Coping with the Psychological Impact of a Residential Fire - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jun 4, 2019

Coping with the Psychological Impact of a Residential Fire

There are few things more devastating than a home fire. The loss of valuable possessions coupled with possible physical injury often lead to tremendous distress. 

While the flames have been extinguished and you’ve salvaged what you were able to, you and your family are now dealing with the emotional impact of the catastrophe. You’ve lost things that can never be replaced and having your home destroyed has also shattered your sense of security and comfort. 

It’s going to take time to recover. And while everyone copes differently, there are steps you can take to aid in your emotional recovery. Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin to move on and rebuild:

Anticipate strong emotional responses

You and your family just endured a tragedy. It’s normal for strong emotions such as anger and grief to crop up unexpectedly. Be patient with yourself and with your family and remind yourself that these feelings are all a part of the healing process. Embrace them, knowing that doing so will help with your recovery. 

Talk it out

Fight the urge to keep your thoughts and feelings bottled up. Talking with your friends and family members will help you express your feelings and recover emotionally. If possible, it also helps to talk with those who have undergone a similar experience. Try searching for support groups in your local area. 

Find time for the things you love

Following a home fire you’re going to be busy with restoration planning. That doesn’t mean your life should come to a halt. Now, more than ever, it’s important to make time for the things that bring you joy. 

Try stress-reducing techniques

Whether it’s journaling, practicing meditation or exercising, find a way to keep your stress levels in check.

Practice gratitude

Given the situation, you may find this one to be challenging. But focusing on what you’re grateful for will help you move on from what you’ve lost. 

Take care of yourself 

Eat well-balanced meals and get plenty of sleep. Sticking to a regular schedule will help you maintain a sense of normalcy.

Be a support system for children

If children were involved with the fire, it’s especially important to make yourself available to them as a support system. Kids have a more difficult time dealing with tragedy and will be especially susceptible to grief, anger and fear. Because kids are so strongly influenced by their parents and the adults in their life, it’s important to lead by example and stick to a regular schedule to maintain a sense of normalcy. Also, remind them that it’s OK to cry and encourage them to express their emotions in a healthy manner.

Finally, remind yourself that this, too, shall pass. Treat yourself with kindness and don’t be afraid to seek help from family, friends and professionals.