It's more than chaos. It's more than uncertainty. The upheaval brought about by a natural disaster the likes of Hurricane Sandy forces us to reorganize how we see the world.
"We lose our mental mind map," says Henri Roca, MD, medical director of Greenwich Hospital's Integrative Medicine Program in Greenwich, Connecticut. "The challenge is that everything is different, from the places we usually go, the routes we drive, the colleagues and friends we see. We don't realize how much we depend on the things we consider solid and foundational," said Dr. Roca. "We lose our foundation, sometimes literally. Totally capable individuals under other circumstances don't know what to do," added Roca.
Stress can manifest itself in feelings of listlessness, helplessness or indecisiveness, or as fear and anxiety, or with changes in sleep or appetite. "People tend to retreat to their houses, when the way out of the chaos and stress is exactly the opposite," said Dr. Roca, a New Orleans native who helped individuals cope with Hurricane Katrina stress before he relocated to Connecticut.
To keep yourself strong and positive as much as possible when facing the adversity of natural disaster and upheaval, Dr. Roca suggests: