10 Tips When Disaster StrikesThe unexpected has happened and you are experiencing shock, sadness and many other emotions that are overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you as you begin the journey to restoration and healing.

  1. Talk with someone.
    Whether it is a counselor, pastor or a trusted friend; telling your story can help.
  2. Ask for help.
    Even if you think it is too small of a request, ask anyway. Reaching out for assistance and support can help your recovery.
  3. Allow time for grief.
    We are often quick to resume “normal” functioning, stuffing our feelings about the loss. Time alone doesn’t heal, but time and space with support is important for grief to heal.
  4. Find local support.
    Whether it is a grief recovery group, the Red Cross Disaster Team, or a local church; use the support that is offered in your area.
  5. Rest, healthy eating and exercise can be essential as you cope with the stress.
    Visit your doctor for health concerns occurring as a result of the trauma. Headaches, nausea, and chest pains are all symptoms common with stress but need professional assessment.
  6. Establish routines and structure in your daily life.
    The simple practice of routine can bring some comfort when overwhelmed by trauma and disaster.
  7. Expect the trauma or disaster to impact parts of your life that you thought were in the past.
    Old wounds and loss often resurface. Talking with a counselor or other helping professional will help.
  8. Survivors of disaster or trauma often experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
    Flashbacks, sleep loss, and vivid memories are some of the symptoms. Professional help is essential to process the trauma.
  9. Avoid adding stress.
    Making life-changing decisions (divorce, job change, relocating) require our full attention and energy. Concentrate on the next right decision and allow time for recovery.
  10. Pray and meditate on God’s Word.
    Talk with God about your experience, even express your disappointment, anger and loss. Psalm 23 is a great comfort in times of difficulty.

For additional information on dealing with trauma, we recommend New Life Perspectives: How to Recover from Trauma or Tragedy audio CD. To order this CD, give us a call at 800-NEW-LIFE or visit our online bookstore at newlife.com.