It can be shocking and surreal – being part of an ordinary day, while tragedies are happening around us; near or far away – attacks, murders, terror, hate, fear, helplessness… It can affect us emotionally and we need to take care.
My daily morning walk, mostly ordinary and predictable. My dog by my side, the school kids on their bikes on the usual corner. The weather changeable. The wildlife minding their own business. People minding their own business. The occasional greeting. Yet on some mornings I have terror and trauma ringing through my head and heart. I feel shocked by tragedy around me.
Sometimes we absorbed too much tragedy from the news, conversations, pictures, sounds.
Often unknowingly, stuff goes in, when we are not on guard, when our defences are low, when we are preoccupied, when we are taken by surprise.
The worst thing for me is graphic detail of brutal acts committed against humans and any living thing.
The unexpected gruesome detail absorbed by our brain, our heart, our senses.
We may feel the brutality committed against others in our own body, while living ordinary moments of our own lives.
Tension in our breathing, in our neck, in our voice, in our thoughts. We may feel brutalised and feel on guard, while being part of ordinary scenes. It can feel surreal.
Internalising tragedies and terror around us is human and takes energy.
It can re-trigger feelings, thoughts and sensations of our own past traumas.
Absorbing shock, tragedy and terror can be toxic. Some people are like a sponge without knowing it.
If you recognise yourself in any of this, then be aware:
Emotional boundaries and regular cleansing activities or rituals are essential to help you clear out any emotional, mental and spiritual toxicity you may have accumulated from news and those around you.
Whatever you do, it is important you do it with the conscious intention of cleansing, rebalancing your energies, or whatever intention is appropriate for you (including forgiveness, compassion, healing etc).
Your activity can include nature, exercise, creativity, meditation, praying, cooking, music and so much more, whatever works for you.
The intention to replenish our energies and to maintain a peaceful connection to ourselves and life around us, is an important be part of emotional, mental, physical and spiritul self care.
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Need some advice? Submit your question to my #DearKarin advice column here. Karin Sieger BA (Hons), MA (PsychCouns), Reg. MBACP (Accred) is a therapist and writer. All rights reserved © Karin Sieger. Neither articles nor videos substitute medical advice or therapy.