Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flood, and earthquakes can create a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. Mild to moderate stress reactions are normal for those who are directly affected. Some people may experience difficulty sleeping, nightmares, difficult concentrating or anxiety in the days and weeks following the disaster.

Here’s how to deal with the stress and trauma after a natural disaster.

Give yourself time to adjust

Natural events are traumatic. Feelings of stress and anxiety after a natural disaster is normal. Some people will experience stress reactions for a few weeks.

Recovery takes time. Give yourself time to process what just happened and regain a sense of normalcy. Return to your normal routine whenever you’re ready. Eventually, you’ll be able to heal, recover, and go on to rebuild your life.

Focus on self-care

The stress caused by a natural disaster can deplete you physically, emotionally, and mentally. We know it’s difficult, but It is important to take care of yourself physically. Eat well, get enough rest, and exercise. Whenever possible, find time for activities that you enjoy. This will help you get your mind off the disaster.

Talk about your experience

You may be experiencing a range of thoughts and emotions immediately after a serious disaster. These feelings may grow stronger in intensity if you hold them back. You’ll need to fine a way to express those emotion.

Talking about your experience can be healing. Talk to your family, friends or colleagues who experienced the same disaster. Also, hearing stories from people who had the same experience as you is beneficial. Not only will it help you feel less alone, it can also help you build strong connections.

Seek professional help

While some people can cope with a traumatic event, others may have a hard time dealing with the trauma on their own. If you or a member of your family is experiencing stress symptoms and do not subside in a month, you should seek professional help. There are treatment programs available that can help you recover.