Connect. Your family, friends, and community may have activities that bring you together to share memories. Find ways to help others when you can and accept help from others when you need it. Connecting with others helps build hope and reminds you that you’re not alone.
Accept what’s changed. Making sense and meaning out of a disaster can be hard. In the first year after a disaster, it’s common for certain events (e.g., birthdays, holidays, change of season) to remind you what’s changed or what you’ve lost. Part of recovery and healing is to recognize these times and to know it’s okay to grieve.
Look for the positive. After a disaster or emergency, it can be hard to see things in a positive light. Making time for activities that you enjoy is important. Socialize or take part in spiritual activities, hobbies, or spend time in nature. Positive experiences can help you recover. When you feel positive emotions like appreciation or gratitude, your body produces chemicals and hormones that are good for you. This can help keep you physically and emotionally healthy.
Manage stress. Some stress is expected after a disaster. Creating a routine that includes healthy activities you did before the event is a needed step to recover. Build in stress-reducing activities like walking or yoga. Physical activity can help reduce tension and help your body produce chemicals and hormones that help you cope better.
For some people, the signs of stress after a disaster or emergency don’t appear until weeks or months after the event has happened.
Warning signs that
you’re not coping well include:
Alcohol, drugs, or gambling might seem like a quick way to feel good again, but using these ways to cope can lead to bigger problems. Ask for help to find better ways to cope before it becomes a problem. Even if you had challenges coping before the event, you can still learn new healthier ways to cope. It’s important to use your supports and be patient.
Talk to a trusted friend, counsellor, or support person if you:
There are many things you can do (or keep doing) to help you cope and recover from what you’ve been through:
Remember, the things that can help you stay physically well can also help your emotional wellness.
Current as of: October 19, 2021
Author: Mental Health Promotion & Illness Prevention, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.