Everyday stress management is in some ways similar and in other ways different from when we face a major crisis. We are much more intense or focused when facing a crisis and many times in a survival mode. Our stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine and cranking and we are prone to adrenal burnout.
As you have seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, this survival mode brings out the best and the worst in people. Some people are polite and kind and others are aggressive and combative.
We can help as well as be helped by our friends, family and neighbors through moral support as well as practical support with things like cooking meals, help with children, or even sometimes financial assistance.
A Dozen Tips:
1. Don't beat yourself up about what you should have down before the storm to have prepared better. Whatever happened is water under the bridge.
2. Make a list now as far as what essentials need to be done and when.
3. Have the people in your group made up of friends, family and neighbors that are the best at certain things, do those things. Essentials range from but are not limited to: Staying warm by raising and lowering window treatments to insulate the house or let in sunlight, using fireplaces, etc. Purchasing food, obtaining fresh water and preparing meals. Getting gasoline and generator maintenance (if you have one).
4. Social Support - Sharing stories, venting and being there to listen as well as giving helpful advice as far as how to get by until power is restored.
5. Make sure to get enough sleep, drink enough water, try to exercise and make sure to wear enough layers of clothing.
6. Try to meditate , take mental breaks and pray. This will also help you not to get sick.
7. Try to exercise if you can, but don't do any exercise that you are not used to.
8. Write a journal about what is happening. This may be of great interest to you and your family in years to come. It also reduces stress.
9. Stay on top of the news as far as if tap water is safe to drink and when power should be restored.
10. Make sure to file insurance claims in a timely manner or to apply for disaster aid if you are eligible.
11. Make sure to keep up with your supplements. Omega 3 fatty acids are very good for stress reduction and boosting the immune system.
12. Try to maintain a positive attitude. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Tell yourself that this is a temporary inconvenience and that you and your family will get through this one step at a time.
These tips may help prevent you from being overwhelmed and help you successfully managing stress during this crisis.
If you find yourself unable to cope, seek professional help ASAP.