A magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on Monday, resulting in a death toll of over 11,000 in Turkey and Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency in the hardest-hit provinces. In light of these events, it’s crucial to discuss how to deal with natural disasters and offer support to those affected.
Dealing with natural disasters can be incredibly stressful and traumatic. Whether it’s a hurricane, tornado, flood, or earthquake, these events can leave you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and helpless. But there are ways to cope with the aftermath and heal from the experience. Here are some tips on ways to cope with natural disasters, both healthy and unhealthy, as well as information on getting help and giving help.
Ways to Cope with Natural Disasters
- Take care of yourself physically. This includes getting enough sleep, eating well, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.
- Connect with others. Talking to friends, family, or a support group can help you feel less alone and give you a sense of community.
- Practice self-care. This can include meditation, yoga, or journaling to help you manage stress and anxiety.
- Find a healthy outlet for your emotions. This can be anything from exercise to art therapy to help you process your feelings.
Unhealthy Ways to Cope with Natural Disasters
- Substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol may provide temporary relief, but they will only make things worse in the long run.
- Withdrawal. Avoiding people and social situations can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
- Suppressing emotions. Not acknowledging or addressing your emotions can lead to bottled-up feelings that can be harmful in the long term.
Getting Help After a Natural Disaster
- Reach out to a professional. This can be a therapist, counselor, or psychologist who can help you process your emotions and provide support.
- Contact a disaster relief organization. These organizations can provide resources and support to help you get back on your feet.
- Connect with community resources. This can be anything from food banks to disaster relief centers to help you access essential services and support.
Giving Help After a Natural Disaster
- Volunteer. There are many organizations and volunteer opportunities available to help those affected by natural disasters.
- Donate. Monetary donations or in-kind donations can provide essential resources to those in need. (Donate here for Turkey/Syria)
- Reach out to friends and family. Offer your support and let them know you’re there for them.
Remember that recovering from a natural disaster takes time. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to feel your emotions. You are not alone, and there is help available to you. Whether it’s through professional support, community resources, or the support of loved ones, there are ways to heal and move forward from the experience of a natural disaster.