Artist Emotional Help After a Disaster
WHY? Are you a working artist under financial stress?
Whether it’s from the economy or a natural disaster, or you’re recovering from an accident or illness, these strategies will get you started and help see you through to better times.
Take Some Time
Make sure to take safety steps when doing clean up and salvage work
Consider sitting down with a friend to help you think straight. Avoid making any major decisions soon after an emergency
Taking Care of Yourself
Remember to eat, and drink plenty of water. This is hugely important, because under stress you are burning up the calories right and left. Get regular exercise and sleep. You need to take care of yourself
Be aware of how events tend to unfold. A “honeymoon” phase when there is significant attention to and assistance for those affected by an emergency. A “reality” phase when there may be less help available and the loss can be overwhelming. (Link to resources)
Experts agree that recovery from trauma doesn’t just “happen” — it’s a process that usually involves positive, self-preserving action. Be aware of trauma symptoms, and if you are experiencing them, talk with a professional who is trained in trauma support
- Feeling physically and mentally drained
- Having difficulty making decisions or staying focused on topics
- Becoming easily frustrated on a frequent basis
- Frustration occurring more quickly and more often
- Arguing more with family and friends
- Feeling tired, sad, numb, lonely or worried
- Experiencing changes in appetite or sleep patterns
Understand that trauma recovery takes time and effort, and is different for everyone. There is no timetable, and it’s more a marathon than a sprint.
Find a Local Disaster Buddy
As you rebuild from the emergency, it will be important to have a friend or two who can help you get through difficult times. These are just good relationships to develop. Look for somebody who’s not necessarily a best friend, but somebody who’s level-headed, and who counterbalances you. More about “Disaster Buddy” here.
“My studio was badly damaged and mustering the strength to clear the debris and re-build the shop reminded me that is my background in the arts, mold-making in particular, that provided me the skills to re-build.”