Acts of terrorism and threats of continued attacks are purposefully designed to scare people and to disrupt lives. For most people, it is common and normal to experience feelings of anxiety, sadness, grief and anger. It is important to remember, however, that everyone may react differently. Some people may have a more profound reaction to these events than others because each of us has our own tolerance level for difficult feelings. To cope with these emotions, the National Mental Health Association offers you and your family some tips to help manage distress and build resilience.
Take a News Break
Find your personal balance between staying informed and listening to or watching too much coverage of terrorism. Excessive exposure can negatively impact your ability to cope. This includes social media sites that can also be a source of distress.
Maintain Daily Routines and Connections
Make time for your own tried and true stress management techniques which could include regular exercise, social outings, favorite pastimes and spiritual services. Routines provide a sense of “normalcy”, comfort and stability. They are helpful in diverting us from anxious thoughts and worries. Our social connections can also serve as valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress.
Have A Plan
In times of uncertainty, take control of what you can reasonably control. Having an emergency plan in place will make you feel more in control and prepared for emergencies. Establish a clear plan for how you, your family, friends and flying partners will respond and connect in the event of a crisis.
Seek Out Professional Care If You Are Having Trouble Coping
If you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed and unable to use the tips listed above, you may want to consider talking to a professional. Professional guidance may help you strengthen your resilience and perseverance through difficult times. Your local AFA EAP committee representatives can provide you with peer support and help you locate a professional referral. You can find the roster and contact numbers of your local committee representatives at http://www.afacwa.org/eap under “Your Local EAP Rep”. You can also call (800) 424-2406 for your local EAP committee representatives’ phone numbers.