Office of Student Life

Counseling and Consultation Service

Coping In A Crisis

Senseless acts of violence affect us all. While seeking to understand these tragedies there is a psychological impact. Traumatic events leave individuals with varied emotional experiences. These can range from shock and disbelief to other painful emotions such as anger and sorrow. You may also notice that your daily routine may be effected as you notice changes in sleeping, appetite and concentration. Additionally, exposure to such events either in person or in media may change your perceptions about the world.

We recommend these strategies to cope and recover after a crisis:

  • Reach out.Talk about your feelings with friends and family. Let them know what you are feeling. Don’t go through things alone!
  • Identify what’s good in the world. Make a list of things and people you are grateful for. This will help to create a counterbalance to what is awful and deeply disheartening.
  • Stay informed, but also step away.It’s important to have the facts and information to stay safe and informed. However, intense and constant reminders about a tragic event can reinforce the negative psychological impacts. Intentionally take a break and do something restorative and focused on creativity, wellness, connection, or rest.
  • Make space for your emotions.We cannot chose our emotions, but we can chose how to cope and move through them. Naming and accepting negative or painful emotions helps you to process your experience and move towards healing.  
  • Self-care, Self-care, Self-care.This is a time to focus on your routine. Make sleep and nutrition a priority. Take time off of school or work if needed and focus on you. It is not recommended to use substances such as alcohol or drugs as these only work to prolong suffering by suppressing your natural emotional reaction. Instead, increase physical activity and engage in creative or mindful strategies such as cooking or engaging in an artistic activity.
  • Get involved. Connect with others and help make a difference by volunteering or joining a student organization.

Remember that help is here. If these strategies do not work or are just simply not enough, please reach out. CCS offers urgent appointments and support by phone 24/7.