Tools for Crisis, Trauma and Stress

A tree down in my yard after Hurricane Irene in August 2011.

I am writing this as Hurricane Florence is decimating the Carolina coastline and creating life threatening circumstances for too many people and animals. No matter where you live, each area has its share of natural disasters …. from hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, earthquakes, and more.

Often we have warning and can prepare for these natural disasters, but sometimes we cannot. A weather disaster can shake us to the core of our survival instincts because it often involves having to flee our home and can even result in the physical and emotional loss of our homes.

Once our survival instincts kick into high gear, it can be weeks, months and sometimes a lifetime before our physical and emotional body can get back to normal. When we go into survival mode, our adrenals begin to produce excess cortisol and it can quickly drain our endocrine system and impact our entire body.

In 2003, I was in a situation where I had very little choice but to move away from my home and family for employment reason. It was traumatic and it pretty much destroyed my adrenals (which are still working to fully rejuvenate). And when I lived in Alexandria, VA, there were several times when remnants of hurricanes and tropical storms required me to get prepared to evacuate. It was all very stressful. Crisis, trauma and stress will absolutely take a toll on the body.

For some people, knowing that others (especially helpless animals) are suffering during a weather event can bring on vicarious trauma and empathetic stress as if you are too experiencing the event. I know … I’ve been there in my animal protection legal work and when I volunteered in Jackson, Mississippi to help animals after Hurricane Katrina. I returned home a complete stressed-out and traumatized mess. And watching 24/7 news coverage also does not help (which is why I recommend heavy doses of The Hallmark Channel and Harry Potter movies during stressful times).

So what can you do when you are in the middle of a crisis, traumatic or stressful situation, whether it’s weather-related or not? These are a few simple tools that I have used for myself and my kitties to keep us calm and well.

  • For a weather-related event, be prepared by having a Grab-N-Go bag ready for every member of the family, including pets. Being prepared will give you great peace of mind and help you move quickly to get everyone to safety with less stress.
  • If you are attuned to an energy healing modality, give yourself, your children and/or your pets healing energy frequently. If you are not, simply rub your hands together and place them on your heart, on your children’s back and on your pets. Once you can calm your heart, you will be able to share that with others.
  • Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a great way to start moving the crisis energy out of your system. Here is a great video on relief for people in crisis from Brad Yates (my EFT guru). Tap frequently until you feel relief.
  • If you are calm, those around you will be calm. The most effective and fast-acting calming tool that I use are my Young Living essential oils. My favorites are Lavender, Stress Away, Peace & Calming, Valor, and Sacred Mountain. Diffuse these therapeutic-grade essential oils so that everyone can benefit, including pets. And topically apply for added benefit. And if you are fleeing a disaster zone by car, having a car diffuser with calming essential oils may help to cut the energy of the crisis.

Preparing is the key for when a weather-related disaster occurs; Self-care is the key to a speedy recovery.

About Allie Phillips:

Allie is a multi-careered energy therapist (Usui Reiki Master-Teacher, Fairy Reiki Master, Integrated Energy Therapy Master-Instructor, and Advanced Crystal Master), Young Living essential oil Silver Leader educator, instructor at Young Living’s annual Animal Essential Oil Conference, award-winning book author, attorney and internationally-recognized animal advocate, and Founder/CEO of Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T)™.  She helps people create a natural non-toxic lifestyle, find financial freedom, and help animals live with comfort in our hectic world. She particularly loves helping our animal companions and those temporarily in animal shelters because for those of us who have them grace our worlds, they are our soul mates.
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