Tourism and Events Information for Victoria’s tourism industry

Managing stress

Be aware of stress symptoms after a crisis event

Personal recovery takes time. People will respond to crises at different times and in different ways. Some people will feel the greatest impact immediately afterwards. Others will feel it six months or more after the event.

The more people who are aware of the symptoms of stress after a crisis, the more likely they can do something about it.

Seek counselling

Talking to a counsellor is a good way to discuss openly about your concerns and sort through them as they can provide impartial and unbiased advice, as opposed to someone who is part of your family or friendship circles.

You might want to make counselling available for managers and staff.

Details of services and additional information can be obtained from your general practitioner, local community health centre or local community mental health service.

Stress in your community

Adapted from Managing Emotions in Emergencies – for people working with affected communities by the Department of Fairness,Families and Housing.

As a business person in your local community, you may be involved in community meetings or working with others to assist in the recovery. An awareness of how people may respond to a crisis can be helpful, especially if people behave in challenging ways.

Crises pose threats to people, their property and environment. This can cause feelings of uncertainty or fear. In dangerous situations people can become highly emotional.

Why people become anxious or angry

A crisis causes physical and mental tension that needs to be relieved. This is done in three ways:

  1. Survival-oriented activity relieves tension by acting to reduce threat. This can cause people to have increased energy, strength, perception and emotional toughness.
  2. Tension may be changed into anxiety or fearfulness. People may need reassurance or guidance, be tearfulness, trembling, lack of confidence, rely on others, or have difficulty thinking clearly or making decisions. Anxiety undermines a person's sense of their competence. It's a threat in itself, as it keeps tension up and creates a need for reassurance that may not be available.
  3. Tension may be released as anger. Anger is a survival emotion that falsely increases certainty by finding a focus and assigning blame and responsibility. Anger tends to be directed at people with responsibility, rather than the natural disaster that has been caused by environmental factors.

Interacting with emotional people

Anxiety can be reduced by providing reassurance and a level of certainty. This can be from:

  • Providing information about assistance (accommodation, financial needs, communication with family).
  • Providing emotional support to help people manage anxiety.
  • Not giving justifications or retaliating to unfair accusations as this may further aggravate someone.
  • Allowing the person with the anger/anxiety to have their voice heard. Tension can generally be relieved when they have communicated their concerns as it reduces their level of emotion by allowing them to say freely what is on their mind.
  • Respecting their worries, fears and grievances by saying so, and by showing you are listening through your body language. Letting people talk is the best way to calm down them down.
Page last updated: 27 Feb 2024
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