Being displaced by a natural disaster can leave you feeling out of sorts until you're in your home again. Even as restoration begins, you may struggle with the feeling that your home is not your own. Not only that, there's a great deal of additional financial stress that goes along with being out of your home: the need to eat out, find a place to stay, and take care of regular necessities, like laundry, that you barely think about when you're at home. If the damage happened to your business, the stress can be even worse--especially if you're the owner of the business and watching your source of income only slowly come back together. Dealing with those feelings of displacement is an ongoing process--but with these strategies, you can improve your ability to handle it.
Step Away from the News
While in Southern Ontario we are fortunate to rarely experience widespread disaster, it does still occur. After a natural disaster, devastation may be everywhere throughout your city, and with today’s onslaught of information online everywhere you look, there's always another news report about the disaster. All of those reports can bring back feelings of trauma and make it feel as fresh as ever. While you're dealing with your personal feelings of displacement, put your social media on hold and avoid watching the news for a little while. This simple step can help you maintain a sense of peace as you wait for repairs on your home or business.
Setting goalsis an important part of recovering from any disaster. Your previous goals have likely shifted drastically following the devastation and displacement. That doesn't mean, however, that you have to let go of your goals entirely. Instead, take a look at what you would like to accomplish in the coming weeks and months. Some things, like when home repairs will be finished, may be out of your control. Other things, however, are well within your control. Set a series of goals for the weeks ahead. What would you like to see change in your life between now and then?
It can be helpful to pursue goals that have nothing to do with the disaster. You might, for example, want to pursue a new job, not because your office or storefront was destroyed, but because you want to embark on a new career journey. You might want to go back to school, or accomplish certain personal financial or fitness goals. You might even want to create a bucket list filled with things that you would really like to do over the next few years. Distraction from the immediate stress could be immensely helpful.
Create a Plan
Once you have your goals in place--including those related to the disaster--design a plan that will help you reach those goals. If you have 'run a half marathon' on your bucket list, select a half marathon and break down a training plan that will get you there. If you want to be settled back in your home within the coming weeks, create a plan that will help you get there. Make sure you talk to your contractors or disaster recovery companies to ensure that your plan is as realistic as possible.
If your business was destroyed during the disaster, make sure you have a plan in place to help you bring in income during this difficult time. Your business may already have a disaster recovery plan in place that will allow you to continue operating with partial functionality even while the building is restored. In other cases, you may need to look for other ways to handle your finances during this crisis. Creating a plan, however, will help you feel more in control of your circumstances, which can, in turn, make it easier for you to handle those feelings of displacement.
Look for Ways to Grow
Many people learn a great deal about themselves during a disaster, especially if that disaster results in the destruction of their home or business. What has this disaster taught you? What would you do differently if you faced the same situation again? Find the ways you have already grown out of this disaster and look for ways to grow moving forward. You might, for example, find that you have a cool head in a crisis, which might encourage you to offer assistance to others dealing with similar challenges. If, on the other hand, you discover that you panic quickly when things start to go wrong, you may find that planning ahead gives you a better feeling of peace.
Get Into a Routine
When you're out of your element and out of place, one of the things you miss most may be your routine. While your routine won't look the same when you're displaced from your home, you'll find that settling into a new routine--ideally as soon as possible--will help you feel much more confident about your current circumstances.
Getting into new, temporary habits such as visiting a local gym each morning, choosing a favourite hangout for lunch, or finding a favourite place to work from your laptop while you wait for your business to be restored. For many people, creating a solid routine helps alleviate feelings of anxiety following a disaster.
If possible, make sure your routine includes the elements you need to stay healthy. If you're stuck eating restaurant food because your kitchen is in pieces, look for healthy eating options. Not only will healthy food help prevent you from getting sick during this traumatic time, it can also help improve your overall outlook and make you feel better. Include exercise as part of your routine--and walking around your home or business, looking at the ruins, doesn't count. Get plenty of sleep at night, even if that means using earplugs or a blackout mask. It's more important than ever to keep yourself healthy following a disaster, when you cannot afford to get sick.
At Miller Restoration, we understand the emotional upset that comes along with being put out of your home or business after a disaster. Even though these things are temporary, they can have a huge impact on your professional and personal life. Are you looking for a caring, compassionate team to help address your restoration issues? Contact us today. All of our team members have been through training to help them deal sensitively and compassionately with any issues surrounding your restoration.