Coping As An Individual


  • honour the increased need to monitor safety for self and others' - your world view has changed by what you've experienced
  • strengthen "outside" life - enlarge personal world through friendships, family relationships, interests and activities
  • develop individual personal coping strategies: physical exercise/workouts, hobbies, sports, quiet time, leisure activities (walking, canoeing, gardening, music)
  • choose activities that do not remind you of the trauma/ crisis: non-violent movies, time-out from news reports/newspapers, friends who are not in the same field
  • create a non-abuse/violence-free space
  • take breaks!!!!!!
  • learn not to take on the issues of others
  • learn to say "NO" - know your limits - know when you need a break/downtime
  • develop outside supports
  • balance time for work/family/ /self
  • spend time with "Nature" - even pets are known to be stress-reducers
  • have some FUN - use humour/laugh


  • listen to your body - pay attention to muscle tension, headaches, stomach distress, sleeping/eating/drinking patterns
  • release body tension - stress creates an adrenaline response and most of our stress does not require physical activity (flight or fight), therefore it is necessary to release muscle tension for the body to return to normal: run relaxation exercises, tai chi, yoga, etc.
  • good nutrition, especially when you are particularly stressed
  • rest/sleep


  • make efforts to label what you are experiencing and how it is affecting you - gnawing sensations and tension need to be examined for what they are trying to tell us. Naming the anger, sadness, cynicism, helplessness, the tragedy/atrocities, the frustrations, helps us in beginning to deal with our experience
  • re-establish hope - identify the "positives" in your life
  • establish areas of control in your life (not in relationships however!)
  • consciously work on your own self esteem/self image/self worth

practice "positive self talk"