You come home to find the door pushed in, the lock is busted. Your heart begins to race. It doesn’t take long for you to realize that you’ve been robbed.
This unfortunate set of circumstances is the reality for many in the US. According to the FBI, there was an estimated 2,103,787 burglaries in 2012, meaning one occurred every 15 seconds. It’s a huge invasion of privacy. In many instances, insurance covers the monetary loss, but how do you recover emotionally?
There’s no one solution to help you get over a break-in and any solution is not going to be easy. It’s a frightening experience that requires physical, mental, and emotional strength to overcome. However, it’s possible to reclaim your home and sense of security with time and perseverance. Here are our top 10 tips to help you cope with, and possibly overcome, a break-in.
- Reinforce home security. Make sure to lock doors and windows. Consider investing in a monitored home security system. Burglars are much less likely to target a home that’s protected by a security system.
- Don’t be afraid of your home. It’s natural to no longer feel safe in your home, but don’t be afraid. Invite family and friends to share the space with you’ this can help you ease back into feeling comfortable in your home.
- Rearrange and redecorate. Leave memories of the break-in behind and reclaim your home by rearranging and redecorating. Moving furniture around, painting the walls, getting new drapes are all things you can do to give you a refreshing new start.
- Let your feelings take course. It’s okay to be upset, sad, or angry after experiencing a burglary. Accept support from others, but don’t let them tell you what to feel, everyone copes differently. Letting your feelings take their natural course will allow you to take the next step in the process. Seek professional help, if you need it.
- Don’t give in to fear. You’ve just been victimized, it’s normal to feel fear. However, don’t let the fear control you. Counter against fear by taking steps to feel more protected, comfortable, and empowered.
- Get support. Share your experience with trusted family members and friends and ask for support. Speaking about it with others allows you to manage your emotions and find new ways to cope.
- Release emotions creatively. Find a creative way to release your emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Painting a picture or writing in a journal can help you take your mind off of the break-in, while also helping you express your feelings.
- Resume your routine. Try and get back to your day-to-day routine as soon as possible. The burglary has thrown a huge wrench into your daily life, causing a huge disruption. Going back to your routine can help you regain a sense of normalcy.
- Engage in healthy behavior. A break-in can cause a lot of stress and can make it hard to sleep. Do your best to avoid quick-fixes for dealing with stress, such as binge eating, smoking, drugs and alcohol. Eat well, exercise, and do not let the burglar rob you of your health.
- Avoid making big life decisions. The aftermath of a burglary is stressful enough, don’t add onto it with major life decisions. You’re also not likely to be in a healthy state of mind to make a sound decision. Give some time to collect yourself and to see if you’re ready to make important decisions.
Getting over a break-in can take a long time – weeks, months, or even years. Follow the tips here to help you in the process. Take your time, be patient, and be safe. Also, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.