Tips for dealing with anxiety and other troubling emotions following the shooting at Pulse nightclub
Earlier this morning I learned that over 50 people have been killed in a nightclub shooting and another 50 or more injured in the worst mass shooting in American history. As a resident of Orlando and as the owner of a counseling center I was immediately concerned for the safety of friends, neighbors, and clients. I was dealing with a host of intense emotions including anger, confusion, fear, and anxiety. I want to share some simple practical tips for dealing with this crisis and the uncomfortable feelings that will be present.
- Do something. Feelings of helplessness are inevitable during a tragedy like this. Doing some positive action such as giving blood or making a financial contribution to a charity like the Red Cross can restore some sense of personal empowerment.
- Connect with family and friends. Resist any temptation to isolate and avoid relational connection. Let those closest to you know how much you love them and what they mean to you.
- Stay healthy. Make sure you continue to eat nutritious food and get at least some type of mild exercise. Try to eat a fruit or veggie at every meal to help keep your blood sugar stabilized and balance your cortisol levels. Going for a walk around the block, jumping on the treadmill, or taking a dip in the pool will help burn off some of the excess stress.
- Limit your news time. While it is good to stay informed, over stimulation to negative news can take a toll on your health. Limit your exposure to the news to increments of 30 minutes or less. Do at least one of the suggestions above before watching or listening to another news cycle.
- Get professional help. If this event causes you to have severe anxiety, panic attacks, vivid nightmares, sleep disorders, or thoughts of wanting to harm yourself or others, than please seek professional help as soon as possible. The professional counselors at Total Health Guidance are available for in-person or over the phone therapy sessions from 8am to 8pm. You can reach a therapist for a free consultation by calling 321-332-6984.