As we all struggle to cope with the brutal violence and murder of African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota by police officers and the murder of police officers in Texas, it is important to find effective ways to cope with the traumatic effects of these acts of violence.
1. If possible refrain from watching the videos of these assaults over and over, exposure to violence negatively affects our emotions, our thoughts and our bodies.
2. Do not expose your children to these videos, their emotions, brains and bodies are still developing and such exposure to violence will slow down healthy development. Instead talk to children, encourage them to talk about what they see and hear. Listen well. Provide children with consistent and reliable routines. Monitor their TV and internet use. Reassure them that you are a reliable adult they can talk to about anything and be available when they want to talk.
3. A range of emotions is a normal reaction in the aftermath of such violence acknowledge your anger, frustration, fear, sadness, anxiety and sense of helplessness, cry and channel these feelings into action. Engage in advocacy and change efforts. Get involved in city, state and national efforts to curb violence and racism.
4. Find other outlets for your emotions remember there is love, joy, excitement, laughter, listen to uplifting music, watch favorite movies, sports, Wimbledon is on today Go Serena!! Spend time outdoors. Routines around healthy eating, sleep and exercise (speed walking is perfect!) are especially helpful at this time.
5. Talk, talk, talk to supportive family, friends and allies. Did I say talk, talk, talk? Keep talking.
6. If you find yourself stuck or too overwhelmed find a professional. A Psychologist or Licensed Mental Health Professional can help you get back on track with your emotions, work and relationship functioning.
To your health.