Because hurricanes throw our exterior world out of our control, they can make us feel out of control on the inside. From meditation and comic relief to exercise and rest, there are many things you can do to keep your stress at a manageable level as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida.
Most days, you're probably on the go. Errands, work, and family obligations mean you don't have much downtime, but today, as you're staying indoors and slowing down, get close to the ones you love. Snuggle on the sofa, invite the kids to have a campout in your bedroom or take some private time with your spouse. Sharing love will diminish your stress level.
Let Out Some Laughs
Are you hunkering down with family or friends during the storm? Instead of anxiously awaiting the worst, enjoy the time together. Break out a joke book or funny card game, and give each other a reason to smile. Yes, the storm is serious--but that doesn’t mean you have to be.
Find Serenity Now
If you have meditated before, you know of its calming effects. If you're meditating for the first time, try this: Lean back in a cozy chair or lay on a bed. Close your eyes and breath naturally. Focus on your breathing, or on something that makes you feel peaceful, like God; a loved one, a favorite vacation destination, or an activity you enjoy. Continue this way uninterrupted until you feel completely relaxed.
Let Off Some Steam
Exercise is one of the best ways to rid yourself of nervous energy. A stationary cycle is one option, but you don’t need equipment to work out at home. Even if you’ve lost power, you can do burpees, sit-ups, push-ups, squats, and lunges--and get a great 30-minute workout. Afterward, you’ll feel so much better.
Check in With Reality
Hurricanes are so wild and unwieldy that they seem surreal. But they aren't surreal at all. They are clearly defined weather events with many predictable elements that occur over a relatively short time frame. If you're sensing that fear or even terror is creeping in, learn some facts about hurricanes so you can understand their characteristics. Fear is often rooted in a lack of information, so learn everything you can.
Catch Some Zzzzzzzzzs
Depending on how loud the wind and rain is as it beats against your walls and windows, it may be difficult to sleep. Go through an evening routine that helps you feel ready for bed. Drink some warm herbal tea or read a chapter of a book. If you have power, plug in a noise machine or use an app that helps drown out weather sounds, and settle in for the night. A good night’s sleep will help you feel your best the next day, allowing you to be clear-headed and decisive as you manage the storm’s aftermath. Rest is the ultimate cure for stress.