Psychiatrist shares how to deal with storm stress in this tech-driven age
Even though Hurricane Dorian is long gone for Floridians, the stress brought on by storm season continues.
If you find yourself suffering from hurricane fatigue, Dr. Daniel Bober has plenty of tips and techniques to get your mental health back in check.
DEALING WITH TECH
“Well, sometimes technology is actually not your friend, right. You are looking at the phone every hour and it is highly reinforcing and sometimes just put the phone down.”
“I think by finding moderation and a balance. I think you can look a little bit to see when the storm is coming, but I don’t think you need to check every 10 minutes. You know, there was an interesting study that was done in the Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. And it showed that if you had even minor storm damage you had a 50 percent increase in depression and anxiety. And that’s not even talking about the people that have been displaced by the storm.”
MANAGING THE STRESS
“This is a form of chronic stress, right. So there’s chemicals released in your brain, like cortisol and adrenaline, and it’s like pushing the brake and hitting the gas at the same time. And after a while you just feel like you don’t know what to do with yourself because you’re mentally exhausted. So some of the things you can do are, you can, eat well, sleep well, stay hydrated. Yoga is good. Meditation. Getting off of the grid. All of these things really help with your mental health.”
“Chronic stress can affect your heart, can make you gain weight, can cause you to have high-blood pressure. So these are things that you need to practice self-care to sort of ameliorate the effects or blunt the effects of the chronic stress.”
KEEPING KIDS CALM
“Well, you don’t want to be too honest. You want to give them a sense of safety and security and tell them that everything is going to be alright because you are the person who is going to protect them. It has to be developmentally appropriate.”
DEVELOPING COPING SKILLS
“Every year it’s the same thing – running to the store and picking up water and picking up batteries. And then you try to go to your refrigerator after the storm has passed and there’s nothing in there but water and batteries. I mean, so it’s just sort of a routine that you have to get into and you have to sort of desensitize yourself to it a little bit because life has to go on and other things matter – your family, your friends, your job. Life must go on.”