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Floridians get used to the drill. Every summer they go out and buy all the supplies they need to be prepared for a hurricane which might make landfall, or worse, a season which includes multiple landfall hurricanes. In one of our previous posts, we discussed the effects a hurricane can have on mental health including increased suicide and development of PTSD. Some professionals have suggested that the first week after a hurricane is an open window for PTSD to develop. Hurricanes don’t have to be particularly traumatizing to affect someone’s mental health. As Judy Crane defines trauma, trauma is any life event which changes the way someone sees the world. Hurricanes are one of the worst parts of mother nature. When the world becomes dark, ugly, chaotic and out of control, it is traumatizing- let alone the sheer sight of destruction, the possibility of death, and coping with an unfathomable amount of loss, the least of which is the loss of power for potentially weeks on end. Waiting in anticipation of a hurricane, listening to the sounds of a hurricane, and witnessing the aftermath of a hurricane can be sensory overload.

As Floridians smartly do their shopping for hurricane season ahead of time, they should consider adding items to the list which will support their mental health during hurricane season, and any landfall hurricanes which might keep them indoors or without power for an extended period of time.

Solar Chargers For Digital Devices: If the phone lines or internet goes out, you won’t be able to use your digital devices for communication. You can, however, download movies, TV shows, music, games, podcasts, and other apps for entertainment which help you unwind from the stress. There are also many apps for meditation and mindfulness, which can help you regulate your stress, deactivate your sympathetic nervous system, and sleep better- which is hard when the air conditioning goes out in some of the hottest months of the year.Arts, Crafts, And Creative Outlets: Have your favorite instruments nearby, along with a box of creative supplies. Art therapy is an effective form of stress reduction. Coloring in coloring books is proven to reduce stress. Art projects can be great for the whole family and serve as funny reminders for that one time when. Make sure to have battery operated lamps, lanterns, headlamps, and candles, as well as plenty of extra batteries.Essential Oils: You might not be able to run an oil diffuser unless it is battery operated. Thankfully, you can still benefit from aromatherapy by using essential oils. Turn to calming oils like lavender to soothe your stress or invigorating oils like orange to brighten your energy when you need to do damage control.Give Everyone Hurricane Journals: Keep journals or notebooks and extra pens in your hurricane boxes. Encourage family members to journal about their hurricane experiences. Journaling is proven to reduce stress and help people process their emotions.Sleep-Aids: Hurricane season happens during some of the most humid months of the year in Florida. When the electricity goes out and the air conditioning stops working, battery operated fans can hardly do the trick. Coupled with the loud soundtrack of a hurricane, stress, and nerves, sleep can be hard to come by. Sleep is essential for stress management and mental health. Have plenty of extra fans and batteries. Look to natural sleep remedies like chamomile, lavender, melatonin, and magnesium.Don’t Plan On Giving Up Exercise: At home exercise routines are all the rage. You can run videos online or on DVD as long as there is electricity. Encourage fun movement activities like dance parties or cross-house exercises to get energy out. Yoga can be an especially helpful movement therapy as yoga is proven to reduce stress in mind and body.

The Guest House Ocala is located in Central Florida, a local resource for any Floridians who are struggling with trauma following a hurricane. Your mental health deserves to be rebuilt, too. Call us today for information on our residential programs for trauma, addiction, and related mental health issues: 1-855-483-7800