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How to deal with stress after emergencies?

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How to deal with stress after emergencies?

On December 2, 2016, Posted by , In Uncategorized, With No Comments

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Stress after emergencies

In emergencies, people put themselves into a survival state to deal with problems and cope with fears and other feelings. This is the body’s natural way of working outside the normal comfort zone and is called a ‘state of stress’. It means people can:

  • focus on the important things

  • concentrate and work hard for long periods

  • put aside feelings in order to do what has to be done

  • carry lots of details in their mind

  • put their own needs aside and not feel hunger or fatigue while others are in need

  • think clearly and quickly

Being in a state of stress uses lots of energy. People can usually keep going for as long as they need to, but eventually they start to feel the effects of stress. They can’t maintain their energy level and come off the ‘high’ they have been on.

This is when people may start to display stress symptoms.  This is the rebound to the extra efforts that have been made during the crisis.

Stress is normal and natural, but needs to be understood so it does not cause further problems.

 

Common stress symptoms

Thinking

  • Trouble thinking clearly

  • Trouble making decisions

  • Can’t concentrate or remember details

  • Short attention span

  • Not speaking clearly, slurring words, forgetting names

Physical

  • Bodily tension, stress and tightness in muscles

  • Weak feelings, tiredness, loss of energy and enthusiasm

  • Headaches, trembling, sweating, nausea, aches and pains

  • Lack of appetite, increased desire for stimulants, sugar, alcohol, tobacco or coffee

  • Feeling tired but cannot sleep, disturbed sleep, dreams and nightmares

Feelings

  • Irritable, bad tempered, impatient and restless

  • Can’t relax or keep still

  • Everything seems too hard or difficult

  • Easily upset or hurt

  • Insecure – wanting to stay in familiar places with routines

  • Experience waves of anger or worry that aren’t reasonable

Relationships

  • Feel others are to blame for stress

  • Tendency to get things all out of proportion

  • Can’t feel happiness, enjoyment or affection for loved ones

  • Changed relationships with those close to you

  • Have to talk about the emergency all the time

 

The stress cycle

Stress reactions cause more problems – and this causes more stress. This is called the stress cycle. Long-term stress will undermine health and may cause illnesses. Getting over stress means breaking the stress cycle.

 

Breaking the stress cycle

Recognize you are stressed

People often don’t recognize their own stress because they are too focused on the problems. Listen to others who may see you more clearly than you see yourself.

Make a decision to break the stress cycle

Although there are lots of things about your life you can’t change, there some that you can – but you have to decide to do it.

Looking after yourself

There are plenty of things that anyone can do to help break the stress cycle and reduce tension. Many simple pleasures will make a big difference to stress.

Physical

  • Do regular rhythmic physical exercise such as walking, swimming or cycling.

  • Make an effort to reduce, or at least not to increase, your intake of stimulants such as alcohol, tobacco and sugar as they keep the stress cycle going.

Relationships

  • Keep regular contact with people you like to be with.

  • Make time to be with your family or friends.

  • Talk to people you trust about yourself and what’s happening so you can get it into perspective.

Relaxation

  • Do regular relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, listening to quiet music, meditation.

  • Do something about bodily tension such as massage or exercises.

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