With the latest fire in Boulder County, are you feeling fearful, anxious, depressed and/or a myriad of emotions? You are not going crazy!
Fire season in Colorado used to start in June. This year, due to lack of precipitation (snow & rain), we’ve already had our first fire–in Sunshine Canyon. So far, 62 acres have burned and 426 homes have been evacuated. While no homes have been damaged, the trauma people are experiencing will last a long time. Some people may have flashbacks and other symptoms from having experienced previous natural disasters. In Boulder County in just the past years, we’ve survived the Cold Spring fire, Fourmile Canyon fire, and the flood of 2013.
Some of what you might be feeling or noticing include:
- feeling detached
- sleep difficulty
- disturbing dreams.
These can be symptoms of PTSD. I was talking to a friend the other day and he was relating that he was experiencing nightmares and feelings of anxiety. These feelings were related to the recent natural disasters we have experienced in Colorado. He hadn’t talked to anyone about this and, more importantly, he never dealt with these issues when the fire occurred. Until he gets professional help to deal with his PTSD, every time he sees a forest fire, he is going to suffer.
6 Ways to Feel Better
There are many ways to help yourself and your loved ones feel better.
- Reach out to family and friends – As humans we have the wonderful ability to share experiences and support each other through tough times. If people helped you last time, remember that sense of community.
- Exercise – This helps relieve stress, even if you just go for a walk or get on the treadmill.
- Ground in the present – Fear is about the future. Right here, right now, everything is okay.
- Do things you like to do – Taking time for yourself can help refocus your attention away from all the bad news. It also releases endorphins in your brain, which helps you feel better.
- Eat well for you – Take care of yourself. While it’s easy to reach for comfort food, it only helps for a few minutes. The effect on your blood sugar and nervous system does not help with your mood.
- Seek professional help – Friends and family can be very helpful, but sometimes we need someone with specialized skills and tools to help us to break out of the cycle that is triggering the anxiety and other painful feelings.
If you want or need more help than this, call me at (303) 444-2003.
Through tools such as Brainspotting, I can help you feel better and break the symptom patterns that grab hold of you. Brainspotting is a non-verbal treatment tool that helps you reprocess past traumas. Clients who experience brainspotting are often able to eliminate the underlying sensitivities that are causing the problems.