You Got This: How to Manage Mental Health During Peak Hurricane Season

Jane Gros Verdin
August 29, 2022
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Today, we remember that Hurricane Ida changed so many of our lives a year ago. As we still recover, the anniversary along with being in peak hurricane season may strike up some emotions, and maintaining mental health during such a time is essential.

 

LCMC Health* recently released an article explaining that firsthand living through an extreme storm can cause depression, anxiety, fear, and worry about future events. This type of reaction is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the organization, there are warning signs that may appear:


 

  • Flashbacks and feelings of reliving traumatic events
  • Bad dreams about the event
  • Severe emotional and/or physical distress
  • Uncontrollable physical reactions when thinking about the event may include a racing heart, trouble breathing, and sweating
  • Being fearful and/or easily frightened
  • Self-destructive behavior such as drinking and drug use
  • Insomnia
  • Depression, anxiety, and negative thoughts
  • Forgetfulness and memory issues
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Feeling isolated or detached
  • Numbness and difficulty feeling positive emotions

 

These feelings and symptoms are normal and one that feels them should learn healthy ways to manage them and reach out to get professional help. Here are some ways to manage heightened emotions during peak hurricane season while you’re still recovering from Hurricane Ida:

 

  • Manage your stress with calming activities that you enjoy. That can include meditation, exercise, fishing, or drinking tea in your favorite spot. Participating in mindfulness can be a healthy way to treat anxiety and depression by rooting ourselves in the present moment, focusing, and practicing non-reactivity.
  • Focus on preparedness. Some find that preparing for the next storm can help ease anxiety. Creating emergency plans, prepping a hurricane box, and making sure your house is ready may ease anxiety knowing that you’re ready for this next trial. 
  • Regulate Physical and Emotional Health. By regulating your health, physical and emotional, you can ease anxiety and depression. Regulate your health with healthy eating, rest, relaxation, exercise, and working with a mental health professional to stay well. This also includes diving into hobbies.
  • Seek Support if You are Struggling. It’s okay to not be okay and it’s healthy to reach out when you need help. Reach out to someone you know, or if you need a professional, reach out to these resources:

 

* LCMC Health is a New Orleans-based, non-profit health system with a mission to provide high-quality care for every person and parish in Louisiana and beyond, “and to put a little more heart and soul into healthcare along the way. And that means we do things a little differently around here.” The organization believes in treating people like family, which is the Louisiana way, and they have grown into a health system that’s built to serve needs across New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. For more information, visit the website here.