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Hurricane Harvey: Becoming Resilient

Everyone in Southeast Texas, I mean EVERYONE, has been effected in some way by Hurricane Harvey.  Now it is time to start over; pick up the pieces.  And by now, we have all realized that this is going to take a while to rebuild.  Just like any marathon, it is exhausting, it is taking all our resources, it is overwhelming, and it feels never-ending.

How do we get through this?

Merriam-Webster defines resilience as “a: capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture b: tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”  Shock.  Misfortune.  Those seem like understatements.  But withstanding?  Recover?  Adjust easily?  That is what we want. How do we be resilient?

Here are some tips on how to be resilient during this traumatic time:

  1. Take care of yourself first. Wait, what?  Isn’t that selfish?  NO!  Just like when you are flying and the flight crew tells you to put the oxygen mask on yourself, before helping anyone else, there is a reason for this; you can’t help anyone else if you pass out because you don’t have any oxygen!

  2. Help others. Once you and your family is safe and taken care of, help others!  Helping will take your mind off things and pass time quickly.  It will remind you to be thankful – there is always someone who had it worse that you.

  3. Sleep. It is easy to work so much that you don’t sleep.  It is easy to let your mind keep you awake.  But you must sleep.  When your body is asleep, it repairs itself.  It helps you be able to keep going the next day.  It is essential.

  4. Let it out.   Scream.  Sob.  Whatever it is, let it out. There is no need to keep it in or stuff it down.  No one needs you to be “brave or strong” right now.  However, it is important to get it out.  Give yourself 5-15 minutes each day, for however long it takes, to cry, be emotional.  The key is limiting this time each day.  You don’t want to get stuck in a negative loop, so for a few minutes each day, get it out.

  5. Do something “normal.” Find something, no matter how small, that you used to do, and do it again!  For my family today, that was going to church and cooking dinner together.  Maybe it is family game night, movie night, reading the kids’ favorite bedtime story, or even walking the dog.  As you can, focus on reintegrating the things you used to do into your daily routine.

  6. Ask for help. Do NOT let your pride get in the way of you getting help right now.  For the first time in a long time, that I can remember, the community is coming together like never before.  There are so many people willing and able to help.  Let them help you.  And if you feel like you need more professional help, ask for that too!  If you have already been through previous trauma, it is important, now more than ever, to take care of yourself.

Southeast Texas, we got this!  We are Texas Strong! We are  resilient. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other.  We will rebuild, and be better than ever before!  But it will take time.  So, pace yourself.

If you or anyone else you know needs professional help to deal with difficult time, call Amy Wine Counseling Center at 832-421-8714.  We are here for you.


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