Disaster Survival is imminent. Whether you survive a hurricane, tornado, flood or plane crash, everyone needs to learn these simple disaster stress survival tips. Being prepared is the name of the game. You can not only save your life but the life of others. There are common disaster stress reactions such as disbelief, shock, disorientation, anger, fear, irritability, feeling powerless, emotional numbing and sadness.
Here are some disaster stress survival tips
Remember Your Breath
Take deep cleansing breaths, close your eyes, blow out stress and fear.
Discover a Mini
A mini is a 1-3 minute short meditation. Take a moment, if you are able, close your eyes or focus your eyes on something, take several deep diaphragmatic breaths, and repeat a 1-5 word affirmation with each deep breath like “Keep letting go…”
Prayer and Meditation
We have great science about the health benefits of getting our mind, body and soul quiet. The practice of silence is referred to different names in different cultures and religions; meditation, the relaxation response, or centering prayer.
Hold on to Something
Put something you love in your pocket, around your neck, or on your wrist. A picture, a cross or medallion on your neck or wrist, beads, a rosary, mala beads, or prayer beads. When you get stressed and overwhelmed, stop, touch the object; breathe and repeat a soothing word or phrase that comforts you. Keep a comforting book you with you, or on your Kindle, such as an inspirational book or a Bible.
Imagine you are in a safe place in your mind. Envision your favorite vacation spot or a peaceful place you love. Breathe and close your eyes. If possible, use a guided imagery download on your phone.
Disasters leave us feeling overwhelmed and confused and can cause stress and depression. We have studies that show journaling relieves stress by writing the fear and anxiety out of your body onto paper. Chronicle your journey through this trauma.
Listen to soothing music. It increases serotonin in the body, a healing chemical that helps with anxiety and depression.
Take a walk to create endorphins in your body. Simple exercise, such as walking, relieves anxiety, stress and major depression. Exercise helps you sleep. It also stimulates your body to produce healing calming chemicals in your body. Exercise helps you focus and helps your memory
Stay Connected with Others
Ask for help when you need it. Talking about what is going on reduces the feelings of anxiety, hopelessness and helplessness. Community gives you strength, courage and support. Contact at least one person; have an agreement that you will call, text, email or contact them when you need to release your fears, crying, anger, grief—all the many different emotions you will feel.
Food is Medicine
Try to keep your family’s diet as nourishing as possible under the circumstances.
This increases metabolism 25%. It helps you focus and aids your memory. Breakfast centers and grounds you and your family and helps you start the day.
Vitamin B6 creates serotonin in the body. B6s are found in sweet potatoes, whole grains, rice, chicken, turkey, salmon, tuna, bananas, and mangos.
Hot peppers and spices create endorphins in the body.
Studies show that vitamin C helps reduce stress hormone levels.
Proteins are the building blocks necessary for your body to function. Peanut butter is non-perishable and an excellent source of protein.
Helping children cope with feelings after a disaster
- Safety and security. Get your child something to cuddle: toy, blanket, teddy bear. Touching something tactile helps them feel safe and secure.
- Touch your child. Hold your child. Physical touch reassures your child and makes them feel safe. Look into the eyes of your child with your touch. Touching is important for children during this period. Close contact helps assure children that you are there and will not abandon them. They feel safe.
- Reassure your child. As you touch your child, look into their eyes say, “We are together, we are safe, we will survive.
- Talk and listen. Talk with your child giving them simple accurate information. Then listen to what your child says and their questions. Mirror your child’s question so your child is reassured that you heard them and you are present.