There are steps you can take when dealing with traumatic issues. You need to give yourself time and understand that it will be a slow and difficult process. Learning to cope as you deal with trauma is important. Ask for help from people who will listen and care about you. Talk to your family, close friends and others you feel close to, in confidence. Locate a support group if you do not have a personal support system. Identify support groups led by trained professionals. Your local Victim Service Program
may be able to assist you.
• Take care of yourself. Eat well balanced meals and get plenty of rest. Get involved in healthy activities. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
• Attempt to regain interest in your normal routines, hobbies and enjoyable interests.
• Avoid making any major life decisions, because those types of events can be very stressful and it may not be the best time to make such decisions.
• You may want to go to your local victim service program, library or bookstore for more information on coping tips.
• Victims often report that they no longer feel safe or secure. Give yourself permission to do whatever you need to feel safe. It’s ok to sleep with the lights on, change the locks, carry pepper spray, or ask someone to accompany you after dark.
• Try to remember experiences that have brought you a sense of peace and comfort in the past and experiment with those things now. Listen to soothing music, get a small indoor water fountain, pet a cat, or spend time in nature. Try new things, such as keeping a journal, or alternative techniques like breathing exercises or gentle yoga stretches, which can calm and center the body and the mind.
Remember, everyone’s journey is unique. Create space to allow yourself to feel whatever range of emotions you are experiencing. Give yourself time in the day to sit and cry, grieve, mourn, or ask “Why me?" Also, give yourself permission to laugh again, experience joy, or feel happy when the time is right and you are ready.