(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – Several days have passed since the tragedy in Las Vegas on October 1, but the effect of this incident is not over. The emotional toll from a traumatic event can cause intense, confusing and frightening emotions for everyone in the community, not just those directly impacted.
Ongoing news coverage and constant replays of horrific images and sounds contribute to our reactions and keep the event very much alive. Repeated exposure can trigger traumatic stress and leave a person feeling hopeless and helpless. Whether directly involved or exposed to media coverage after the fact, there are steps one can take to recover emotional equilibrium and regain control of their life. It is essential to take care of our own mental health and each other, especially in the aftermath of tragedy. Individuals responds differently to the impact of a traumatic incident.
Listed below are some general tips to navigate feelings and emotions following a traumatic or stressful event.
• Minimize media exposure.
• Accept your feelings. These feelings are normal. Give yourself time to mourn and feel.
• Challenge your sense of hopelessness. Take action through volunteering for a cause important to you.
• Get moving. Exercise. Walk.
• Reach out to others.
• Make stress reduction a priority. Take care of yourself. Relax. Get sleep.
• Eat a healthy diet.
As a reminder, the Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness Access line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support by calling toll free at 1-888-868-1649. The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Line is available toll free at 1-800-985-5990 or text at TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.