Coping in the aftermath of a disaster
Posted at: 02/24/2012 7:14 AM
Disasters can bring about significant stress. This is especially true if you have experienced a previous disaster. The good news is that many people have experience coping with stressful life events and are naturally resilient, meaning we are designed to bounce back from difficult times.
“Just as important as preparing for a disaster, we also need to recognize how to manage our mental health as well,” said John Buttrill, Chief Executive Officer of the Finger Lakes NY Region.
Here is some information on how to recognize your current feelings and tips for taking care of the emotional health of you, your family and your friends.
• Take care of your safety. Find a safe place to stay and make sure your physical health needs and those of your family are addressed. Seek medical attention, if necessary.
• Eat healthy. During times of stress, it is important that you maintain a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
• Get some rest. With so much to do, it may be difficult to have enough time to rest or get adequate sleep. Giving your body and mind a break can boost your ability to cope with the stress you may be experiencing.
• Stay connected with family and friends. Giving and getting support is one of the most important things you can do.
• Be patient with yourself and with those around you. Recognize that everyone is stressed and may need some time to put their feelings and thoughts in order.
• Stay positive. Remind yourself of how you’ve successfully gotten through difficult times in the past. Reach out when you need support, and help others when they need it.
Remember, each positive action you take can help you feel better and more in control. Many people have experience coping with stressful life events and typically feel better after a few days. Others find that their stress does not go away as quickly as they would like and it influences their relationships with their family, friends and others. If you find yourself or a loved one experiencing feelings and reactions not consistent with yours or their normal behavior, two weeks or longer, this may be a sign that you need to reach out for additional assistance. For additional resources, contact your local Red Cross Disaster Mental Health or community mental health professional or visit redcross.org.
Click here to download a printable checklist
The American Red Cross, Greater Rochester Chapter needs your help!
Help us by nominating a friend, co-worker or family member that has performed a heroic act: an ordinary citizen, an emergency responder, a family pet, someone who helped support the Red Cross blood program, or a veteran or member of the military—working “under the radar” because for them, it is the right thing to do.
These are our Hometown Heroes—let’s take this opportunity to thank them for their selfless deeds and nominate them for special recognition. Nominations will be reviewed by a volunteer judging panel and award winners will be honored at the Red Cross Festival on June 16, 2012.
Please review the enclosed nomination form and festival overview. For more information about the Red Cross Festival or to fill out your nomination online, visit rochesterredcross.org/festival.aspx.