Self Care and Learning More

Again, there’s fear in our community resulting from a school shooting in our state. Social media feeds are filled with anger, anxiety, fear, sadness, and a desire for action.

We need to be clear that there are rumors on social media. Not everything you are reading is true. While we have many journalists in Colorado who understand the issues and impacts of this subject, there are many who use this raw emotion as a way to build their following. Many rumors about Columbine still exist today because of this. Consider ordering the book by Frank DeAngelis to learn more from a trusted source; all proceeds go to charity.

We need to know that our safety and security team and law enforcement partners in Jeffco are the best in the nation, known as the Gold Standard and called to advise other states and districts regularly.

Our education staff is top notch and take the safety and health of our students very seriously. Because this is also teacher appreciation week, we recommend everyone send a note of thanks to their education staff members who serve your children – they need support right now as well.

Your feelings, no matter what they are, are valid. JCMH has a resource for us all to read and consider – Take Care Of Yourself During Difficult Times.

“Take Care of Yourself during Difficult Times

Sometimes stress can creep up on you without your being aware of it until it accumulates and you suddenly feel overwhelmed, excessively angry, anxious or depressed. Some indicators to pay attention to- problems sleeping, drinking or eating more, lack of motivation, feeling “discombobulated,” or more disorganized and anxious than usual, temper shorter than usual, impatience with family members, in the workplace or with friends.

Seek help, if you are concerned about your feelings/reactions or about those of a friend, member of your family.  It is likely that your symptoms will get better sooner with support. Talk to someone you trust.  Talking to a friend, a family member, doctor or minister can help you. You can also call us at Jefferson Center, 303 425-0300. The following are some helpful hints on taking care of yourself and dealing with stress:

  • Taking good physical care of yourself with rest, exercise, and healthy eating will help your body to deal with stress. Regular exercise is the most important anti-stressor. Be active — take a walk, ride your bike, get out in the fresh air.
  • Move, stretch, and breathe! Eat healthy and nutritious meals. Keep regular meal times.
  • Connect with others…spend time with supportive friends and family.
  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol, drugs and caffeine.
  • Limit media viewing. Take breaks from watching news coverage of the event.
  • Find a serene place of your own — even if it’s just a comfortable chair in a corner. Try meditation or yoga to help you relax.
  • Admit what is bothering you. Talk about it openly with someone you trust…a friend, family member, personal physician, leader in your faith community.
  • Remember that children may be worrying too…reassure them, spend time together. Hugs help!
  • Do something you enjoy every day.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Pare down your to-do list, prioritize.”

We’ve also shared this list of resources to help anyone with anxiety and to use with your children as well.

Anxiety, Coping Skills, & Mental Health Tools to Support Kids

We all want to fix this issue and never have another school shooting. Our anxious feelings to make it happen today is warranted but our reactions must be based on facts. Metal detectors, armed teachers, using retired military personnel, and other thoughts and issues that have been debunked as solutions are again flooding social media, as well as the usual 2nd Amendment debates.

The discussions on social media are a lot to take in when you have anxiety and fear.

Do what works for you but taking a break from social media when you are feeling anxious and fearful is very important. Practice coping strategies in the link above and breathe!

Take care of yourselves, friends. We need each other.