Managing Stress…Difficult Times
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Managing Stress In Difficult Times
Whether you have experienced an individual trauma or a full-scale disaster, your ability to cope has been challenged. Take time to adjust and use these tips to help guide and inform you about feelings and reactions, as well as strategies to help cope with the situation.
How should I feel?
People experience emotional reactions in their own unique ways; however, typical emotional reactions include:
- Recurring dreams or nightmares, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Trouble concentrating or remembering things
- Feeling numb, withdrawn or disconnected
- Feeling extremely worried or helpless
- Bursts of anger or intense irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms: headaches, digestive problems, muscle tension
- Being overprotective
- Avoiding reminders of the event
- Crying for no apparent reason
Do I need help?
These guidelines may be useful in deciding when normal reactions to disaster become problems requiring assistance:
- When disturbing behaviors or emotions last more than 6 to 8 weeks
- When emotions make it difficult to function at work, in school or with family
- When you are feeling unstable or concerned about your behavior or emotions
Connect with others
You may feel isolated, and perhaps even prefer to be left alone, but spending time with others is therapeutic. Try to:
- Communicate with friends, family and supporters-stay connected and nurture your relationships.
- Talk about your feelings to someone you trust-a family member, teacher, clergy, or friend.
- Use spirituality and your personal beliefs.
- Help others in need. Rather than feel stressed, use the energy to help others.
- Build or join support networks in your community
Get accurate, timely information from credible sources, such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army, programs established by the state or federal government, or your local Office of Emergency Management. Seek out and follow experts’ advice.
- Try to get back to and maintain as much of your normal routine as possible.
- Take control of the things you can and find ways to let go of those you cannot.
- Exercise, eat well and get enough rest. This is especially important in times of high stress.
- Stay busy physically and mentally.
- Keep a sense of humor.
- Express yourself through music, writing, art, etc.
- Use coping strategies that are familiar and comfortable. Spend time with your children and/or friends, read, listen to music, take a break.
- Breathe-take some deep cleansing breaths. Oxygen can help rejuvenate a tired body and spirit.
Use these additional resources for help:
NewBridge Services, Inc.
Morris County (973) 316-9333
Passaic County (973) 728-3938
Toll-free: (888) 746-9333
For state-declared disasters:
Project Phoenix Help Line
You can find the number for your local County Mental Health Association at
or in the phone book’s business pages under Mental Health Association.