Managing feelings of fear and anxiety

Be informed and pay attention to information issued by officials.

1. Connect with others you trust for support rather than remaining isolated.

Talk about your thoughts and feelings. Consider getting involved with organizations consistent with your beliefs or causes that promote personal and community peace and justice, which can help you feel you are making a difference.

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2. Try not to jump to negative conclusions.

Balance traumatic images and troubling information in the media with a hopeful mindset—understanding that people share the basic need to feel safe, secure, and cared for. Spend your energy gathering reliable information from sources you trust. When we're on edge, it's normal to feel jumpy and unsettled and we may believe or fear the worst. For example, the sight of police or fire vehicles in your neighborhood might leave you feeling overly anxious. Try to remain calm and clear.

3. Take care of yourself.

Make a point of eating nutritious foods at regular intervals. Limit or avoid alcohol and caffeine. Drink plenty of water - stress can sometimes lead to dehydration. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress and improve your mood, so try to make it a priority. Focus on a regular sleep routine.

4. Limit the amount of time you spend following the news, including social media.

If news reports make you anxious, limit yourself to one dose of news a day.Hide, mute, or unfollow upsetting social media feeds.

5. Practice stress-relief techniques that work for you.

Consider taking a class such as yoga, taking a walk, exercising, listening to music, and sticking to comforting routines—all are helpful ways to relieve stress. You can also try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, positive visualization, and meditation to reduce feelings of worry and anxiety.

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6. Avoid using alcohol or illegal drugs to handle your emotions.

Alcohol and drug use can lead to an unhealthy dependence rather than discovering more positive and long-lasting ways to cope with difficult emotions.

7. Avoid visual violence and other disturbing programs just before bedtime.

If you watch TV as a way to unwind, remember that certain kinds of programs—news coverage, for example, or suspense and action programs—can make it harder to fall asleep. Try tuning in to news earlier in the day—on the way home from work, for example, or early in the evening.

8. Avoid spending time with people who make you feel anxious.

Know which people you find most supportive and arrange to spend
more time with them.

9. Be patient and kind with yourself and with others.

The more compassion and understanding you have toward yourself and others—friends and strangers alike—the more sane the world will feel to you.

10. If you are a parent, create a safe home environment and model positive behaviour for those who look up to you.

Children learn about dealing with uncertainty and fear from watching parents cope during difficult times. If your children see you keeping your fears in perspective and finding positive ways to cope, they will learn to do the same.


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