Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Overcoming Hurricane stress: Getting a grip after Sandy leaves town

Date:
November 2, 2012
Source:
Greenwich Hospital
Summary:
The upheaval brought about by a natural disaster the likes of Hurricane Sandy forces us to reorganize how we see the world.

It's more than chaos. It's more than uncertainty. The upheaval brought about by a natural disaster the likes of Hurricane Sandy forces us to reorganize how we see the world.

"We lose our mental mind map," says Henri Roca, MD, medical director of Greenwich Hospital's Integrative Medicine Program in Greenwich, Connecticut. "The challenge is that everything is different, from the places we usually go, the routes we drive, the colleagues and friends we see. We don't realize how much we depend on the things we consider solid and foundational," said Dr. Roca. "We lose our foundation, sometimes literally. Totally capable individuals under other circumstances don't know what to do," added Roca.

Stress can manifest itself in feelings of listlessness, helplessness or indecisiveness, or as fear and anxiety, or with changes in sleep or appetite. "People tend to retreat to their houses, when the way out of the chaos and stress is exactly the opposite," said Dr. Roca, a New Orleans native who helped individuals cope with Hurricane Katrina stress before he relocated to Connecticut.

To keep yourself strong and positive as much as possible when facing the adversity of natural disaster and upheaval, Dr. Roca suggests:

1. Pay attention to nutrition, and eat a diet high in protein. Stay away from sweets and carbohydrates, especially simple carbs from white flour. You need protein to make neurotransmitters, the chemicals that help give you a sense of resilience.

2. Focus on exercise, even if it's just taking a walk as a family. Keep moving. Exercise helps to reduce depression. So does sunlight.

3. Seek other people. Talk to neighbors. Visit friends and family. Ask for help if you need it.

4. Re-prioritize. The things you need will come with time. The things you want will have to wait.

5. Find ways to relax. Gentle music, meditation, deep breathing or quiet time reading can provide a well-needed break.

6. Allow for your time to be flexible. Under the circumstances, you just can't be in a hurry. You have to let go of perfection. You do the best that you can do.

With clocks going back the weekend after Hurricane Sandy, days will be shorter. Even one less hour of sunlight each day can trigger feelings of depression in susceptible people. This can make a stressful situation worse. If you have electricity in your home or office, use full spectrum lighting. With a physician's guidance, make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D, which means 2,000 IU for many adults. Other nutritional considerations may include SAMe and St. John's Wort, but be aware that interactions with other medications may occur if taken without proper medical supervision.

"The focus should be on maintaining nutrition, maintaining exercise, paying attention to the effect of light and the interaction with others, and then using some targeted supplements, remembering that during times of great stress nobody gets extra points for perfection," said Dr. Roca.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Greenwich Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Greenwich Hospital. "Overcoming Hurricane stress: Getting a grip after Sandy leaves town." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102151341.htm>.
Greenwich Hospital. (2012, November 2). Overcoming Hurricane stress: Getting a grip after Sandy leaves town. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102151341.htm
Greenwich Hospital. "Overcoming Hurricane stress: Getting a grip after Sandy leaves town." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102151341.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) Organizers of the People's Climate March and other rallies taking place in 166 countries hope to move U.N. officials to action ahead of their summit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN's Ban: Climate Change 'defining Issue of Our Time'

UN's Ban: Climate Change 'defining Issue of Our Time'

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 21, 2014) United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marches with hundreds of thousands of people in New York for the international day of action on climate change. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins