To get more reliable information about the thoughts running through my own head, I talked with Darrin Tonsfeldt, director of The Village Business Institute at The Village Family Service Center.
gave me a lot of helpful pointers on the psychological effects of a natural disaster and how one simple action can keep us level while dealing with the flood: resilience.
Resilience is the ability for people to bounce back after a crisis and to adapt to changes.
No matter what type of natural disaster is occurring, Darrin
says, resilience is an action that can be built on your own or as a team, and will keep you from being overwhelmed and stressed.
The biggest way you can build resilience is to eat right, get lots of sleep, exercise regularly, and stay connected to friends, family, faith or whatever is important to you.
It's no coincidence that "strength in numbers" is a common phrase.
These are the components that build your resilience up but are so easily disregarded when a person gets stressed or overwhelmed.
Another factor that is important is stated very simply by Darrin
: "Let's not subscribe tragedy where no tragedy needs to be subscribed."
Coping When Things Get Tough
Everyone is affected by Mother Nature's not-always-wonderful works.
But if you are directly impacted and physically wearing yourself out, that is when you become susceptible to depression and anxiety.
"The reality is that 80% of people are going to cope just fine; it's the other 20% that may or may not cope."
says we need to respect those individuals by not exaggerating news reports or causing undue stress.
A great resource Darrin
shared with me was the Red River Resilience website. http://www.redriverresilience.com/ It is there to help educate and understand the dynamics of a crisis.
That's why Darrin
prescribes talking and listening as crucial components to the healing process.
says that just listening provides a great sense of relief to flood victims.
Listen and actually hear what they went through, how they handled the situation, and how it affects them today.
True listening, however, means that you must not tell them your story or tell them you know exactly how they feel.
"The one thing you don't want to do is try to top them or assume your situation was worse," Darrin
said to watch your child for "anxiousness, irritability, getting upset easily, not sleeping normally, eating too much or too little, all of those things can add up to be problematic," Darrin