The recent murder of George Floyd has been a painful and disgraceful chapter in our nation’s history, and the collective pain and emotional turmoil that most of us feel has been evident over the past few weeks. When tragedies like this occur, most of us struggle to make sense of them. How could something so terrible happen? What would cause another human being to do such a thing? And how can we move on knowing that this will likely not be the last time something like this occurs?
After a traumatic event, it is common to experience emotions such as shock, anger, sadness, and fear. Many people, especially young children, experience trouble sleeping and concentrating. While it may seem your life will never get back to normal, there are things you can do to cope and find emotional relief.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
During this time, it is important that you are honest with yourself about your feelings. Shoving them down may seem like the only way to function, but in the long-run, ignoring your emotions will only make things worse.
Take some time each day to connect with whatever it is you are feeling. Allow your reaction to your own feelings to flow through you and do not judge yourself.
Reach Out To Others
It is common for people to want to withdraw from loved ones following a tragic event, but connecting with others is necessary for recovery. A simple conversation with a close friend or family member can trigger hormones that relieve stress. You need not talk about the event with your loved ones, just simply spending time (including virtual time through FaceTime, Skype, etc.) with them will likely help you to feel more at ease and “normal”. Due to the isolation and loneliness that most of us are feeling as a result of the COVID-19 quarantine, I think that this is particularly important at this time. Of course, if you feel that you need to talk about the tragedy and/or your feelings, reach out to those you know love and support you.
Speak With A Professional
It is not always easy to deal with our emotions. They can sometimes seem overwhelming and leave us feeling helpless against them. In times like these, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a trained therapist who can offer tools and insights to cope.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment options, please reach out to me. I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.