June 6, 2017 Blog

Top 5 Tips to Help Handle Emotional Stress of a One-Year Mark Event

At the Orlando United Assistance Center, our top priority is our clients’ well-being. With one-year events approaching, we spoke with our Case Managers to learn about ways to handle the emotional stress of this type of event.

1. Grieve and heal in your own way.

For some, memorial events will be a healthy way to remember the lives of those lost however for others a small act of solidarity would be more suitable. People, places, sounds or smells may trigger reminders of the traumatic event. Public commemorative events may provide comfort or they could increase distress. Do not feel forced to attend memorial events. Honor the memory of the people lost in the way that works best for you.

2. Limit news and social media.

If you find yourself feeling worn down from the news coverage or from posts in your social media feed, simply don’t partake. Watching news coverage may trigger thoughts or emotions related to the event.

3. Just breathe.

Feeling keyed up or anxious? Try some deep breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose (count slowly to 5) and fill your lungs down to your stomach. Exhale slowly through your mouth (count slowly to 5). Do this 5 times and as often as you need. If you have a smartphone, download the free app “Calm”.

4. Ground yourself.

Grounding is a skill that puts your attention on your body in the present moment by noticing how your body is making contact with a hard surface. Find a comfortable position and notice how you are being supported by the chair, sofa, bed, floor, wall or ground. As you bring your attention to the places of support, notice your breathing, heart rate and your muscle relaxation. Notice especially any places that feel more relaxed, more pleasant or neutral. Next, bring attention to your back slowly from your toes to your face. If you’re sitting or standing notice how your feet are resting on the floor and how they are making contact with the ground. Bring your attention to sensations that are calming or neutral within your body. Take your time.

5. You’re not alone.

Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone who is experiencing similar circumstances can sometimes help. And sometimes, it takes a little more than that. Whatever you are experiencing, you’re not alone. If you ever feel like you need someone to talk to or need help getting resources, pick up the phone and call 407-500-HOPE (4673) monday through friday 8:00am – 5:00pm.