Sometimes, life can throw you curveballs when you are least expecting them. Things can catch you off guard. Events can unfold in your life without your say. All of these things can be extremely overwhelming and it’s never a weak attribute to admit such. Things can grow difficult to handle and reaching out for help is always the best option. Here are 5 ways you can help yourself in the processing of a traumatic or stressful life event.
Be Patient With Yourself
You have just experienced a distressing event. Allow yourself to take everything in and process it in any way that feels natural to you. Don’t judge yourself for how you cope or the length of duration you take to manage. Free yourself of any time restraints because by doing this you are allowing yourself to conceptualize what has happened to you, which in the grand scheme of things, will aid your healing process and lead you to a healthy recovery.
Keep Your Body Fed and Hydrated
The majority of the time, feeling distressed and upset will affect your appetite. Though you may not want to eat or even entertain the idea, food is fuel. It is so important to keep yourself hydrated and well-nourished while you are going through an extremely draining time; draining to both your body and your mind. Even if you don’t feel the energy or drive to cook, which is normal, you’re hardly going to want to be shopping for ingredients. Order food or have something quick and easy to make. The important thing is that you’re fed. Coping with a distressing event can consume a lot of your energy and you must look after yourself physically so this will help you heal yourself mentally.
Reach out and Try Therapy
15% of American young adults (aged 18 to 25) received mental health care in 2018. Seeking therapy is a very popular and highly successful way to cope with traumatic events. Speaking to a professional and receiving their knowledge and expertise can help your healing process significantly. They are professionals for a reason and they are always there to help you. Sometimes even just speaking about the event can be essential to regaining positive mental health. In particular, the EMDR and Counseling Center can help. Overcoming the difficulties of dealing with the event is exactly what this team of professionals can help you with. EMDR therapy has even shown to be more successful in recontextualising the distressing event in a shorter time than standard therapy. It is a type of therapy which was developed in the 1980s and has proved to be fairly successful in its course. Reaching out and trying different therapy methods is sure to be beneficial in your time of distress. Do reach out and speak to professionals who want to help you!
Though it may feel like the last thing you want to do, getting back into your familiar day-to-day routine can massively increase your processing of the event. You may want to put your life on hold after something distressing and of course, it is fine to take a bit of time to yourself after the event is fresh. However, slowly easing yourself back into your routine can be beneficial in solidifying the traumatic event and help you view it as something that has happened and something that you are working through. Give yourself time to heal but give yourself things to do in the meantime.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
The thing about traumatic events is that they can rise to the surface and bombard you even when you feel like you have healed. This is entirely normal, you just have to have ways to calm yourself and bring yourself back to reality whenever this happens. Breathing techniques and panic attack prevention exercises are easy to locate and once you have done this you can discover which ones work the best for you. Establishing these techniques puts you in control of your trauma, ensuring you have the power to ground yourself whenever this event threatens your peace of mind even after you think the healing process is over. Take a breath, ground yourself, and remember that you are not alone.