Self-Care Tips To Cope With The Trauma Of A Terror Attack

stressed black man with dreadlocks in psychological office

A terror attack can be the worst disaster you may encounter in your lifetime. While the possibility seems remote, the 9/11 attack proved that anyone can fall prey to terrorism, even in the safest places. The disaster ended thousands of lives, and an equally large number of survivors continue to live with the aftermath even after decades. You may consider yourself lucky as a survivor, but do not expect life to be the same. 

Physical pain and emotional trauma may become a part of your existence. You may lose your capacity to work due to injuries and anxiety, and it can affect your financial situation. But self-care can lead you back on the road to recovery after a traumatic event. However, most victims fail to recognize its value as a coping strategy. Let us share a few actionable self-care tips to cope with the trauma of a terror attack. 

Take your time to realign

Making a comeback from a traumatic event is an uphill task, so do not expect an easy road to recovery. In fact, you may need years to recuperate from the emotional trauma, even if you heal physically. Consider the instance of 9/11 survivors who continue to bear the brunt of exposure to toxic smoke and fumes even decades later. The same may happen with your mental health, as you may encounter PTSD and depression. Give yourself time to mourn the losses and realign with the new situation. You will be in a far better way to deal with your demons with a more realistic approach.

Communicate your experience

Communicating your experience is also a form of self-care, as it lets you vent your hidden fears and pain. Express your feelings and talk about the deepest ones with people you feel comfortable with. You may feel like bottling up, but keeping a diary is a good option to open up about your feelings. Ask for support from family or close friends, as they will always be ready to listen and empathize with your situation. The more you communicate, the less stressed you feel. 

Make justice a priority

Although you may not know the terrorists behind the attack, you must still seek justice for your suffering. Making justice a priority is about seeking compensation where possible. In fact, the Zadroga Act entitles 9/11 victims and their families to claim their pain and suffering. You only need to work with experienced 9/11 victims’ compensation lawyers to prove your claim and get adequate coverage for your damage. Besides the financial aspect, getting compensation gives you peace of mind, which is as good as self-care. 

Join a support group

Dealing with the pain of a terror attack alone is not possible for survivors, so it is the last thing you should even try. You may seek support from people in your clan, but it is seldom enough because they hardly understand what you have gone through. Join a support group of people with common ground, such as survivors of the same terror attack or a similar one. Such groups often have trained and experienced professionals volunteering to help members. You can seek guidance from them and discuss your problems with other members to devise an effective coping strategy. 

Engage in healthy behaviors

Self-care depends greatly on healthy behaviors, and they are even more crucial for people recovering from terror attacks. Eat well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of rest. You may struggle with problems like anxiety and insomnia, but medicines are the worst way to deal with them. Embrace natural remedies and relaxation techniques to eliminate these issues naturally. Avoid alcohol and narcotics because they do more harm than good. While they may provide a numbing diversion, you may end up dealing with addiction.

Reestablish routines

Another self-care tip to cope with the aftermath of a terror attack is to reestablish routines because it gives you a sense of normalcy and control. It includes eating meals at regular times, sleeping, maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle, and getting back to your work schedule. You may also embrace a hobby as a part of your new routine. The recovery period is stressful, and you may make wrong decisions, such as switching careers or relocating to another city. But you must avoid making critical life decisions when recovering from a disaster.

Self-care puts you in a better place to recover from a terror attack, no matter how daunting the situation is. Follow these effective measures to start afresh and become a strong person again.