The Emotional Toll of A Natural Disaster
The entire world is focused on the devastation taking place in my beloved state of Texas. I was born in Houston and lived in the area for 40 years. Now as a resident of North Texas, I can only watch from afar the devastation that is taking place. There is a helpless feeling as we hear from friends and family battling the ravages of the storm and historic flooding.
The rescue stories are prolific and ongoing. Watching tiny babies as well as the ederly trying to be evacuated is tough to watch. Through all of this, the area braces for yet more predicted rainfall. People are weary, in shock and are absolutely numb.
Obviously, mental fatigue and exhaustion setting in. This is true for those of us watching from afar. Being able to deal with it is essential. Listening to your body is key.
Here are a few tips when dealing with the mental exhaustion after a natural disaster:
- Allow yourself time to grieve. No matter how emotionally strong you are, these types of events take their toll on everyone.
- Monitor your children. They too are affected and may not know how to deal with it.
- Seek out professional help when you need to.
- Diversion such as pitching in to volunteer to help others is an excellent way to take your mind off of you own crisis. Amazingly, being around others that you are able to help is extremely healing.
- Try and get plenty of rest. In fact, you may find that you need more rest than normal as you are mentally exhausted.
- Eat well and nurture yourself. We get physically ill when we ignore our own needs.
- Through the storms, hang on to the things in life that you are grateful for. Re-focusing your thoughts can do a world of good.
- It is OK to cry! Let it out!
- Talk to others. Hearing from friends and family can really help.
- Don't lose hope. Hang on to your faith, your friends and your family!
Sending love and hope and prayers to everyone in Texas who are directly and indireclty affected. Help is on the way. Be smart and be safe.