As a member of the Boulder community, I am devastated by the tragedy that occurred this week at King Soopers supermarket. We lost 10 lives on an ordinary day doing ordinary things. In times like these it’s hard to feel safe. In the wake of tragedy, we may experience a variety of symptoms from devastation to depression, anxiety to panic, numbness to overwhelm, apathy to rage. There is no wrong way to feel.
In times of crisis, connecting with the body is our greatest asset.
Our bodies speak to us and I’m encouraging us all to listen. I invite you to notice if you are experiencing any of the following responses:
Hypervigilance (looking around for threats)
Rapid heart beat
Flooding of emotions
Irritability, anger or rage
This is an invitation to take 10 slow steps noticing the sensations on the soles of your feet. If you are sitting or unable to walk, perhaps try rocking your feet from the balls to the heels and back 10 times paying close attention to the connection between the feet and the ground.
Connect to the Body
This is an invitation to cross the arms and legs in a full body hug position, perhaps lowering the head as well, taking a few deep breaths. Perhaps notice the sensation of wrapping yourself in your own arms.
This is an invitation to slowly look around your space noticing shapes and colors. When you find an object that brings you pleasure or comfort, allow your eyes to rest on this object, taking a "visual vacation." Perhaps notice what it’s like to choose where you direct your attention.
This is an invitation to notice a place of ease (or neutrality) in your body and a place of tension. Once you find those places, try shifting your attention slowly from ease to tension to ease.
This is an invitation to connect to your supports. You are not alone. If in-person meeting is not possible, use your devices (call, text, email, message) to connect with the people in your life who help you feel safe.
Sometimes it can take days, months, even years to reckon with a tragedy. I invite you to notice how you are feeling moment-to-moment, to check in with your heart and offer yourself compassion. Please remember that self-care is not selfish—resiliency depends on it.
I hope this exercise helps ease your suffering during times of crisis.
I send love and comfort to all who are grieving.
For more information about therapy with Eve, visit here.