Practicing Everyday Self-Care in the Wake of Tragedy

October 3, 2017

Once again, we are in shock at the capacity of a human being to damage and kill other people—and there is nothing comprehensible about such carnage. The many feelings you may feel at a time like this—shock, anger, sadness, horror, fear, hopelessness—can easily lead to questions about human nature and the meaning of everyday life. Why does this happen so repeatedly in our country and others? What does it mean about being human? How can we prevent such tragedies? Are we destined to be anxious and depressed, fearful of when and where the next danger lurks? If you have previously been affected by violence, or sudden loss, or terrifying fear, you may have already contemplated these dilemmas and come up dry. Who among us gets clear answers to those big questions?

Following are a few thoughts about what we can do that is clear and proactive.

  1. Focus on how you can create calm and peace in your daily life. Exercise, healthy eating, a little more sleep than usual, can all be good stress relievers and give you the extra energy to maintain your routines.
  2. Hold on to what you believe is good in human beings. Plan some time with good friends and close family to reassure yourself that life can be good and meaningful. Tell those whom you love that you cherish them and want to care for them. Share how important they are to you. Let them know your needs. Listen to theirs.
  3. Send positive energy into the universe every day. This will mean different things to different people. Depending upon your spiritual beliefs or philosophy, prayer, meditation, or volunteer work may reinforce that we have the power to change—starting within ourselves and in our families and communities. Start each day with a positive intention—to be kind, to be patient, to express yourself to those close to you.

To those who were injured or lost, and their loved ones, our hearts at Council for Relationships go out to you.



Michele M. Marsh, PhD

Staff Therapist