It usually happens so quickly, one moment your world is perfect and the next it all shatters like a vintage China teacup. Everything has changed, the ground shakes and the concrete foundation beneath you seems to crumble. The undeniable and unexplainable sense of panic fills your soul and all logic disappears. The feeling that everything is out of your hands but still trying to find a way through it. Emergency situations happen without warning and even the most controlling person will show their anxiety and fear.
I’ve had my fair share of scares, receiving news of a loved one’s death, rushing home because of a parent’s urgent hospital admittance and even witnessing a tragic fall from a high rise building. Each moment was both horrific and traumatic as I shook with tears of panic, blindly absorbing the situation. Nothing will truly prepare you for the emotions and reality of an emergency crisis but here are several tips for keeping a level head and staying calm.
Be Prepared for Anything
It’s difficult to plan for something that can both never be determined or given the level of severity in advance. Types of emergencies can range from natural disasters, health injuries and even financial hardships. Since you will never be able to calculate when and how an emergency crisis will arise the best advice is to be prepared for anything and everything. Let’s say that you were involved in a severe accident, what would happen? Do you have money saved to cover for patient copays and deductibles? If you were required to take a lengthy amount of time from work, how will you cover the loss of income? Do you have money saved to cover expenses? It’s a lot to think about but the last thing anyone wants to do during an emergency crisis is to be frantic over important yet trivial worries. Rather you live alone or have a large family, keeping all this information for emergencies will help to ease some of the chaos. Create an emergency binder for all family members. Include all the important and the necessary documents that are generally required during such events. Personal documents i.e. life insurance policies, will & testaments, and even property deeds. It’s always better to be over prepared then add a substantial increase of panic when everything is already chaotic.
Assess the Situation
Stop, breathe and think. When emergencies happen you must be able to clear your mind in order to access critical-thinking skills. Panicking will only make the situation worst so take a quick moment to compose yourself and think clearly. When high-stressed situations occur our minds enter “flight-or-fight” mode. Emotions are heightened and losing control will only make it worst. Find a way to quickly calm yourself and focus on what needs to happen next. Call for emergency assistance, check pulses, stop bleeding and perform CPR when needed. Being able to remain calm will subdue more panic and allow others to follow lead and be productive. You remember those fire and tornado drills during school? It may have been an exciting break during the regular school routine but there was always an important reasoning behind it. We were conditioned to act calm, relaxed and follow the teacher without fear. Create a household emergency plan. Does everyone know what to do and where to go? Having a plan and meet up spot replaces fear with an automatic action.
Dwelling on the negatives and the thousands of “what-ifs” will only add to the stress of the situation. Finding the light and keeping hope in even the darkest of times will be a welcomed guide. No matter how bad the situation is, remember that it can always get worst. Do your best to stay optimistic and positive by finding coping mechanisms. Ineffective coping is one of the main reasons that panic emerges in high-stress environments. Making a conscious effort to manage stress levels by remaining positive will keep yourself calm and allow you to focus on what needs to be done. Visualize all the outcome scenarios, acknowledge the worst but make a plan to shoot for the best. Through all the twists and turns keep the objective by focusing on seeing the light.
Are you prepared to handle an emergency crisis? Tell us your plans! Leave a Comment below