When you come home and discover that someone has broken in, you may run through a gamut of emotions. At first, you may feel vulnerable. But as you file a report with the police and list the missing items, you may become angry, helpless and scared.
Unfortunately, you cannot force these emotions to disappear. But you can take steps to feel in control of your home, make your pr operty more secure and help your family feel calmer.
Restore Your Home
If the thief damaged or ransacked your house, you may feel violated and out-of-place in your own home. To take back control and r egain a sense of normalcy, you must restore your home. This includes physical steps such as:
- Cleaning up
- Installing new windows in place of broken ones
- Rearranging your furniture
- Replacing lost belongings
As you work, you may realise that putting things back the way they were before the burglary doesn't feel right. In this case, try mov ing things around. Hang new pictures on the wall, put fresh flowers on your tables or move furniture to a new room.
Work With a Security Consultant
For many people, fortifying their home against future incident proves a reassuring and cathartic experience. Instead of worrying abo ut dangers you cannot identify or control, look at what you can do to make your home safer.
Work with a security consultant or locksmith to determine where your house is vulnerable. Then install new security measures, these may include:
- Alarm system
- Digital locks or access control systems
- Reinforced door hardware
- Rekeyed or new locks
- Window grilles
You may also want to purchase a new safe to keep your valuables protected. This safe can help you feel certain that, if another brea k in happens in the future, your important documents, heirlooms and prized possessions stay secure.
Give Yourself a Chance to Recover
Even after your home looks like normal and has safeguards in place, you may not feel completely healed or relaxed. The effects of a break in aren't just anchored in your perception of your home-they may also affect your wellbeing. For that reason, you may also experi ence other effects including:
- Emotional issues, like depression, anger, resentment or withdrawal
- Mental concerns, such as decreased concentration, paranoia and an urge to replay the events immediately preceding the bre ak in
- Physical symptoms, like insomnia, fatigue, headaches or nausea
You may be able to alleviate some of these symptoms through calming methods. Try these techniques:
- Conscientious breathing: Breathe in for 5 or 6 seconds and then out for 6 or 7 seconds. This technique slows yo ur heart rate. Conscientious breathing can improve your focus and sense of calm.
- Gradual relaxation: Concentrate on one part of your body and relax it. Then move on to another body part. Mo st people either start with the toes and move upward, or with the shoulders and move downward. This can distract you from other anxie ties.
- Therapy: If your symptoms persist, you may need to confide in a close friend or family member, or reach out to a professional therapist. A therapist can help you better understand your emotions and react to them in a productive way. Over time, thi s can help you regain a sense of safety and confidence.
After a burglary, everyone reacts differently. Keep an eye on your partner and children to ensure they also have time to process wh at happened. Gain strength from the support of your chosen security consultant, loved ones and trusted mental health professional.
It may take some time, but as you take the steps outlined above, you can begin to regain both tangible and intangible feelings of saf ety and security.