that you can contribute to the relief efforts.

It’s okay to get help

You may dismiss your emotional response to traumatic news because you don’t have it as bad as everyone else. But you and your emotions are valid and important, too. So, don’t be afraid to see out therapy if tragic events are giving you significant distress.

Last week, Parkland shooting survivors united to form the #NEVERAGAIN movement. Their goal is to push politicians to change gun control laws to prevent school shootings from happening again. In a very short time they’ve attracted nationwide attention and coverage. And now, George and Amal Clooney are making generous donations to support next month’s gun control march.

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