How to Rebuild after a Natural Disaster

The road to recovery starts on the inside.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Image from Eyewitness News abc7 WABC-TV

When faced with natural disaster, emotions run wild.

Scared, helpless, frustrated, angry, stressed, anxious, defeated, lost, or even hopeless, may be part of those emotions during the onset of devastation.

With Harvey, Irma, wild fires, and earthquakes lately, the level of destruction and devastation at the hands of Mother Nature is at a high right now, and living in Florida for over a decade of my life (including Key West), I want to spread some love, hope, and support to anyone suffering right now.

The road to recovery and rebuilding starts on the inside.

When faced with any loss, it is important to allow yourself to FEEL whatever emotions you are feeling, but it is equally important not to allow yourself to wallow in that space.

Yes, it hurts, it’s scary, it’s devastating, and I will never discount anything and everything that you feel, but your present circumstances do not dictate your future. They never have, and they never will.

Here are 5 ways to rebuild; From the inside out:

#1 Give and Receive Love

Love is a powerful human emotion. There are numerous articles available on Psychology Today that demonstrate the evident connection between love and happiness. Giving and receiving love can be as simple as saying the words, “I love you,” or replying with “I love you too.” It can be a warm embrace, an ear to listen, or a shoulder to cry on. However you choose to give and receive love, is completely and totally acceptable. It is not important how, it is just important to do it in order to start to recover from the inside out.

#2 Gratitude

I personally have a saying, “Gratitude changes your attitude,” and I cannot express how true this has been in my own life. When faced with disaster, devastation, and loss, although it may not be easy, choose gratitude. There is always something to be grateful for, even if it is just that you and your family are safe. Shift your focus from what you have lost, to gratitude for what you have.

# 3 Intentionally Seek Beauty and Abundance

The key word in that statement is intentionally. Even amidst physical devastation from disaster, you are able to seek beauty and abundance. Is there a rainbow after the storm? Is there an old tree that is still standing tall? Does the smile on your child’s face bring joy to your heart? All of these are examples of beauty despite chaos. Are you surrounded by love and support from family and friends? Do you still have access to food and water? Do you have something that lights up your soul in the darkness? All evident abundance. Shifting your perspective from loss to beauty and abundance will help you to begin to rebuild from the inside.

#4 Find the Fun

I know what you might be thinking, “Find the fun?” That’s crazy! And, yes, it may be, but finding fun can be uplifting on your road to recovery. A simple game that creates laughter when you play with family and friends, reading books by flashlight in a blanket tent with your kids, witnessing a pet or child play in a puddle after the storm, or simply enjoying the fun that can occur when you are surrounded by people who bring meaning to your life. Smiling and laughing creates endorphins in your brain (your happy chemicals), so find fun in any way you can.

# 5 Seek Support

Don’t be too proud. Don’t act like you are unfazed. Don’t hold all your thoughts and emotions inside, like a pot ready to boil on the stove. You will eventually boil over, and it will not serve you or those around you. Reach out and receive the support you need. Embrace your community. Help others that need you, but also accept support when you need it. Disaster is a time to band together and support one another. Seeking support will help to heal your soul and realize the potential of a bright future moving forward.

For assistance with rebuilding on the outside if you experience a natural disaster in the United States, visit FEMA to discover what you are eligible for, and to apply for assistance APPLY HERE.

Wishing you love, resilience, and strength always.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.