Several tragic events in 2014 involved Australians going about everyday, common, usually not considered life-threatening activities such as flying overseas and going to a cafĂ©, and the current extensive and ongoing media and social media analysis following the Sydney Siege can increase our sense of fear about our own safety and that of those we know and love, and contribute to feelings that the world is an unsafe, unpleasant place. Perhaps even dampening our ability to participate in the end of year celebrations and holidays.

There are some useful and practical strategies to settle and cope with the emotions and reactions and put them into perspective. Should you continue to feel highly distressed, anxious or have reactions interfering with home, workplace or relationships for more than two weeks ,it is suggested that you seek some professional help and support. ( symptoms such as remaining wound-up, irritable, poor concentration, intrusive repeated distressing images, becoming numb and distant, poor sleep and poor concentration).

Most people recover from traumatic experiences on their own or with the help of family and friends, some strategies to consider include ;

  • Restrict your exposure to all the platforms of media and news coverage and analysis
  • Try to keep to your usual routine and rhythms
  • Look after yourself, don't skip meals, exercise for at least thirty minutes a day, sleep, try to eat omega three oils regularly
  • Restrict your use of alcohol, caffeine , drugs and energy drinks
  • Some people need time to themselves to process their thoughts, keep this in some balance with being your family and friends
  • Distract yourself by watching something else than the news, such as favourite TV programmes, favourite movies, reading , listening to music or going for a walk
  • Remind yourself that you are currently safe , the recent tragic events are over and was in Sydney
  • Spend time with people you care for
  • Do things you enjoy, particularly those that may help relax you such as yoga or meditation , if you have never tried meditation/mindfulness download  the "headspace ten day challenge" app, it is a very accessible introduction and needs 10-15 minutes a day to try
  • Support each other, simple ways such as having a cup of tea together, chatting about everyday activities, giving a hug, listen to your family and friends talking about their feelings
  • Avoid blaming groups for the actions of one violent man, try not to overgeneralize and make stereotypes
  • Look for the helpers and the heroes
  • Do something yourself, stand up to bullies, resist stereotyping, challenge violence, demand respectful relationships
  • The festive season and holidays can be a good time to reach out to family and friends not contacted recently, to say thankyou to those around you at work and home, and remind you that the world has many people who are good and doing their bit to make it better, safer place.



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