As a nation, we are experiencing many emotions. Whether directly or indirectly we have all been impacted by the devastating drought & now these unrelenting fires.
Like many others, I have friends and friends with family that have been evacuated and don’t know if they will have their home to return to at the end of the day. This is very traumatic for them, waiting and not knowing.
These protracted dealings with such a pervasive experience of these unpredictable natural disasters constitute a national crisis that is traumatic both for those directly impacted and indirectly. As such they bring high levels of stress as a by-product and can sometimes feel nearly unmanageable.
Here are some tips on ways to cope with a crisis:
1. Find Support.
Talk about it. By talking with others about the event, you can relieve stress and realize that others share your feelings. Spend time with friends and family.
2. Lessen Your Stress Response.
Take care of yourself. Limit exposure to images of the disaster. Find time for activities you enjoy. Take one thing at a time. Do something positive. Avoid drugs and excessive drinking.
3. Process Your Feelings
It is ‘normal’ to have a range of feelings during and after major traumatic events. However, if you don’t deal with the stress, it can be harmful to your mental and physical health.
Ask for help when you need it. If you have strong feelings that won’t go away or if you are troubled for longer than four to six weeks, you may want to seek professional help.
I’ve included this eloquent reflective article I read.
Can I encourage you to make yourself a cuppa to have while you read it.
Dr Helen Edwards
This morning, I woke to this sky at our beach shack, on a day of extreme fire danger.
I stand by the now gentle sea, both worshipping and dreading the Sun.
I am holding a feeling in my heart, constantly thrumming, that people shouldn’t be going about their usual trivial business, like when you are living in the days after a loved one dies…feeling like everyone should stop, that there’s no sense in the world, that we should stop the clocks, hold the music, forbid laughter.
But, even as we experience this heavy grief for all that is lost, squashing us to the burning earth, we notice a moment.
We see the faces of other humans walking beside us. Our animals rub their faces against our skin, feeling our pain. We hear of great kindness and bravery.
We find something to help, even if it’s simply to connect to another.
We must go onwards because stopping isn’t living, we can’t give up, for the sake of those who have perished and lost everything, and for what is yet to come.
We must continue, holding our grief, noticing the pain, acknowledging these devastating losses, but holding each other even tighter, offering comfort and kindness, because we are all in this together