The Dixie

Here we are in the middle of another huge fire. It's the middle of August , and the Dixie Fire is over 500,000 acres. Another town has burned down, and thousands of First Responders are again away from their families, working for over 20 days straight, and suffering.

And, its not just the Firefighters, the CHP, the deputies on duty. Its also those who are off, who are home, who are worried about what is to come, or still responding to cues of what has been.

I try to explain this to my clients. I explain that their limbic system, the part of the brain that is similar to a fire alarm is over working, it is responding to the cues in the environment that tell us we aren't safe. The smoke, the heat, the way the light is in the evening. Then, even though we ARE safe...their brain is activated as though we AREN'T safe. It reads those cues and then sends signals to the body to be ready....danger is eminent.

Then we can't relax, we leave the window of tolerance, either in the hyper state (anxiety)...or the hypo state (shut-down). Neither of these are healthy or comfortable.

During this time, as my clients who are First Responders struggle, it is important to continue to practice what helps them stay regulated. The soothing activities they have come up with...reading, exercise, drinking lots of water, floating in the pool or float spa, connecting with friends, swimming with their friends, coming in and doing Brainspotting, or EMDR.

This is also true for the other residence in the state of California (or any other burning Western state). We all need to work on emotional regulation.

Notice what is happening in our bodies

Name that feeling (name it to Tame it)

Ask ourselves what we Need

Remind ourselves that in this moment we ARE SAFE.

I hope if you are reading this it is helpful. Knowing that you are not alone...that there are things that you can do to feel better...and that this reaction has nothing to do with how strong you are, what kind of person you are. It has to do with your Brain reacting to your environment. Learning to override this response is key.

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