Hurricanes and other natural disasters are common in Louisiana and Texas. Hurricane Harvey came ashore as the most powerful hurricane to strike Texas since 1961 and the fiercest hurricane to hit the country in 13 years.

The flood that resulted from Hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc in Texas. It has sent more than 32,000 into emergency shelters and killed more over 2 dozen people. Although the storm has passed and water has receded, experts believe that effect of Harvey may linger. It could threaten people’s mental health. The toll and trauma brought about by the Tropical Storm Harvey can contribute to stress and anxiety. Those who have survived the Tropical Storm Harvey are more likely to experience symptoms associated with PTSD.

The mental and emotional wreckage after surviving the storm should not be taken lightly. Here are some tips on how to cope with the anxiety and of the hurricane and its aftermath.

Maintain a hopeful outlook

I understand that you’ve been through a difficult time, but you should still maintain a hopeful outlook. Give back and do what you can to help others.

Connect with family and friends

In tough times, it is always best to seek social support. Having a friend or a family member by your side can be healing and cathartic. Ask a close friend or family member to stay with you for a while. Feel free to talk to them about what happened. This will help you release the tension and anxiety. Telling the story is a necessary part of recovery. It is also a good idea to connect with others who have experienced the aftermath of the hurricane.

Practice relaxation exercises

Try to practice relaxation exercise such meditation, deep breathing exercise or guided imagery when you feel stressed or anxious. These exercises will help calm your mind and minimize stress. I also advise that you engage in activities that give you peace and enjoyment. It can be something as simple as reading a book, crafting or getting a long bath.

Take care of yourself

If you have kids, you need to keep in mind that they are relying on you. You can’t take care of them if you’re not in good shape. Be sure to eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep. Part of maintaining mental and emotional health is taking care of yourself physically. Don’t forget to take your medications if you have pre-existing conditions.