Trauma can result from a number of events that happen in the workplace. Death of a co-worker or client, witnessing an accident, or being the victim of abuse. Even events such as downsizing or re-location can be perceived as traumatic and have long-lasting effects on one’s psyche.
It is normal to feel anxiety, guilt, or irritability after a traumatic event in the workplace. These are natural stress responses. However, if these feelings last weeks or months, or interfere with your quality of life at home or at work, it’s time to assess the situation. Let’s look at how to better manage these feelings during your road to recovery.
3 Steps To Wellness After A Traumatic Event In The Workplace
1. Take Time Off
The first step to recovering from a traumatic workplace experience is to give yourself the time to recover. Too often we are in a rush to ‘get back to normal’ after a serious event. Take a moment (maybe several weeks or a month long moment) to process your emotions, mourn, and regain a sense of normalcy.
If you experience difficulty concentrating, nightmares, or problems eating, these are signs your body and mind still need time to rest and heal.
2. Identify Your Needs
Second, define your needs in your road to recovery. Do you need to temporarily reduce your hours at work? To seek medical attention? Someone to listen without judgement?
Assess the damage, estimate the repair, and begin the restoration. There are many tools and resources that can help lead to a healthy re-integration. However, one must be aware of their own needs and limitations to seek them out.
3. Seek Support
Lastly, if you have lingering feelings of guilt, anxiety, or exhibit the symptoms of PTSD after a traumatic event at work, it’s time to seek professional help.
Speak to your employer to see if they have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). An Employee Assistance Program offers free and confidential assessments, counseling, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work related problems. If your employer does not offer EAP, do not let that stop you from getting help. There are many effective and affordable options available.
Healing From A Traumatic Workplace Experience
If you need help recovering from a traumatic workplace experience, set up an appointment with one of our licensed professionals today.