I am writing this article now because tomorrow it will be one year after the attacks to Brussels airport and Maelbeek underground station. Maelbeek used to be my station. I got off there each morning and also that morning, 22 March 2016, I was there. I usually go to work early, that morning I went even earlier. I dreamt of snakes, I couldn’t sleep any more.
Then, at around 9 a.m. a man made himself explode in the underground. I heard people crying in the street, a few minutes later we have been asked to lock down, nobody was supposed to go out of the building. It was one of the toughest day of my life.
I had to go twice to the psychologist. The European Commission offers a very good psychological suppor to their staff.
Here is what I learned that I want to share with you:
- try not to watch the news or the Internet. If you want to be informed, you can listen to the radio;
- talk and spend time with your beloved ones;
- don’t over work to avoid thinking at what happened, take regular breaks and do also some work-out or relaxing activities;
- try to get back to a normal routine, go to work, see friends, etc. If you feel like, you can do some volunteering, it will help you to overcome the frustration of being useless;
- write a journal and make a list of your concerns and decide what to tackle first. But take one step at a time;
- avoid taking big decision about your life while under distress or overwhelmed by emotions;
- remember that your reaction is normal as you have been exposed to an abnormal experience. Be gentle with yourself. If about one month after the event you haven’t recovered, please talk to your doctor who will recommend what to do.