The amount of stress built up in preparing, experiencing, and recovering from a natural disaster can be a difficult feat to overcome.
Hurricane Sandy has left thousands of Americans in its path at a loss; a loss of power, a home, or a loved one. Dealing with the anxiety left behind can be overwhelming, but you are not alone. Mental health experts believe that this type of emotional distress is common and even healthy.
Richard Heaps, a clinical psychologist and professor at Brigham Young University, believes the grief experienced after a disaster is a normal emotional behavior.
“It’s OK to mourn losses,” Heaps said. “It’s not an abnormal reaction, but healthy and appropriate.”
Heaps and his colleague Melissa Bryner, the director of Terrorism and Disaster Programs at the UCLA/Drake University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress provide steps on managing stress after a disaster.
1. Stay connected to others-Heaps and Bryner believe that it is best to avoid isolating yourself by staying connected to other people. When dealing with such strong emotions, they recommend finding comfort in relationships rather than withdrawing. When worrying about family members and friends, they advise that you maintain consistent contact to feel assured that they are okay. Regular contact can be as convenient as sending a text message or using social media.
2. Operate self-care and get back to a routine-Bryner strongly recommends taking the time to rest before jumping back into a hectic work schedule. They believe overworking can often suppress and mask the emotional stress. This involves eating well and getting enough sleep. Heaps and Bryner also suggest getting back into old routines that can help you move forward.
3. Tell your story– The experts said that telling your story to friends and family orally or through the written word can provide healing. They believe that talking or journaling about the experience can develop understanding which aids the moving on process.
4. Honor other ways of coping- While one method of coping may ease or speed the healing process for you, the experts recognize that it may not work for another. Heaps and Bryner believe each individual reacts and responds differently to disasters therefore their process of coping will be just as unique. They also find that the grieving period may vary among people.
5. Limit disaster exposure–Even though there are constant updates and stories about the disaster, Heaps and Bryner suggest limiting the amount of time used watching the news, posting pictures, or reading social media posts about the events. They find that it has the tendency to open old wounds that can stifle the healing process.
6. Discover and practice meditation-When a moment seems to be overwhelming or the anxiety starts to build, Heaps and Bryner suggest using meditation methods such as deep breathing or praying that can have calming effects. They also recommend using music or self-talking to assure yourself that things are OK now and you are safe.
7. Extend a helping hand-Heaps and Bryner believe providing service to others can be a therapeutic activity. They feel that helping someone else move forward can also aid your own progress.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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