Thursday, May 28, 2009

Trauma, Fear, Uncertainty

Trauma, fear and uncertainty: words with which we are confronted daily. Perhaps you have just been told that your department is being downsized (terrible word). Even more painful, you have been asked to stay while some of your colleagues are told to leave. You watch as people pack their desks wondering when will you be asked to leave AND you still have a job. For how long?

In this environment of uncertainty it is important to care for yourself and for the people you care about. How do I care for myself when I am feeling so overwhelmed? Breathe. At this very moment you can take care of yourself by being busy helping your colleagues. Be sure you know how to reach those people with whom you worked so that you can share resources.

Share your own uncertainty and fear. Your partner, spouse and close friends need to know how you are and what is happening with you. Their support is important in this time of change. Ask for help. Sometimes the most important support is simply in finding the right person to listen to you. You can offer the same resource to your friends.

Breathe. Ask yourself: "at this very moment, am I safe? Can I tolerate the place, physical and psychic in which I find myself at this very moment?" Stay in the moment. When your mind begins to move to the fearsome possibilities that are out there, bring yourself back to this very moment. Stay here now. Breathe.

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