Without warning, life can come with some pretty intense disaster situations. The pandemic aside, there are many things that can happen to people through their lives which bring them to a dark place.
Whether you suffer a house fire, a weather disaster, a car accident, or something else, there are ways you can get through these times. The following tips should be used to care for yourself emotionally after a disaster or traumatic experience.
1. Take good care of your body – Do your best to eat healthy, get some exercise, and try to sleep as much as you’re able to. Eating healthy will keep your body and mind more stable. Eating poorly can increase mental health problems and increase emotional instability. If you suffer from high anxiety, avoid caffeine if you can and make sure to get exercise. You are less likely to suffer panic attacks when you’re eating right, getting exercise, and sleeping well.
2. Connect with other people – Reach out to friends, family, or whoever you feel comfortable talking to. Keep your relationships healthy throughout life to maintain a strong system of support and help when you need it most. Relationships with others are your main defense when life throws a disaster your way.
3. Give yourself breaks – Let yourself stop and cry when you need it. Strong feelings will come and go, but keep breathing. Focus your attention on doing activities you enjoy. If you feel you are going too deep in depression, reach out for help.
4. Keep informed – If you need to know more details about the disaster that you were hit by, stay informed. When watching the news, be aware there could be some rumors or misinformation going around about it. Use critical thinking and rational thought when watching or listening to the news. Seek out official and reliable sources from experts.
5. Avoid too much news – As much as you want to stay informed, you don’t want to become swamped and overwhelmed with the news. It is important to take breaks from the news because you need an emotional break from it. Ask someone you trust to keep you informed so you can avoid getting too upset.
6. Get help – There are many different options for you to get help during a traumatic event or disaster. If you are suffering panic attacks, severe depression, numbness, difficulty making decisions, or increased drug or alcohol use, contact someone right away. Some options are to call your family doctor, call the local emergency room, call the police, or search online for phone numbers you can call for help in your circumstance. Reach out to a friend or family member and ask them to help you find more help.
During some of the most difficult times in our lives, it is hard to see the light. Hopefully these tips will help you get through and come out on top.