Surviving a Hurricane emotionally is something that is not covered widely in the news.
They cover the clean up, the cost of the devastation, the loss of life and how long it is going to rebuild the infrastructure.
You do not hear or read too much about the emotional effect it has on everyone. I have just survived Hurricane Mathew and for me it was very stressful. More stressful than I thought it would be. Knowing all the tools I have and how I teach all my clients to overcome stress, this was a big surprise to me that I was having such a stressful time.
I have lots of friends and family throughout Florida and South Carolina and through Facebook was keeping up to date with what everyone was going through. Some of my friends were terrified and some were just riding it out and having parties. I must admit the night before Matthew was meant to hit us my husband and I did go to a local restaurant for a hurricane party.
The reality hit when we had to put the shutters up, fill the bath with water and make sure all the necessary emergency supplies were at hand in case we lost power. We were now shut in – in the dark with the lights on all day waiting for the storm. We could not see out the windows so had to keep opening the front door so we could see what was going on outside. The Weather Channel was on constantly so we could see what was happening and facebook was also keeping us updated.
My stress level was getting worse, I was tapping madly to keep myself calm and was again surprised at how this hurricane was making me feel so stressed.
My main point here is, if someone like me who has been teaching how to manage stress for more than 20 years can become stressful with a hurricane, how are the people without the knowledge and tools feeling, how stressed and afraid are they?
The Hurricane has now passed out of reach for the moment but there is a possibility it will turn and come back and then there is another one on the tail of this one called Nicole and she is set to hit also. How is the stress level of millions of people right now.? Dealing with the aftermath of Matthew, waiting for him to come back and then prepare for Nicole to hit also. At the time of writing this there were more than 800 deaths due to Matthew
How do you survive?
If you were affected directly by losing someone to the hurricane, the grief you go through is that of extreme loss and you must get professional help to deal with this loss. Having a support system is also key. There are ways to get financial support if you look through your local area and find the different fundings available. As the President declared a state of emergency there will be some National funding as well.
Support groups can be found and if there are none, -set one up yourself so that you can all share your experiences and know you are not alone. Please do not overlook the children, even the very young will have been affected by all the insecure moments and fears felt by the adults. If you were evacuated then the children will have been taken out of their routine and seen and felt the stress and panic from everyone around them.
There are helplines you can also use where there are professionals who can talk you through the crisis, fear, stress, and panic of what to do next.
This is ongoing, this is not something that goes away as soon as the storm leaves. When the last hurricane came through Florida I had a 4 year old client who was scared of the wind. Even a slight breeze would send this child into hysterics. Please be aware of what your children and family and friends are going through. Also please check on your elderly neighbors who are also going through emotional stress right now.
As I have said in my previous posts Emotional Freedom Techniques is a great tool to use for this and so easy to teach your kids also,
As I said this is not something that some people will get over in a few days, some people are going to carry this with them for some time. Get help as soon as you can there are so many resources for you to choose from, please use them. Here are a few.
There are many more sites and help available just search from them in your local area and you will find them. You are not alone in this and your emotional state is real. If you are afraid to go outside then please call someone and they can help you over the phone, skype or come and visit you.
Stay safe and please remember stress and fear are real and although you may feel safe right now you are still carrying those emotions around. Deal with them so they do not build up and affect your health.
I am dealing with mine right now and will continue to do so over this coming week-end.
Stay safe – Helen