Anguish of the heart,
Grief, sadness, anger, senseless.
Come comfort, bring Hope.
- C. Runaas (written last week as part of my personal processing)
As we close out Mental Health Awareness Month with our emphasis on community and family, and as we begin to learn of the impact of trauma - we cannot help but remember that we are a country grieving the losses in Uvalde, TX and the losses in Buffalo, NY.
We all need time to process and take care of ourselves and our loved ones. It is from a place of frail humanity that I wonder what to share with you and how best to comfort, especially when trying to make sense out of the senseless.
Reflecting on this, I offer the following suggestions:
Give yourself and others permission to feel emotions - It’s okay to cry, vent with someone you trust, and journal your thoughts.
Unplug from the news and social media.
Spend time with trusted family, friends, and others in your support system - hug them and tell them how much they mean to you.
Pray, meditate, breathe.
Remind yourself (and others) of beauty and goodness – play with your dog or kitty, nature walks, birdwatching, play with your children, soak up the sun, gaze at the stars, whatever you enjoy.
Act through attending community events, donating to your place of worship or trusted organizations, and/or writing letters to your representatives, voting.
Ask for help when overwhelmed, and take a break.
If needed, schedule an appointment to process… for yourself, for children and teens.
Here are additional resources that may help too:
APA resources for coping with mass shootings, understanding gun violence
After a School Shooting Resources - American School Counselor Association (ASCA)