Extreme weather has devastated millions of lives in North America and the rest of the world.
Calmer weather after the storm does not erase the tremendous psychological stress caused by these natural disasters, leaving many people at a heightened risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suffering symptoms that can last for years.
An estimated 4 percent of people who survive a natural disaster develop PTSD.
Here are some simple strategies to help reduce some of the mental stress of these experiences:
• Distract yourself. Playing games, listening to music, and watching movies or TV can help get your mind off the recent disaster and help to mitigate anxieties and worries.
• Try stress reduction exercises. Meditation, deep breathing, and other mindfulness techniques can improve mood and bolster coping mechanisms.
• Remain close with others. Spend time with friends and family and talk about your concerns so you don’t feel alone.
• Stay active. Physical exercise can lower anxiety levels, improve mood in general, and help you get restful sleep to improve your mental state the next day.
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