How to feel better after a natural disaster?

After a natural disaster, not only physical damage occurs. The emotional damage can be serious and it is important that you do your part to overcome this event. Here are some tips on what you can do to overcome the emotional impact of a natural disaster.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, fires. Natural disasters are a reality from which we can not escape, because they are often unpredictable. This year, two disasters have shaken us all: first, the earthquake in Haiti and then the earthquake in Chile. For obvious reasons, a tragedy of this kind causes a very severe impact in the place where it happens: death, destruction, uncertainty, scarcity and fear.

Beyond the physical traumas and diseases that can occur due to a natural disaster, there are also consequences for mental health that can not be ignored. Recently, a Chilean patient told me that he had a lot of trouble sleeping because of the fear of a replica of the earthquake. This is normal after having gone through such a strong impact. After surviving a natural disaster, people can feel sad, anxious and helpless.

Therefore, it is common to have problems falling asleep and nightmares can be recurrent. You may also have trouble eating or concentrate on something you did routinely. Your mood may be fluctuating and sensitivity and irritability easily emerge. All these reactions are the response to the emotional stress caused by natural disasters and is known as Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome . It is not easy to face and understand that in a few minutes, the world you knew, ceased to exist. Literally, everything turns upside down and you have to deal with many things: from the death of your loved ones, to economic recovery.

What can you do to feel better after a natural skill?

Many people feel sad, but at the same time grateful to be alive. That’s why you should be patient and give yourself time, the recovery will not be overnight. What happened can not be minimized or put aside. Only the passing of days will make you start healing your emotional wounds little by little.

Follow these tips that can help you, help your family and also, your community:

  • Try, as far as possible, to continue with your routines.
  • Watch what you eat: if possible eat healthily and do not skip meals or eat too much.
  • Stay active.
  • Take your time helping people in your community.
  • Accept the help of others and talk about your feelings.
  • Avoid, as much as possible, spend a lot of time in the place of disaster or watching reports about the tragedy on television. This only relives the memories of the episode and can cause anxiety and fear.
  • Seek immediate help if you feel you are not capable of taking care of yourself or of caring for your loved ones, if you are unable to continue with your work, if you feel depressed or sad for more than two weeks and if to “relieve” this you start to resort to alcohol or drugs. If you have suicidal thoughts, it is necessary that you seek help urgently.

A natural disaster causes such an impact, that it could take a long time to feel calm again. But remember that you must do your part and move on. Look for psychological help centers in your community if you need it.

Although you may not see it that way right now, being alive to tell the story of what happened makes you a lucky person. Do your part and keep going!

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