It is natural for us to extend help in a crisis. It is also natural to get tired, when stress is prolonged. Because of this, recovery from mass disaster tends to follow a very particular pattern. Zunin and Meyers were the first to identify how communities go through different stages of healing.
What to look for, What to Expect
- HEROIC: From impact after disaster strikes. Lasts for about one week.
- HONEYMOON: Lasts several weeks and there is a sense of the community “pulling together.” In times of mass-disaster, there may be media attention and support from communities around the world.
- DISILLUSIONMENT: Can last from about one month to a few years. All the attention from media (and support from the world community) is gone; things take longer, glitches in the system become apparent and or the system fails, and questions are unanswered. Stress becomes apparent as we begin to take stock of our losses. Watch out for rumors, frustration, fear and short tempers. This is a time of radical transformation and constant tests of character.
- RECONSTRUCTION: Final stage with realization of what has been experienced and what each person and / or community can do to restore the community at large. Can also last from one month to three years in some communities.
Here is a link for How to Help in Alberta.
FOR THOSE OF YOU CONFRONTING TRAUMA, OR WHO HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE BEING CHALLENGED BY THESE EVENTS, MAY I OFFER THESE GUIDELINES:
Self – Care. . .
What to do?
T-take time out for Self-Care Turn inward for a deeper truth
R-Relax, BREATHE Breathe in to a count of 4, and exhale to a count of 4 to return to your heart and reduce anxiety. Remember to rest, meditate and enjoy the sanctuary of inner quiet
U-Use the tools you have--inner and outer resources Use intuition to experience this as a spiritual test of character. Gain insight into yourself; Understand the challenges of being human and have compassion for self and others Explore positive lesson learned for you and your community;
S-Share Talk to friends, and listen to others with the ears of your heart. Share your insights, learning and healing with others
T- Try Again. . .and again Take time for Self-care Tend to-and-befriend yourself and others.
Self-Connection is running free movie nights . . . . the movie nights are intended to be fun and to be a break from the chaos, but also they are fundraisers for the two organizations that Self-Connection has chosen to support: the Food Bank, and the Distress Centre.
“The food bank is overwhelmed with requests because of the number of fridges, freezers and homes that lost power. The Distress Center is fielding a large increase in calls from people who are concerned about the financial implications, where to live while repairs are done, how this impacts their ability to work, and how their children are responding and the emotional and stressful toll it has taken on them.”