A lot of us are feeling are feeling on edge and upset right now – this is a completely normal reaction. Disasters and big shocks take a toll on all of us and coping is not always easy. During scary or surprising events, our brains react by releasing adrenaline. This response is our natural alarm system – our body telling us to be alert and ready for action. It’s there to help us, but afterwards we can feel shaky, queasy, or on-edge, and that’s totally normal!
It is important to look after ourselves and each other. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Be kind to one another. Kindness is contagious, and boosts endorphins.
- Take a digital detox, and focus on an activity you love. Reading, games with the kids, or a short walk.
- Focus on the things you can control.
Supporting our kids and whānau:
- Children take their cues from parents – so if you’re okay, they’ll be okay too.
- Be mindful how much ‘worry’ you’re displaying, just be as cool as you can!
- Keep children away from the media.
- Answer their questions in ‘general’ terms. Drama it down. You don’t have to get the answers exactly right, and ensure you talk about the police and how they did a really good job of keeping us safe. However, keep the reassurance low key – over-reassuring can make us think we need to be worrying more than we are.
- Let them talk about it, but don’t let it ‘take over’ – use distraction to keep their mind off it – we’ve got the boardgames out!
- Stick to your normal routines as much as you can.
- Reassure them that the world has not changed, this is an unusual situation and things will go back to normal soon.
For parents of teens:
- Try and keep them off or away from the social media as much as you can, but it’s okay if they need to have it on tapright now – it can be a great way for them to be checking in with friends and supporting each other.
- Let them know there’s a lot of hype out there.
- Remind them to only trust credible sources of information, such as the reports released by the police and the people who are ‘in the know’. If they are really affected by all the ‘hype’ from the media, tell them it’s time to put the phone down or away. Keep the reassurance low key.
- In the week starting 18 March, ‘All Right?’ will be promoting free sparklers well-being activities that promote kindness, friendships, and strengths in a classroom setting.
- ‘All right?’ will also be sharing sparklers activities that focus on understanding emotions and managing worries.
Remember support is available.
Traumatic events affect each of us differently, and we all need a bit of support from time-to-time.
If you or someone you know is struggling, there is free help available. Free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day.
You can also call Lifeline on 0800 543354 or text HELP to 4357.