10 May 2022

Tips for coping after a traumatic event

Dealing with a traumatic event can have a huge impact on your life, no matter the severity. It can often leave you feeling lost, sad, and lonely, but the feeling will pass; sad memories will start to turn into happy ones and life will start to feel somewhat normal again, even if life now involves aids like stairlifts. But in the interim, there is a selection of actions you can take and top tips to follow that may help you, or someone you know who may be struggling.

Read on to find some top tips for coping after a traumatic event, with some simple suggestions from those who have been in similar situations.

Tips for coping after a traumatic event:

  • Talk about your feelings
  • Keep a diary
  • Create a routine
  • Deal with tasks in your own time
  • Remember how you’re feeling is okay

Talk about your feelings

When you are going through a traumatic phase in your life, when all you want to do is be alone and avoid confrontational situations, talking about your feelings is easier said than done but explaining how you feel to someone who cares is a wonderful way to lift a burden or pressurised feeling. Whether you choose to talk to a friend or family member, or you seek some professional advice from a psychologist or therapist, it is almost guaranteed to make you feel less alone and upset. This is a tip that Petra from the blog A Mum Reviews suggested to us, explaining:

“Most people go through at least one traumatic event in their life and a couple of things that can be very helpful are to let recovery take the time that it needs and to talk to a professional. The time it takes to recover completely depends on what the traumatic event was of course but it’s safe to say that talking to someone about what happened and how you feel is a very healthy way to deal with how you are feeling and one that will help you move on with your life. Family and friends are great to talk to too, but for some things, an outsider, like a psychologist or therapist, for example, will be able to support you better and ask the right questions to help you get the answers you need from yourself.”

Keep a diary

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Similar to talking about your feelings, writing them down can be a great way to express your emotions in a positive and impactful way. By simply writing them down on paper you are accepting how you are feeling and coming to terms with how it is making you feel.

Alice from the blog Alice In Sheffield shared this tip with us and thinks writing down your feelings can really help contain your emotions: “Face things head-on if you can, delaying dealing with the event can cause the trauma to become buried deeper. One coping mechanism I’ve found successful is writing it down or keeping a diary. It helps you get everything out and process it, then you can close the book and come back to it later if you need to. I prefer not to read back and just use it as a cathartic process of clearing my head.”

Set some time aside once a day and write about your day, how you felt on that day, things that made you happy and also things that may have made you feel bad, it can be a great output.

Create a routine

Creating and staying in a routine is another great way to keep yourself motivated and busy after a traumatic event. It may feel like a struggle getting up and wanting to get on with simple tasks like cleaning and washing but having a structure will help the days flow and keep your mind occupied with other tasks.

Your routine can be as simple as setting a certain time to get up and go to bed, time in the day to read a book, go for a walk and enjoy a conversation with a family member or friend. Your routine doesn’t need to be complex. Try getting up at 8am every day and making sure you are in bed for 10pm.

Deal with tasks in your own time

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If you’re feeling a little lost after a traumatic event, then there is no time frame for your grief, one of the most important things to remember is to deal with how you are feeling in your own time. This is something that Claire Lyons, a grief blogger, recommended to us:

“One tip that really helped me to cope after a traumatic event was to have a huge piece of paper on the inside of a kitchen cupboard called the ‘not today list’. I found my brain would hop around and suddenly remember important, but not urgent, tasks. I used this list to store them and recognise they were important, but I didn’t have to deal with them in that moment. Over the following months, with help, I slowly did cross them all off.”

Remember how you’re feeling is okay

One of the last tips is to remember that how you’re feeling is totally okay and everyone recovers at their own pace and in their own time. Don’t feel like you are failing if you don’t feel 100% in a month, traumatic events can take years to recover from, but the important thing is that you will recover.

If you or a loved one are going through a traumatic event and feel a little lost, then hopefully this article will have given you a little guidance and made you feel a little less alone. For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our news page.