Today I found myself thinking on my feet. I had to put something together. This was an actual emergency. It required a fast and appropriate response. A solution that would one hundred percent deliver what was in need.
Having received a message letting me know a meeting needed to be cancelled. The person meeting with me had been in a car accident. I had been given reassurances that everything was fine with them.
Now after I had got past my own shock, I needed to make them feel as safe as possible. I was not about to add to this persons experience any further. That was simple. A quick response saying ‘don’t for a second think about me we will catch up another time, thank goodness you are ok.’ I then received a message with further details about the days events.
I never ever take for granted my interactions with anyone. I might have taken my medic badge off years ago but my experience has taught me to always use this next step.
Assess the situation. Now I don’t know this person well, we have spoken twice. We where not face to face. I knew she had sustained zero injuries. But yet alarm bells were ringing in my head. Why?
Because I know if incidents are not processed by the subconscious mind. It can cause a living nightmare for a person quite literally. I’m getting all doom and gloomy here. And there is no need really.
As the solution is simple. My next message contained what I like to call Emotional 1st Aid. When you cut or bang yourself hard enough a pretty clear bat signal goes up that something needs to be done. Be it shove a plaster on it or get some ice. And the same is true of a reactionary moment that has seriously fired up our fight, flight or fright response (or the triple ‘F’ response). For example a pretty extreme near miss in a car. In this case it was not the drivers fault.
Experience of how we move past trauma, has taught me. Individuals must absolutely feel empowered to make decisions. That not only move them to a place of safety physically but also emotionally hours or even days later.
This is how to kick start that process.
Emotional 1st Aid has three components
Talk about the incident with someone you trust will listen to you, no judging shaming or fixing …just good solid listening.
If there is no one that can fill that sacred space for you right now. Write everything down, everything that happened, everything you felt, shock, anger, fear the lot … This is for your eyes only so go to town. Get it out and on paper. If necessary write an alternate ending one that provides your mind with a safe and helpful solution.
‘what we think we believe‘
Practice some sort of gratitude exercise later in the day to put some balance back in your day. Think of 5 things you are grateful for, write them down.
In two weeks time check in with yourself, make sure you have moved past this incident in a way that is suitable for you.
If it is still sitting with you in anyway that doesn’t fit right with you. Talk to someone you trust about it.
Remember this is Emotional 1st Aid, it is not designed to be a solution to a big enormous life event. But it would alert you to get help if you took these steps.
Ultimately I know it helps.