The side effects of experiencing a traumatic event are going to be difficult. However, when you throw into the mix that you aren’t able to find one of your favorite mugs, a sudden realization hits.
Home is gone.
You aren’t alone in experiencing this. There are people all around you who, whether they say it or not, are experiencing the same thing. Instead of hiding what is going on internally as you deal with the sudden changes, it’s best to reach outward.
If you look into a little bit of trauma therapy, there’s a concept of sharing your pain with others who are going through the same thing. When you are able to do this freely with your community, you are able to heal faster than if you were to try to heal alone.
To help you as you repair from the recent disasters, here are a few ways to positively cope with the aftermath of hurricane Ian.
Get together with your community
There are some people who are able to process trauma better when they are alone. However, time and time again, those that heal with their community are able to heal faster and with far more stability than trying to do it on your own.
When everyone shares in the work that it takes to rebuild an area, you help put together new memories. Additionally, many different disaster response teams are going to be able to help the community more effectively if everyone is working together as best they can.
Another way to look at this is getting together with the American community. Fortunately, there are many different groups who visit and help when disaster strikes. These individuals are also now a part of your community of repairing the hurt and terror of what has just happened.
Be open and honest with what you need
In tough situations, there are people who are going to refuse help for themselves at all times to ensure that everyone else is taken care of. Stop. There is a reason that people band together to help one another.
What is that?
People come together so that you don’t have to go without and so that you can process what has happened. There are different religious groups, state groups, and even city groups who are ready at a moment’s notice to come and help.
Let others help you and be honest about what hurts and what you as a person need. You won’t believe how prepared emergency rescue and disaster responders are. They truly are superheroes so let them help you.
Check in with counseling services
Fortunately, the Department of Health and Human Services has a dedicated line for those that are experiencing a disastrous situation.
More specifically, the people that are on the other end of the line are ready to help you process what is going on so that you can move forward in your situation.
The counselors that you speak with are not counselors that are going to continue following you, however, they are always there for you to contact.
One wonderful resource that they have is access to the local support centers in your city which will help you find a way to access affordable or free mental health care as you process all that has gone on.
Repair and restore items
Something that can help you process what has gone on, is to start repairing any items that were damaged. There are so many different things that can be repaired in order to still have the physical representation of home.
Sometimes, the sheer comfort of finding a blanket, a collection of photos, or even a piece of jewelry is not often mentioned. For some they may need separation from the situation, however, a good idea is to come to terms with what can be salvaged and what is now lost.
Something you may hear from a counselor is that you might need to try meditation. Here’s the thing though, don’t meditate unless you are willing to process and deal with the emotions surrounding the disaster situation.
In the case of a hurricane, meditation might look like holding a piece of wood from your home and thanking your home for sheltering you and yours. On the other hand, meditation could be intentionally letting your emotions come forward and feeling them instead of hiding them.
Regardless of what stage of disaster recovery you are in, each of these steps can help you continue your readjustment into a new chapter of life. To the people of Florida, stay safe, and stay strong.