Post-Hurricane Anxiety?

I’m not sure who we’ve ticked off, but the weather has been crazy lately – hurricanes, fires, and now earthquakes. There are many who have been in the path of Harvey and Irma, and now Jose and Maria are playing havoc, messing with our safety and livelihood.

I’ve been seeing more clients, as well as some of my MBA students, who are reporting feeling anxious post Irma, which is disrupting their ability to focus and concentrate on their tasks. Now, with Maria, some are now shifting their anxiety to worry about family and friends who are in her path. This is leading them to be ineffective in work and school tasks they need to do.

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If you find yourself feeling more distracted, unfocused, unable to sleep or feel tension, it’s important to arm yourself with good coping tools; here are some suggestions:

  • Deep breathing is your friend – take your breath in for a count of 4, hold for 7, then breathe out slow and strong through your stomach for a count of 8. This opens up the red blood cells so the stress chemicals can do the work they were meant to do. Feel better?
  • Journaling – write out your thoughts and feelings, as if you were talking to a friend; this helps you to release your worries and fears, in a healthy manner, while you can challenge and reframe them so they don’t take a hold
  • Exercise – take a walk, march while you watch TV, go to the gym; releasing endorphins elevates mood and keeps those stress chemicals at bay
  • Dive into your hobbies – dance, sing, knit, paint/color, woodwork, garden, etc. as these tap into your passions and the right, creative side of your brain, releasing those happy chemicals
  • Sit in quiet – while this sounds uncomfortable, (and it will feel) that way, this is one of the best ways to calm as it shows yourself that those negative feelings won’t kill you, thereby preventing any future avoidance
  • Activate your visual field – look at a picture of something pleasant or that will elicit a happy memory, such as your children or pet, or a place you’ve visited. Visuals help with refocusing and activate the happy chemical, leaving you feeling calmer
  • Stay connected – call/text/meetup with family and friends so you ‘know’ they are safe; go to a networking meeting or have lunch with a coworker. Keeping in contact with those in your inner circle will help you to feel supported and you have ‘ears’ to listen, which may just what you need right now
  • Communicate with those who need to know, such as your boss or an instructor – ask for a few minutes to decompress during the day, or how you can get support to get the work done. You may need to seek out the services of your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if it gets out of hand
  • Create normalcy – get back into your routines: go to bed and wake up at the same time, plan your day as you would. Having routines keeps us focused on tasks we need to do and leads to better days

If you’ve been feeling ‘off,’ take time to assess your feelings and then implement one, or more, of the suggestions above; soon, you’ll be back to your routine and lessen any anxiety you feel. Let’s keep sending out light and love to those affected by these events and that there aren’t any more to come.

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! http://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

 

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