The emotional storm of severe weather in our area can linger long after the skies have cleared.
Between flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes, many of us have experienced and survived a few natural disasters. The recent storm didn’t bring the feared impacts, but may have left you stressed during the preparation, days waiting for landfall and endless media coverage.
Feelings of stress after the past few days is okay. We are a community that has survived many things and sometimes old thoughts and feelings can come back as we continue to experience a new hurricane season that brings about bad weather each year. Whenever you are feeling stressed, know that there are ways to relax and provide yourself some type of relief. Doing these exercises can help you feel more relaxed.
You may have been feeling a little anxious lately and walking is a great way to lessen your feelings of anxiety. Taking a walk gives you a chance to take a break from whatever stressful situation you may be dealing with at the moment. While on your walk, you may consider taking the opportunity to think through your situation and how you can make the most of it and get through it. Walking also gives you a sense of control as it is a positive action that you can take.
Staying locked up in your home while avoiding bad weather can have left you with some built up tension. Muscle tension is also a common response to stress. You should stretch to loosen up and release any tension you may have built up while waiting for the bad weather. To release tension focusing on your neck by sitting up straight, tucking your chin in, and pulling your head to the left and 10 seconds and then doing the same for the right. You can also release tension by reaching above your head and stretching your arms for 15 seconds, relaxing, and then repeating 3 times.
Breathing will allow you to relax and relieve any tension you may have. Do three deep breaths when doing a breathing exercise. Inhale through your nose, hold for 3 seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth as if you were going to whistle, and then repeat.
As you deal with the aftermath of flooding and bad weather, learn ways to relax yourself to limit your stress levels. Focusing your mind helps provide a stress relief. Remember to find ways to calm your mind by finding a quiet place to sit, clam your body with breathing exercises and stretches, and visualizing positive and peaceful settings to give yourself a mental break. Taking five to ten minutes out of your day to practice relaxation will help you feel more refreshed and prepare you to deal with stress as we get through the rest of the hurricane season.