Ochsner Health is a system that delivers health to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate.
During hurricane season and with Hurricane Zeta poised to impact Louisiana, some of us may experience heightened anxiety levels about what the next few days and weeks might bring. Add in the stresses of COVID-19, election season and what seems like bad news almost daily, storm stress could prove to be especially overwhelming for some. But simply being aware of your anxiety levels can help you get a healthy perspective on the situation.
“By managing your stress, you will, in turn, help your family to manage their own,” said Dean Hickman, MD, chair of psychiatry, Ochsner Health. “Children can be especially vulnerable to the moods of their parents. With that in mind, calm and supportive reactions regarding evacuations and crises can go a long way in alleviating the stress of your entire household.”
Below are some helpful tips for reducing “natural disaster stress”:
Hurricane season can be a long and most of us are looking forward to 2021 in hopes that the new year will bring better days. You may feel the effects of severe stress for weeks at a time, especially during and after a particularly devastating storm. The following reactions could occur:
Many of these symptoms are completely normal but if they persist or negatively impact your personal and/or professional life, you should seek the help of a professional mental health provider.
“While you might feel exhausted, it’s important to not let your guard down when the threat of severe weather is imminent,” continued Dr. Hickman. “This has been a year like no other in recent memory and it seems like the stress will never end, but don’t give in to ‘2020 fatigue.’ Focus on the task at hand, take it one day—or one hour—at a time and ask for help when you need it.”
Remember that it’s important to take care of not only your physical health during hurricane season and beyond, but also your mental well-being.
Appointments with licensed therapists are available from the comfort of your home with Ochsner Anywhere Care virtual visits. Ochsner Anywhere Care, Ochsner’s telehealth program, provides behavioral health and well-being virtual visits seven days a week, 6 a.m.- 10 p.m. CST. Users can connect with providers through a secure, interactive video via their smartphone, tablet or personal computer. Visit www.ochsner.org/anywherecare to get started.
For the latest updates from Ochsner Health visit www.Ochsner.org/weather.