For those dealing with grief and trauma sometimes even watching the news can be a trigger. Recently it is almost impossible to escape the trauma and tragedies occurring around the country. If you turn on your TV, open your Facebook, or listen to the radio you cannot escape the coverage of recent horrific tragedies. I am not advocating ignorance, but suggesting mindful acknowledgement and healthful awareness of your own needs as well.
When I was first focusing on my wellness journey and recovering from PTSD I had to create rules for myself regarding news and helping others. I knew that I needed to focus on myself first to stay healthy and initially I would not watch the news. The visualizations were too traumatic and unhealthy reminders of personal trauma. I wanted to stay educated and I would regularly read the news, but my limit was current events and only certain amounts of time.
Today we hear and see crisis and tragedy all around us. From shootings and unrest to political and social stresses. Even social media is full of news updates and various opinions. We cannot get away from tragedy, but we can acknowledge it and practice healthy life skills to care about those that are affected. In our caring and acknowledgement we also need to be mindful to not attempt to carry their burdens. First, it is not healthy to carry other’s burdens, and second, it really isn’t possible. When we try to carry other’s suffering or grief, they still have to cope, and we just pour grief on ourselves.
Not all of us have the luxury of distancing ourselves from trauma temporarily to heal. If you are surrounded by trauma and grief, by others or personally, take time to be mindful of what you can and cannot affect. You can control yourself, and how you process things. You can continue to effect the decisions that you can make in principle and in action. One of the most powerful things you can do is heal, because as all of the traumatic and broken things seem to overwhelm that is our prime responsibility. By taking time to heal ourselves we provide community and example to heal others.