Looking after yourself

When a member of your family, whānau or friend has become a victim of crime or experienced a traumatic event, you can find the situation extremely stressful as well. You might find yourself having some strong reactions to what has happened.

In a crisis on a plane, we all know the rule is to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. To be able to give others good support, you need to prioritise looking after yourself well.

  • Eat healthy food, drink water, exercise regularly, get good rest and sleep.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Have reasonable expectations of yourself – you can only do so much so pace yourself.
  • Make time to regularly relax and wind down.
  • Do what’s worked well for you when you’ve been stressed before.
  • Keep up your contacts with family, whānau, and friends – their support can help.
  • See your doctor if you get sick or injured.
  • Acknowledge the feelings you have about what’s happened. Find safe ways to let them out by talking to someone you trust or writing them down.
  • Draw on any cultural or faith support you have.
  • Talk with the Victim Support Worker assigned to the person’s case or call us 24/7 on 0800 842 846, if you’d like more help to support the person, or you need support for yourself. We are here to support affected family, whānau, and friends as well, whenever needed.
  • If you ever feel in extreme distress, overwhelmed, or without support yourself, you can call or text 1737 to speak with a trained counsellor. This can be anonymous if you wish. They are available 24/7.

Other useful information and websites

Understanding the stress response  – Mental Health Foundation

See the Mental Health Foundation's suggested 5 Ways to Wellbeing.

Managing Stress – Health Navigator NZ