Many Anxious After Hurricane Sandy

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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.

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