Coping with Disaster Psychologically

Coping With Disaster Psychologically

After a disaster like an earthquake, a wildfire or a hurricane financial difficulties, injuries, and upheaval can cause a lot of ongoing psychological and emotional stress.

After a disaster, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings—and know that it’s normal to feel profound sadness, grief, anger and anxiety about your safety. Everyone copes a little differently, so it’s important to have grace and patience for yourself. One way to work toward healing is to focus on your own strengths and abilities, while accepting help from those who offer in your community.

In our recent post about seeking assistance after a disaster, we mentioned a few agencies who are available to help you, and today, we’d like to emphasize organizations that can help you deal with the emotional burden that has landed on your shoulders. Consider contacting…

  • Local, faith-based agencies and churches
  • Voluntary agencies
  • Professional counselors

Children and the elderly can be especially susceptible to emotional pain, and may not have the capacity to deal with their feelings. It’s wise to keep a close eye on your family members after a traumatic event, and be prepared to bring them to crisis counseling, even if you’re not 100% sure that they need it.

Below are a few signs to watch out for—both in yourself and your loved ones:

  • Difficulty communicating thoughts
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Low threshold of frustration
  • Increased use of drugs and alcohol
  • Limited attention span
  • Headaches or stomach problems
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Reluctance to leave home
  • Mood-swings and bouts of crying
  • Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone

If you notice any of these signs, be sure to seek help. Even if you aren’t noticing anything abnormal, it’s a good idea to talk with someone about your feelings and remind yourself that you are not responsible for what happened. After all, it’s impossible not to be affected by a disaster.

As part of your healing process, it’s also a good idea to try to uphold a regular routine—without taking on any demanding responsibilities for a while. Never underestimate the goodness of eating healthy, resting, exercising, meditating and relaxing. And try to spend time with family and friends, participating in any memorials.

Finally, remember to restock your emergency supplies!

-Content created by Sophie Wooding – Writer, gardener, cyclist and emergency preparedness enthusiast!

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