By Madelyn Jones
Last week, I talked about the tragedies in Las Vegas and Puerto Rico and how to cope through helping and inspiring change. This issue will focus more on individual self care and the importance of reaching out to resources and learning what works for you.
However, with advice in general, I urge you to never take it blindly, even if it comes from someone you greatly respect. People grieve, cope and think in different ways, and it is a journey that everyone has to go on. Advice can help you figure out what works or doesn’t, just make sure what you take in helps more than hurts and you are continuously checking in with yourself.
I bring this up because I have found a very specific way that helps me cope with shootings. When a list of the victims is released with their eulogies, I take time to read through them all and grieve. This is my way of honoring their lives and giving myself an allocated time to process instead of repress.
This follows one of the avenues of rhetoric around shootings which is to focus on the victims’ lives instead of the criminal’s. This exists to honor the dead and avoid giving the murderer their five seconds of fame.
It is important to grieve. Having a set time and place to process can be helpful. Therapy is one way to get this space.
It might seem odd going to therapy for things are not just personal but have to do with the state of the world, however if they are affecting you, it is a valid reason to seek outside help.
Even if therapy is not your thing or not possible at this time, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Part of this is deciding when to look up news. If you see it too much on social media to the point that it is more damaging than not, consider deleting the apps in question and take a break.
I know many people want to stay informed—just pay attention to how your feeling to find the right balance of keeping informed and maintaining mental well-being. It will be different for everyone, and that’s valid.
I have heard from multiple people that it seems like they are taking world news harder than others around them. It is important to know that with issues that are so difficult to deal with, people do not always show their emotions openly. Some people do not want to feel like burdens or cannot function without repressing their emotions.
What I am trying to say is that a lot of people are damaged by recent events, but not everyone will show it. If you’re feeling alone in your grief, you’re not. Reach out to resources or friends to remind yourself of this.