How to Manage Anxiety in a Changing World
With tragic events like global terrorism random acts of violence on the news, we tend to feel anxious about venturing outside.
Today’s 24/7 news coverage of terrible events can make us feel powerless in the face of dangers beyond our control. However, there are some steps we can take to control our anxiety and make our children feel safe in an uncertain world.
Steps to Feel Safer
Identify Your Feelings
You may be feeling scared, angry, sad, and defenseless. It’s important to understand that many of these feelings are normal in the situations like this.
Maintain Usual Routines
Adults and children tend to do better with the security of having a daily routine. Knowing what to expect throughout the day brings on feelings of security. It’s worth noting that terrorists are striving for disruption, so living your life normally is actually an act of defiance.
Be Positive With Your Kids
As parents, we want to lead by example for our children. Giving them reassure that you are there to take care of them and that acts of terrorism are not the norm is important. Try urging them to discuss their feelings and fears. You can also remind them of times where they have stood up for themselves in scary situations. Many parents find it helpful to limit their exposure to the news media. Of course, you will want to act as a role model for your children by staying optimistic.
Do Some Self-Education
If you feel helpless, go online and find information for yourself about the ways our government and medical leaders are taking action to protect our citizens. Look for trusted websites ending in .gov or .org to ensure you’re getting reputable information. If you are looking for information from a non-reputable source, this may make your anxiety worse.
It’s okay to take reasonable precautions to protect your family:
- Ensure that your family washes their hands regularly.
- “Safety in numbers” is still important. Educated your family to not go out alone at night or wander into unsafe areas.
- Stranger danger is still something that’s relevant to teach children.
- When traveling to new places, make sure to do your research on the area.
- If you see suspicious behavior, make sure to report it to authorities.
- Have a communicate plan with each other that includes a “safe place.”
Keep Fears in Perspective
Remember, acts of terrorism are intended to cause mass fear and disrupt daily life. Statistically, riding in a car is a more likely threat than terrorism to the average person.
Respect Each Other
Remember that trying times often bring people together as we learn to help and respect each other.