Many of us are hunkered down as yet another “Frankenstorm” lunges across the country, complicating holiday travel plans. Sure, every news outlet and emergency preparedness office has told us what to buy, what to do. But what about our peace of mind? Contained in close quarters with a droning wind outside and limited options, how to make sure we don't turn into Jack Nicholson's character from The Shining?
Five quick tips to keep yourself grounded and your family safe (Even from you!)
1) Turn off the Tv/Radio/Livestream. Yea, we get it. There's a bad storm. But endless catastrophic reports stimulates our amygdala triggering floods of cortisol through our bodies and making us feel unsafe and out of control. You wanna know about the weather? Look out the window. (Just don't press your nose against the glass.) (Sign up for text based emergency notifications such as this one so key info will reach you.)
2) B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Can't control the weather? Focus on what you CAN control: your breathing Long slow deep breathes will calm and reassure you. It tells you're brain everything is ok. Troll the internet for calming meditations.
3) Stretch. Stress triggers the “Fight or Flight' syndrome. But we can't fight the storm and, once the weather turns fierce, flight is not an option. So, stuck inside? Turn that adrenalin into action. Cast off the energy in a healthy way. Lift some hand weights. (no weights? use those canned goods you stocked up on.) Stretch. Do some floor exercises. Take your laundry off the the treadmill or elliptical and do a couple of sets before the power goes out.
4) Laugh. Laughter discharges energy in a good way. Tell jokes or funny stories. Put your underwear on your head. Or just point and laugh at the folk you're with.
5) The Power of Touch. Re-set yourself. Feeling overwhelmed? A wet cloth against your forehead or neck will soothe you.. Self massage your temples or hands. Cuddle. Reassuring touch allays our fear.
Stay safe. Stay dry. This too shall pass. Additional tips on how to stay sane during a natural disaster here.
More Happy News & Useful Tips at Resilience: The Science of Bouncing Back.