Coping with the tragedy in Boston.

Coping with the tragedy in Boston.

04-16-2013

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We are still just learning about the nature and extent of the tragedy in Boston. Even if you don't know anyone in the city or aren't directly affected by the tragedy, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed emotionally. It’s important not to ignore those feelings. Below are some tips for handling sadness or anxiety related to tragedies or violent acts like the bombings in Boston.

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Don't hold it in.
It's normal to feel sadness, anxiety, fear, anger or a mix of those emotions, in the aftermath of a tragedy or disaster. It's important not to hold it all in. Talk to a friend, family member or a counselor. If you don't have anyone you feel comfortable talking to, call 1-800-273-TALK for a confidential chat with someone who can help.

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Turn it off.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week – news of tragedy and details of its impact come at us from every angle. Sometimes you need to flip off your tv, computer or phone, and focus on something else. When you do follow the news, stick to reliable sources and avoid rumors or speculation.

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Get up and get out.
Tragedies like this can weigh so heavily on us that it makes it hard to move. The simple act of taking a walk, hitting the gym, running some errands or playing a board game with friends, can help us cope with tough feelings and feel better. When we feel overwhelmed by an act of hate, it can help to do something good to help others. Volunteer in your community, do a favor for a friend or get involved with efforts to support Boston at loveislouder.com.

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Look out for friends.
If you notice a friend or family member is having a hard time dealing with news about a tragedy, reach out and offer support. Look out for warning signs that they are feeling hopeless. These could include not wanting to see other people, not sleeping or sleeping all the time, increased use of drugs or alcohol, or talking about death or dying. It is natural for people near a tragedy to feel anxious and have some difficulty concentrating or sleeping for a short while. These feelings should get better in a few days (or weeks for those very closely impacted). If they are not improving, seek help for yourself or a friend. Get more tips on helping a friend here.

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Turn feelings into action.
It's so easy to be overcome with sadness, anger or anxiety after acts of violence that cause pain for so many people. It’s healthy to express those feelings, but we can also choose to turn them into positive action. Neglecting your own physical or emotional health could make things worse.

 

 

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