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Emotional Preparedness PDF Print E-mail

No one likes to think his or her life can be torn apart, but attacks of terrorism and biological infections on our home front have made more people aware that anything can happen at anytime. While this uncertainty can lead to uncomfortable anxiety, wisdom demands a two-fold, seemingly contradictory response: we must face this possibility and make appropriate adjustments in our life, and at the same time, we must carry on with our normal life. Being emotionally prepared for emergency involves:

• Know all the facts from the rest of this website, since accurate information and knowledge about what to do can ease emotional shock and confusion.

• Be aware of your own and others’ usual responses to upset, to assess your strengths and challenges in case of an emergency.

• Keep numbers handy for professional support, through your local hospital or private sources.

• Expect that the emergency will intensify any present stress or feelings about past traumas, including physical, emotional, spiritual and financial.

• Be aware of your surroundings at home and work, to increase your sense of safety.

• Remember that you cannot control everything, or predict or prevent all emergencies.

• Give comfort and express love to loved ones.

• Give and receive acts of kindness.

• Let yourself feel and express your emotions without shame or guilt.

• Engage in whatever activities would relax you and relieve stress: hot bath, massage, walks, listening to music, cleaning a room, exercising. Do deep breathing and meditation. Read a book or see TV shows or movies that distract your mind, help purge feelings, offer distraction, and lift your spirits.

• Pay attention to small things in life to appreciate, like nature’s trees, sun, and birds.

• Resume your daily routines and activities as soon as possible to retrieve sense of normalcy and security.

• Take care of yourself: eat well, get adequate sleep, exercise, do what you enjoy.

• Try to stay in present time (instead of reviewing the past or worrying about the future). Focus your mind on sensations like tasting a good meal, smelling fresh air, or holding something comforting.

• Be alert to signs of disturbance in relationships or acting-out behaviors like alcohol or drug abuse.

• Decide on the appropriate amount of media-watching for you (enough to be informed but not too much to be upset).

• Get support from qualified professionals through crisis counseling, bereavement counseling or grief counseling.

• In time, allow yourself to re-evaluate your priorities and decide what’s important to you in relationships, family, friendships, community life and career. Recognize that you can take new directions, make your marriage stronger, and leave unfulfilling jobs or relationships.