Emotional First Aid

Ten ways to handle bad news:

1. Breathe deeply and slowly. Use grounding techniques (see Grounding Techniques).

2. Remember: This will pass.

3. Don’t take it personally, no matter what happened.

4. Allow all your feelings; yes, all of them.

5. Have faith in yourself. You are more competent than you think right this moment. Use prayer or meditation to access your faith in yourself or something greater than yourself.

6. Keep to your routine as much as possible, even if you feel dazed and numb. It will anchor you.

7. Eat, sleep, and get some fresh air.

8. Connect with anyone available: family, friends, a therapist, neighbors, even strangers.

9. Picture yourself as a six year old and lovingly take that little being into your arms. Speak softly, gently, and reassuringly to the frightened child inside.

10. Understand: You are here for everything, the good and the bad. You are a river of experiences, let life flow without judgment. You may not like it, but you can handle it.
While these ten suggestions can be read in under a minute, taking the time to do them will build resiliency and get you from one second to the next. Sometimes, just existing through a traumatic experience is the best you can do. Five minutes from now, tomorrow, or next week, things will look different.

Faith is surrendering to what is, doing what you can, and believing everything is happening for your highest good.

Copyright Nicole S. Urdang

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Nicole Urdang

Nicole S. Urdang, M.S., NCC, DHM is a Holistic Psychotherapist in Buffalo, NY. She holds a New York state license in mental health counseling and a doctorate in homeopathic medicine from the British Institute of Homeopathy.