Returning home after the evacuation: how to survive the stress?
A conversation with psychotherapist Oksana Polonska.
Oksana Polonska: We all associate home with something different. For some, it is aesthetics, beauty, connection with the roots, security, as well as other meanings. We come home and find out that, psychologically, we were either not ready to meet our home, or something has changed in our perception of the home. This can especially be difficult when the home doesn’t symbolize safety.
You must remember that you may experience discomfort when you return home. You may not feel it right away. This can also appear after a frenzy of joy. On the other hand, maybe you remember how you experienced the first day of the war. It can bring you back into states that were difficult for you. Be prepared for this to happen.
To help yourself during this period of strong emotions, have a reserve of grounding techniques, to return to your old self (you can find them on the Internet):
- Deep breathing. Feel some strong emotions, even joy. Stop and take a breath. Even walk around your apartment barefoot so that your body understands that changes are happening around you.
- If you want to cry, cry, you don’t have to stop this impulse.
- You can clean the apartment and throw away garbage and spoiled food.
- Experience sharp smells and tastes.
You may not like some things: windows that are too big or broken doors. Be prepared that the house you are in is a space in which you are the owner. You can transform the house and the reality around you.
Maybe you feel that you do not have the energy to transform something, or that you want to lie down and not move. In these cases, you should contact a specialist because these can be signs of depression and severe emotional states.