Take Care: Things to Lean on During Times of Tragedy

I’m far from the Parkland school shooting, and yet, feeling the waves of grief, anxiety and outrage. Here are just a few things I’m leaning on:

1. Breathe. Tragedy brings all of our emotions to the surface and puts our nervous system on hyperdrive. When you notice your tension, fear or grief, take a deep and purposeful inhale. This may need to happen every few minutes. Inhaling essential oils like Frankincense or Lavender can help calm the stress response.

2. Be extra gentle. Today may not be the day for super productivity. Today may be the day for extra breaks, crying, and a walk outside. This may be more possible sometimes than others, but as much as you can give yourself permission to follow your body’s impulses and needs. Dealing with emotions as they come can prevent the compounded suffering that can come from putting them off.

3. Do what you can. We may not be able to change what happened, but we may be able to work toward change for the future. Call your representatives, share important information through social media, be an ally to those who are directly affected. In whatever small or large way you are able, contribute to something that makes you feel a bit less powerless and helps to make a change.

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