Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes occur unexpectedly and potentially cause extensive property damage. It is also not uncommon for people to lose their lives or sustain severe injuries. Those lucky enough to be left unscathed may develop high stress, anxiety, and PTSD levels. Common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include difficulty falling asleep, vivid memories of the event, feeling on edge, and intrusive thoughts. After experiencing such extreme financial loss, the loss of your loved ones, and severe injuries after a natural disaster, you must learn how to cope with your current situation. Let’s look into how you can recover and cope after a natural disaster.
Set a regular schedule
The spontaneous nature of a natural disaster could throw you off balance and make you feel out of control of your own life. A regular schedule can help reduce some of the chaos that comes with the aftermath of a natural disaster. For instance, your program could include waking up in the morning, tidying up your house, creating time to talk to your therapist or friends then heading to work.
Apart from physical and financial depletion, a natural disaster can leave you emotionally drained. Therefore, we advise you to do things that will fill your cup to help others and retrieve what you have lost. Practicing self-care can also improve your ability to deal with trauma without falling apart and feeling hopeless. Ensure you get adequate sleep, eat a balanced diet, and maintain wholesome and meaningful relationships that add value to you.
Seek social support
After a natural disaster, you might want to keep to yourself and ponder how you will recover all you have lost. However, isolation is not a great idea as you can quickly sink into depression. We suggest you reach out to your friends, loved ones, and family members for support during this trying time. Talk to other community members impacted by the disaster and share your experiences so you can feel less alone.
File a claim for damages
A natural disaster could deplete your resources, leaving you with very little to help you start over, rebuild your home, or replace your car. Well, you can seek relief, support and even claim for damages incurred. For instance, if a hurricane has left you with considerable damage, it would be best to call a hurricane insurance claims lawyer, who can help you file a claim for damages. A lawyer will also help if your claim has been denied. Remember, a compensation cab cushion you as you get back on your feet and help you provide for your family.
Find healthy coping strategies
It is easy to fall back on bad habits such as excessive drinking after a natural disaster to help you deal with intense negative emotions. However, these bad habits will leave you feeling worse or get you into debt. A better alternative would be to engage in healthy coping mechanisms such as meditation, finding a new hobby, exercising, or reading.
Talk to a crisis counsellor
Talking to a professional after experiencing a traumatic event such as a hurricane or tornado is always a good idea. You could take advantage of the counsellors available in the local support groups or get recommendations from a trusted friend. The counsellor will walk you through the stages of grief and suggest various strategies you could use to cope with the aftermath of a natural disaster.
Open up about your feelings
You become like a ticking time bomb when you bottle up your feelings. You will implode the minute you can’t hold them in any longer. Therefore, expressing yourself by talking to others about the traumatic event is essential. As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem half-solved. It would help to speak to someone who has experienced a similar situation because they can understand and empathize with you better.
Offer a helping hand to others
Since natural disasters occur over a vast area, likely, you are not the only one who has experienced loss or injuries. If you are not too severely injured, it would be wise to lend a helping hand to your friends and neighbors stuck under debris. We also suggest sharing whatever you have with others until the community stabilizes and gets back on its feet. Assisting others makes you feel empowered and more in control of the situation.
We hope this article has provided some invaluable tips to help you cope and recover in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Don’t hesitate to seek support as you get back to your feet. Find a support system from friends and family. Ensure you speak to a qualified therapist to give you a proper diagnosis if you are handling symptoms of PTSD in the aftermath of the disaster. You can also seek legal support to help you recover any damages that you can get to help you recover after a disaster.