Severe Weather - Family Mental Health

If you or a family member has been affected by a severe weather disaster, you may feel helpless (even hopeless).  However, there are some important things you can do to care for your family’s mental health needs.

- Find ways you can help out.  It’s easier to stay out of your own misery when you are helping other people.  You’ll feel more hopeful that your own situation can turn around when you make a difference for someone else.

- Talk to other people about what’s going on.  Listen to their stories, too.  Just purging the thoughts from your mind can give you some relief.

- Your kids may react differently than you do.  They may feel more stressed, or they may be more resilient.  It often matters how you handle it, but some kids may simply be more sensitive to trauma and upset like this.

- As best you can, find your routine again.  If a personal milestone or holiday passes during your difficult time, find a way to still acknowledge it.  Even if it triggers some emotion for you to think about what you were going to do for Mom’s birthday or your anniversary, you might at least release some pent-up emotions.  This release is very important!

- Expect things to go up and down for your family.  Helping others, comforting your kids, and finding your routine may not make the impact of the situation dissipate any sooner.  It’s normal for some people to have delayed or extended reactions to something that literally rocks their world.

- Blow off some steam.  Find ways to exert some bursts of energy.  Play a game of tag, have a pillow fight, or watch a laugh-out-loud movie.  Like I said earlier, it’s vitally important to release your pent-up emotions now and then.  If you prefer to stay stoic for your family’s sake, that’s totally fine.  Just be sure you let the pressure off somehow.  As you move past the severe weather event, you may uncover new and different emotions along the way.  Don’t let them pile up or you may trap a giant ball of stress inside.  That can eat away at you for months or years if you don’t keep it in check.

- Get professional help if you need it.  If you or a loved one is still feeling mental aftershocks of the event for a long time, it might be time to see a counselor or set up appointments with your pastor.  Some people might need mental health support right away, others may slowly simmer long after the drama has died down.  More than anything, don’t let it go on for too long if nothing seems to be helping.  That will only add to the strain of recovery.  The need for mental health support is no sign of weakness, only a sign that you are human.

To those of you in weather-ravaged areas, please hang in there.  For those of you with family and friends near these areas, keep in touch and help them use these and other tips.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Mayu ;P

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 0 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

Trackbacks

From Psych Central's World of Psychology:
The Psychology of a Heat Wave | World of Psychology (July 23, 2011)






    Last reviewed: 4 May 2011

APA Reference
Krull, E. (2011). Severe Weather Is Afoot – Watch Your Family’s Mental Health, Part #2. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 29, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/family/2011/05/severe-weather-is-afoot-watch-your-familys-mental-healthpart-2/

 

 

Subscribe to this Blog: Feed

Recent Comments
  • trtlehdche: Sorry you are dealing with this :( I can relate very much. My advice to you is to learn to separate your...
  • Diane Richardson: I am 56 years old my mother is 86. She is a constant worrier and very negative. Always a reason why...
  • Heather: I am 30 and i was abandoned by my birth mom, my foster mom and my aunt then i had a therapist for 8 yrs she...
  • Mela: Sorry for your pain & struggle. Your story is mine too. Did you find any help??? My hubby & I eloped...
  • Andrea: I have had PMDD for almost 8 years now. I’ll be 28 and it does not get better. Yes Prozac does take...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!