When “Normal” Doesn’t Feel Right

Given the recent devastation, loss, and confusion for many of us in the Santa Barbara area, it’s hard to imagine getting back into “normal” life. Here are some reminders to help:

1. Go easy on yourself; practice self compassion. One way to do this is by giving yourself permission to feel whatever you’re feeling without judgment or guilt.

2. Be empathetic to others. Be mindful that grief and loss are complicated and look different for everyone.

3. Connect with others. It might be tempting to withdraw from friends and social activities, but face-to-face connection is crucial for recovery. It can be especially helpful to connect with those who are affected by the same traumatic event and/or participate in funerals and other public events.

4. Reestablish a routine. Remember that routine helps restore normalcy and a sense of security; there is comfort in the familiar.

5. Identity your safe havens — whether that’s people, places, prayers that you can turn to and be your true self.

6. Find something amidst all of the suffering to be grateful for. Gratitude, even in the midst of trauma, can serve as a buffer and protection.

7. Remember to practice self care. Start with the basics – eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise.

 8. Do not be ashamed to reach out for professional help.