Storm-related stress? Five self-help tips

by Joseph Halm

(Medical Xpress)—With Isaac coming ashore this morning (Aug. 29)—seven years from the date of Hurricane Katrina's landfall—New Orleanians are facing some unique stresses, along with the familiar ones. Jane Parker, Tulane School of Social Work professor, shares some of her tips for handling any storm in a healthy manner.

• Choose your source. "Pay attention to the information from credible weather sources and public officials only," says Parker, who also is director of the Institute for Psychosocial Health in social work. False or dramatic news coverage or storytelling produces added stress for no reason.

• Don't make the storm a 24-hour news marathon. Staying informed is one thing, but if you catch yourself sitting and worrying in front of the TV, clean up the house. Do something to take your mind off the storm.

• They're always watching. need to remember that children are always looking to their parents for cues. If they see their parents getting overly stressed, children may do so as well. "Parents need to remember that their children's reaction will be largely based on their own," Parker says.

• Take care of your body. One thing that often gets lost in a potential disaster situation is a person's physical well-being. It is extremely important to stay hydrated, schedule normal meals and get as much rest as possible because a healthy and cared-for body will lead to a solid state of mind.

• This too will pass. "Think to yourself, 'What did I learn from prior disasters that I can put in place to lower my own stress during this event?'" Parker says. This will blow through, and people "find a lot of in knowing that they're prepared and have dealt with these situations before."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Evaluate children's stress after natural disasters

Aug 28, 2012

As Hurricane Isaac nears the Gulf Coast, one may wonder what the impact of natural disasters are on children. Who is most at risk for persistent stress reactions? How can such youth be identified and assisted in the aftermath ...

Parents of Children With Disabilities Face More Daily Stress

Feb 17, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Raising a child with a disability can cause more daily stress and long-range health problems than parenting a child without disabilities, according to a new study that looked at a clinical measure of stress ...

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

Aug 29, 2014

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

Aug 29, 2014

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

User comments