Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on not just our community and property, but on our emotions as well. Even if you were lucky enough to escape the storm without suffering any losses, the psychological toll from the stress of preparing for the storm, riding the storm out or evacuating, and now dealing with the aftermath can be a lot to handle.
If you are feeling stressed out, be sure to speak up. Family members may be just as stressed as you, but you’re all in this together so talking can be very helpful. Leaning on friends during these difficult times is also a good idea. Many people want to help but are unsure how they can make a difference. Just picking up the phone and calling a friend to talk about what you’re feeling will help you let off some steam and allow the friend to be helpful.
If you are having severe anxiety, trouble sleeping or trouble functioning in day-to-day tasks, please consult your doctor right away. These can be symptoms of post-traumatic stress and can be treated to help you feel better.
Pay close attention to your children, as they may be more affected by the storm than you think. Seeing images of flooded neighborhoods, watching the news about other hurricanes, or hearing stories from friends and classmates can be very upsetting. Make sure you explicitly tell your kids that they are safe and that things will be OK.
Lending a helping hand to those affected by the storm can be very cathartic. Organized groups through churches, schools, and even CrossFit gyms are looking for volunteers. Or just go to a flooded neighborhood and offer to help – the residents will be grateful. There is lots of work to be done, so even if you cannot volunteer right now, people will still need help for many months to come.