Here are a number of steps you can take to help restore emotional well-being and a sense of control following a disaster or other traumatic experience, including the following:
- Give yourself time to adjust. Anticipate that this will be a difficult time in your life. Allow yourself to mourn the losses you have experienced. Try to be patient with changes in your emotional state.
- Ask for support from people who care about you and who will listen and empathize with your situation. But keep in mind that your typical support system may be weakened if those who are close to you also have experienced or witnessed the trauma.
- Communicate your experience. In whatever ways feel comfortable to you — such as by talking with family or close friends, or keeping a diary.
- Find out about local support groups that often are available. Such as for those who have suffered from natural disasters or other traumatic events. These can be especially helpful for people with limited personal support systems.
- Try to find groups led by appropriately trained and experienced professionals. Group discussion can help people realize that other individuals in the same circumstances often have similar reactions and emotions.
- Engage in healthy behaviors to enhance your ability to cope with excessive stress. Eat well-balanced meals and get plenty of rest. If you experience ongoing difficulties with sleep, you may be able to find some relief through relaxation techniques. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Establish or reestablish routines, such as eating meals at regular times and following an exercise program. Take some time off from the demands of daily life by pursuing hobbies or other enjoyable activities.
- Avoid major life decisions such as switching careers or jobs if possible. These activities tend to be highly stressful.
Make sure that you speak to your spiritual adviser as well.