If life is in danger
Beyond Blue 24/7 crisis support
Fortem Australia during business hours
Humans are social creatures. Having relationships with others lifts mood through reinforcing social bonds and our sense of belonging. When we are in dangerous situations, belonging to a group can make us feel needed, supported, and safe, while improving our self-esteem and confidence. This social connectedness helps to protect us against the effects of repeated exposure to traumatic events.
Connection contributes significantly to quality of psychological wellbeing. This includes:
Connection can feel like a chore when we are burnt out. Start small and call a friend for a chat, a cuppa, or a walk.
Hold yourself accountable and don’t let other people’s calendars dishearten you – use more than one person in your network.
If you have things to get done at home, invite a friend to help. Likewise, consider offering a hand to a friend or neighbour -helping others helps to create purpose and meanings in our day-to-day lives, so it’s a win-win.
It seems really simple – and it is. Writing down who and what has meaning to you, and making concerted efforts to reach out, helps us remain connected when our tired minds might be looking to retreat. Write a list of activities and people who make you feel safe and energised, or write an email, message, or letter to a friend.
It’s easy to neglect connecting properly to the people with whom we spend the most time. Purposeful connection with your family or inner circle strengthens and deepens meaningful bonds.
Make time to read the kids a story (or have them read to you), gather for a board game, or use meal times to reflect on your day.
We’ve all heard that going through a traumatic experience can forge and strengthen relationships. It is not uncommon, however, for our support networks to be disrupted following a disaster or traumatic event. You may feel too busy rebuilding your day-to-day to spend time socialising, or perhaps the places you used to gather feel too painful to return to. But rebuilding social connections after a disaster is incredibly important. People need people.
Connection gives us a sense of belonging, a feeling of being cared for, and reminds us that we are not alone. In this support we can gain assurance that our reactions are normal, and share burdens – whether emotional (a debrief, or cry) or practical (help with the kids or house).
Fortem offers a range of Wellbeing Activities which connect you with other first responder families – either virtually, or in your local area.
We see new faces and cross paths with new people all the time. Whether you’re working, running errands, or taking the kids to classes or sport, there are opportunities to make broad connections and strengthen existing bonds.