In the wake of natural disasters, we can be quick to jump into problem-solving mode—jumping straight to how to seek physical refuge. Natural disasters anywhere can be scary. Natural disasters in highly populated areas where millions of people live, work, and travel? Downright terrifying.

Whether you’re living in California an affected physically by the Getty Fires or are watching from the side-lines, it’s important to check-in with your mental health.

So, deep breaths, let’s get to this. Here are three ways to take care of mental health during the Getty Fires:

  1. Find a pal. You don’t have to get through disasters like this alone. Find someone who will let you unload even the hardest stuff. We’ve all heard the adage to put on a brave face when confronted with adversity. Here’s your reminder that reaching out for help is brave. It’s one of the bravest things you can do. Because, you can’t show up for others or think clearly until you take care of yourself. (Pro-Tip: Unsure of where to find a pal who will totally get what you’re going through? That’s what Crisis Text Line is here for. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
  2. Stay safe. We get it, evacuating your home is hard—especially if you have circumstances that make it hard to move. As nerve-wracking as it may be to leave your home, the most important thing is your physical safety. The good news is you don’t need to make the tough calls. Follow the directions of your local authorities. Their job is to keep you safe. Can’t get to safety alone? First responders have your back. Reach out for help; your safety is important. 
  3. Show up for the community. Even if you don’t live in California, you might still be understandably anxious and stressed out by the fires. Hello, it’s our planet we’re talking about! Channel that anxiety into action and find ways to support local organizations that are supporting communities devastated by the fire. Support animals that have been displaced by the fires or donate to an LA or Sonoma County food bank. At Crisis Text Line, we also know that kind words go a long way to help someone in crisis. Try sending a thank you note to first responders in the area. They’re hard at work keeping everyone safe and deserve some kindness thrown their way. 

Worried about the fires in California? Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.