Please note that the following article contains sensitive material that may trigger some problematic responses in you. If you’re not sure, ask someone close to you to read through this first and get their seal of approval.
Today broke with horrible news from Manchester. We’re not going into any more detail. You’re here because you know already, and because you and many other young people are shocked and devastated.
Instead, we wanted to give you some tips for getting through all of this. Here they are:
Know that your feelings are valid
You might be feeling sad, confused, angry, or any combination of these. You don’t need to have known anyone directly affected by the event to feel upset. Just hearing first-hand accounts are enough to induce Secondary Traumatic Stress – a form of PTSD. This means feelings like fear, hopelessness, anger, and even guilt (find the full list of symptoms here). So, the first step in this whole process is learning that it’s one you actually, truly need.
Talk about it
Now it’s time to start talking. Running emotions and events by friends, loved ones, or professionals can help you to release some of the hurt. You can also speak to Childline about any of your concerns. Not sure of how to express them? Check out this handy guide from Childline, and take a look at this video from the BBC.
It’s easy to fall into cynicism after something like this happens. Resist thinking about this one incident as one more in a line of many, and don’t let it negatively affect your view of the future. Try to take a few moments, right now, just to think of three simple things you’re grateful for. It’s important to take the good with bad.
Keep in mind that extremist acts are not endorsed by any religion
We’ve seen that in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, Islamophobia has been on the rise, even though Islamic religious leaders were quick to offer their unconditional support following last night. Don’t typecast people, and don’t let others typecast you. Now is a time for community.
You can also expand that small act of meditation to something longer. A great idea considering meditation’s been proven to have a positive impact on stress. Prefer guided meditations? Stop, Breathe, Think is available on Android and iOS, and has plenty of meditations specifically designed to cater to any strong emotions you might be experiencing right now.
Do something nice for yourself
According to some psychotraumatologists, we need to practice self-care to combat trauma. Maybe you read a poem. Or write a poem. Spend time with your friends. Binge-watch Riverdale. Scoff glazed donuts and watch this video several times:
You’ve got our full go-ahead to do whatever makes you feel better.
Let us know how these go for you in the comments, and please share any of your own tips. If you would like to know more about what happened last night, you can read our article on it here.