How to cope with Disaster Stress?

disaster-cycle

Tips for Coping with Disaster Stress

1. Stay active. Falling into passivity can worsen psychological and physical disaster reactions.
2. Stay on track. Resume a normal routine as soon as possible. Tending to your daily schedule helps ground you in normalcy. For children, this is especially important.
3. Understand trauma. Remind yourself that it’s expected to have these kinds of reactions in the face of the disastrous event. It’s especially important to teach children that reactions like these are normal.
4. Don’t numb your pain. Be aware that reducing or avoiding pain with drugs or alcohol will only lengthen your traumatic response.
5. Express yourself. Whether it’s talking about your experience or expressing it in other forms, releasing your thoughts and feelings about the disaster will help you heal.
6. Reach out to others. While it’s expected that you may want to be alone to deal with the trauma you’ve witnessed, studies shows that connecting to others helps us recover more quickly from disaster.
7. Unplug from media. When disaster strikes, the media tends to over-report and over-saturate the public with images, misinformation and high anxiety information. Limit your internet, television and radio experiences to help shield yourself from over-exposure.
8. Be patient with others. Realize that those around you are also under stress and may not act or react in a manner you would normally expect.
9. Watch your caffeine. Avoid caffeine as its effects can amplify anxiety and disaster stress response. So limit your intake of coffee, tea and chocolate.
10. Celebrate goodness. Remind yourself that there is exponentially more good in the world than bad. Celebrate kindness and beauty, and revive your connection to humanity so your mind, body and soul can heal.

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