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When Things Feel Terrible

by Amy Bamforth, MS(Ed.), LICSW

Sometimes the world feels good and safe. You go to school or to the grocery store, and your friends and family are all fine.

Sometimes it does not feel so safe. Things happen that do not make sense. They can be scary or confusing. Terrible things can make the grown-ups in your life worried, sad or angry.

When things feel terrible, there are some important things to remember. When things feel terrible, there are some important things to do.

Remember that, even when something terrible has happened, and people are upset and nothing seems normal, life will get calm again. It will not always feel this way.

Remember that there are many, many, many people who are working to make things better. People who care about kids and grown-ups. Lots of people are working to make the world feel safe again.

Remember that even when terrible things happen, you have special grown-ups in your life who will take care of you. Some are in your family. Some are at your school. Some are in your community.

There are some things you can do that can help you feel better.

You can ask questions when you need to know something. Find a grown-up who you trust and let them know that you need to know something to help you understand.

You can use calm down steps to help you relax. Take 5 deep breaths. Blow some bubbles. Count to 20. Squeeze your hands tightly — then open them. Do it again and again.

You can be part of the many, many, many people who are helping to make the world feel safe again. Do something nice for another person. Give a hug. Draw a picture and give it to someone. Tell a joke. Be a friend. Teach someone calm down steps.

Do the things that feel familiar and right. Spend time with friends. Go to the grocery store with a grown-up and buy a beautiful apple. Eat it. Go to school and sing songs at circle time. Spend time at the park and climb on the playground. Share a book with someone special.

People love you and care about you. Life will feel good and safe again.

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