As the flood anniversary approached this year, the thoughts of warm weather and sunny days just didn’t feel the same. Feelings of excitement were plagued with unease as the anxieties of melting snow and rising temperatures loom over us. Can I go through this again?
“Tension is running high, and stress is setting in as people think about the anniversary of the Southern Alberta floods. It’s the fear of the unknown,” says Thalia Anderen, Counselling Manager at Calgary Counselling Centre and High River Counselling Centre. “Many flood-affected victims, especially in the High River community, have just returned to their homes. As people begin to re-build their homes, and their lives, they cannot help but have fears of going through the same devastation of last year.”
Calgary Counselling Centre offers five tips for families coping with an anniversary of a natural disaster:
- Expect emotion: As the anniversary date approaches you may feel out of sorts. In fact the days leading up or the days after may also affect you. Remind yourself its ok to feel a whole range of emotions during this time.
- Be honest: with yourself and your kids. It’s ok to share your own reactions and concerns. Kids usually pick up on how their parents are feeling. Answer any questions honestly and age appropriately.
- Acknowledge the anniversary: Let your family and yourself acknowledge the anniversary in your own ways. Some kids may express interest while others may choose to ignore it all together. There is no right reaction for everyone. Make yourself available to talk to your child, but also make sure you too are connecting with loved ones on your own feelings.
- Take care of you: Make sure you take good care of yourself during these times. Self-care, support and comfort will help ground you as you move through the emotions.
- Seek support:Calgary Counselling Centre is here to help. Register for counselling online or contact our Call Centre 403-691-5991.
It is important to remember that the worry of what is to come can affect anyone and any emotions you are dealing with are normal, and expected, regardless of your age.