Coping with Crisis: expected reactions to abnormal events

When a disaster like wildfires hits, it puts a lot of stress on those who are impacted. Those who live through crisis situations are very likely to experience extreme stress, and it’s important to remember that this reaction is entirely normal.

Extreme stress can seriously affect your health, working ability, and day-to-day life. You may experience physical and emotional reactions such as:
  • Sleeping problems
  • Muscle tension and bodily pains
  • Headaches
  • Poor concentration
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Trying to avoid being reminded of the crisis situation
  • Nausea
  • Fixating on the event
  • Withdrawing from other people
  • Some people may not feel anything at all
 Recovering from these feelings can take a long time but there are some ways that may help you cope:
  • Allow yourself to feel sad and grieve when you experience a traumatic event
  • Accept support and assistance, there are many who want to help
  • Take time to socialize with others people, this could be as simple as meeting a friend for a coffee, or going for a walk with someone
  • Make plans for the future, but don’t take on too much too fast
  • Give someone a hug
  • Take time to take care of yourself. Eat healthy foods, get sleep, and exercise if possible
  • Maintain daily routines
  • When you can, take time off to do things that make you feel happy
  • Consider seeing a doctor or other health professional if you are concerned about yourself or someone in your care if you are struggling to function, or if you are still feeling extreme stress
Children and teens are especially vulnerable during times of crisis. For information resources about how to help kids recover, check out this guide to disaster recovery for parents and caregivers

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