Taking Care of Yourself After a Crisis

Reactions to a crisis can sometimes linger, and there are a number of things you can do to help the healing process. Many people find the following strategies helpful. Different strategies work for different people; choose those that might work for you.

  • The basics – nutrition, rest, and exercise – help ward off the negative effects of stress. Try to eat and sleep as well as possible. Any exercise, including walking, will help. (Remember to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.)
  • Talk with others – family, friends, colleagues – who will listen and with whom you feel comfortable. Just being withsupportive people can help, even if you’re not talking.
  • Write down your thoughts and feelings when you’re not able to talk with others (e.g., in the middle of the night).
  • Supporting others is good for you as well. Listening to a friend, donating time or goods, participating in special events that honor victims, displaying the flag, or lighting a candle can help you feel better if these activities interest you.
  • Resume a regular routine as soon as possible, even if it’s a different routine from before.
  • When you can, get back to doing things you enjoy – listening to music, reading a book, playing with your kids, having dinner with friends, etc.
  • Remember that your reactions are most likely normal. Be patient with yourself and others.