Everyone reading this blog has been impacted either directly or indirectly (through friends, family members and the media) by the series of disasters in the last month. I know I have, which is why I decided to write about this topic.
The events have been stunning. And I mean that literally. The definition of stun is: to make senseless, to be overcome especially with paralyzing astonishment or disbelief. Although we are naturally resilient, highly stressful and traumatic experiences can impact the human nervous system in similar ways. Being stunned is one of the them.
In addition to the symptom of feeling stunned, numb or disconnected, other symptoms include feeling depressed, or experiencing high anxiety and unable to rest or sleep. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms know that it’s normal under the circumstances. And it’s not a time for lots of words, it’s a time for presence and connection.
Here are some very simple things that you can do to help yourself or someone else with these symptoms right now, any time, anywhere:
- Drink a glass of water
- Go for a walk
- Notice the temperature of the air
- Look around and pay attention to anything that catches your eye
- Touch a surface that interests you and notice if it’s hard, rough, cool, etc.
- Notice the sounds around you
- With someone you know, share hugs, hold hands
- Snuggle up with a loved one
- If you have access to it, get in the water – in a bathtub, shower, river or lake
In time, as the initial impact of events wears off, there will be lots to talk about, re-evaluate and rebuild. My heart goes out to all those who have lost friends, family, homes, pets and neighborhoods. To all those who who have lost access to communication, food, clean water and shelter. Keep this list handy, and keep close to each other and what you hold most dear.
Sabrina Roblin is an experienced executive, mentor, trainer, and coach. She has worked for organizations that include Wells Fargo Bank, Broderbund Software, and The Coaches Training Institute. Contact her for coaching.