Bush Ban­ter

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL WEEKLY - DEN­NIS J HOIBERG The Re­silience Whis­perer

THERE comes a dawn – but only af­ter the night. Things will be bet­ter, then worse and then bet­ter.

This ar­ti­cle is writ­ten in the con­text of know­ing that many read­ers have re­cently ex­pe­ri­enced at some level the ef­fects of Cy­clone Deb­bie and other cli­matic events.

I of­fer the fol­low­ing ad­vice and life lessons that hails from work­ing with many com­mu­ni­ties in bounc­ing through the events of floods, bush­fires, droughts and other com­mu­nity chal­lenges.

It’s your turn. We will all ex­pe­ri­ence bad events – I wish it wasn’t true but it is.

Ac­cept the sup­port of­fered and when it’s oth­ers’ turn, com­mit to your­self to re­pay the favours and help them.

These hard­ships will not break you.

Im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing the event, things gets bet­ter as peo­ple get busy fix­ing things and getting things right. Ac­tiv­ity dis­tracts. Sadly, there have been fa­tal­i­ties so those emo­tions and pro­cesses must be man­aged.

Typ­i­cally, in about three months, the emo­tions will kick in and it gets worse. This is where you truly re­alise the ef­fects of what hap­pened, how much it af­fected you and how much these events may have set you back.

Then your spirit will kick in and things get bet­ter as you start to ap­ply the re­silience strate­gies of ac­cep­tance fol­lowed by pos­i­tive prob­lem solv­ing be­hav­iour. You will ex­pe­ri­ence emo­tions.

But sep­a­rate your­self from these emo­tions and re-frame them – rather than say­ing “I am sad (or what­ever emo­tion)” say “I feel sad”. You are not your emo­tion.

It’s okay to ask for help. That help can come in many forms – from for­mal and of­fi­cial as­sis­tance from fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions/ ad­vi­sors, gov­ern­ment bod­ies such as Cen­tre­link to ring­ing your neigh­bour and or­gan­is­ing a catch-up to have a good old-fash­ioned chat.

En­gage with your chil­dren. Chil­dren need cer­tainty and they need to know that one or both of their par­ents have a plan and are in con­trol. If you don’t have a plan – don’t fib.

Chil­dren have a very per­cep­tive radar – just tell the truth and let them know that you are work­ing on a plan.

Go back to the ba­sics of en­sur­ing you sleep, eat and live well.

Dur­ing these times of re­cov­ery, we for­get the ba­sics, which de­lays the process in it­self. You can’t pour from an empty cup – look af­ter your­self so you can look af­ter oth­ers.

Rise above the storm and you will find the sun­shine.

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