Coping Amidst Disaster

Volunteering with Seva Food Truck last Sunday.

Volunteering with Seva Food Truck last Sunday.

It has been a sobering time in Alberta with the wildfires causing upheaval to so many. Even if you have not been personally affected, it is hard to not feel emotional about a situation happening so close to home. Often, it feels like there is little that we can 'do' to make a situation like this better. It is important to remember, that who we are 'being' is also important, so ensure that you are also looking after yourself.

As we open ourselves to what is happening, we often feel a soft spot where tender and difficult aspects of ourselves live. It sometimes feels easier to shield ourselves from this, to be tough, or aloof. Yet, amidst the disaster, there are also moments of community, beauty and hope. It has been heartening to see the care and concern that is being offered to evacuees. We don't need to wait for a crisis to help out, but when disaster strikes it often reminds us of our untapped potential to dig deep and connect.

Whether you were unharmed from the fires or an evacuee, there are a roller coaster of emotions that you may be experiencing. Know that all of these are allowed and okay. It can be helpful to to learn about how to cope with the vast array of feelings you may be experiencing. If you're looking for survival tips, my colleague, Krista Osborne, has recently posted two fantastic pieces, one for adults and one geared to children. Remember also to reach out for support. In Edmonton, Momentum Walk-In Counselling is an accessible resource that offers both individual and group services. If you have been directly affected, the Alberta College of Social Workers has a list of social workers, such as myself, that are volunteering their services, so be sure to give them a call.

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" ~ Fred Rogers

In gratitude to all those lending a hand,