LOS ANGELES — After a natural disaster, short-term emotional stress and behavioral reactions are both common and normal, U.S. experts say.
Melissa Brymer, director of Terrorism and Disaster Programs at the UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, and Richard Heaps, a clinical psychologist and professor at Brigham Young University, said mourning loss is healthy and appropriate, CNN reports.
They suggest strategies for stress management following natural disasters include:
- People experiencing strong emotional reactions might withdraw and pull inside themselves and this hampers managing and dealing with the stress of traumatic incidents. Do not withdraw from important relationships.
- Keep in touch with people you are worried about, so you know what is happening instead of continuing to worry.
- Don’t rely too much on national TV or radio; find out what’s happening in your own area.
- Strive for a return to normalcy.
- Think about what you’re eating. Do your best to sleep enough.
- Storytelling — oral, in writing or whatever other form it may take — can be healing.
- There is no one way of coping so honor different ways that people express themselves about the event.
- Curb watching repeated TV images of the disaster.
- Calm yourself during anxious moments via deep breathing, meditation, music, singing or praying.