Finding Your Calm After a Storm
Hurricane season can be a whirlwind of stress and anxiety. Preparing your home and yard for high winds and floodwaters, procuring storm supplies, making evacuation arrangements, and ensuring the safety of loved ones can be overwhelming. Just tuning into the media's storm coverage can add to the uneasiness.
Natural disasters often cause a deep sense of uncertainty and contribute to severe stress. It's not uncommon for people to experience a wide range of unsettling emotions in the time leading up to a storm, during it, and afterwards. For this reason, it's important that people take time to mentally and emotionally recenter once the storm clouds clear, or sooner if possible.
Tips to destress after the storm
Besides putting leftover sandbags into storage and bringing the lawn furniture back outside, mental health maintenance should also be a priority.
Below are tips from Florida Health to help you recover from intense weather events.
- Get adequate rest and sleep
- Eat healthy meals
- Exercise in moderation
- Try to maintain a schedule
- Talk to another person for support
- Spend time with others
- Take breaks
- Schedule pleasant activities
- Keep a written or photographic journal
- Find a local support group
- Seek counseling
Some people may experience prolonged depression following a devastating storm. If you experience lingering feelings of despair and need confidential counseling, referrals, or other support, call or text the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Prepare now for less stress later
It may be impossible to fully avoid stress during hurricane season, but preparing ahead of time for storms can help. Doing so can keep you, your family, and property safe. It may also alleviate anxiety before and during a storm.
Residents may also find the Hillsborough County Disaster Preparedness Guide helpful. This publication is available in English and Spanish.