Coping with Current Events

The war in the Middle East is deeply unsettling and disturbing to many in our Tufts community, arousing feelings ranging from unease to grief to fear to anger or to a combination of these. These feelings are normal and are shared by many people at Tufts and across the world. To help you cope with difficult feelings, we offer the following suggestions.

Connect with others and share your feelings. Giving and receiving support from friends, family, and members of our Tufts community can help you feel stronger and more grounded as well as reaffirm that you are not alone. Seek out people you trust; ask them how they are feeling and share your thoughts and feelings with them. Speaking with religious leaders and mental health professionals can also help you maintain perspective and cope during hard times.

Give yourself a break from the constant onslaught of information. Media coverage of the war helps us stay informed but can also feel relentless and invasive. If you feel overwhelmed or overstimulated, set boundaries around news sources and other media, limiting what you read or follow and turning your computer or phone off completely when needed.

Maintain your usual routines. Focus as best you can on your daily life—your classes, your activities, your friends. Eat and sleep at regular times. Let the busyness of your days distract you from the news.

Practice self-care. Make an effort to eat well, get enough sleep, and engage in physical activity. Take breaks when needed. Spend time outside on nice days, enjoying the fall foliage and seeking out simple pleasures. Be kind, gentle, and patient with yourself and others.

Seek additional support if it becomes difficult to manage your feelings or to function academically or socially. CMHS is here for you. You can meet one-on-one with a counselor in Medford or at the SMFA during business hours, consult briefly with a counselor by phone, or stop by one of our Let’s Talk locations at specified times. You can also consult with us if you are worried about a friend. If you need to speak with someone after hours, a Counselor on Call is always available.

The Jed Foundation can also be helpful. Their website offers additional tips and strategies for coping with violence and traumatic events.