By Carl Manning, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross
The endless images of flooded homes and tornado destruction coupled with repeated warnings of what seems like potential doom and gloom can cause people to feel like the world is closing in and there’s nothing they can do about it.
Recent social media posts in Texas bear witness to a mounting stress among those who have watched the string of severe weather go from days to weeks with no immediate end in sight.
Seriously can’t stand this d— Texas weather right now!!!and I officially hate rain now!!!
— Jay Pati (@SamoanSavage37) May 15, 2015
Such reaction to stressful situations are normal, even if you haven’t suffered any personal loss, said Jerry Montgomery, who’s overseeing the Red Cross disaster mental health counselors in Texas. “Stress is stress. Just because you haven’t lost your home doesn’t mean you’re not experiencing a lot of stress,” the Michigan City, Ind. volunteer said.
Often people under stress feel physically and mentally drained, get frustrated more quickly and more often.
For instance, during stressful times it’s important to eat properly and maintain a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and get some rest.
Staying connected with friends and family is important because getting support reduces that feeling of being alone.
Another tip is to be patient with those around you and recognize that everyone is stressed and may need time to put their feelings and thoughts in order.
Remain positive and remember having successfully gone through other tough times and reach out when support is needed and help others when they need it.