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Hurricane Laura- Crisis Number 5024 of 2020

KD Holmes, LPCAs the Hurricanes creeps closer, I allow myself to accept the facts that it will (according to the facts of the forecast),affect us.  With so much social media exposure and news forecasting on this impending doom, I feel overwhelmed. 

These days we jump from crisis to crisis, so my emotional fuse is short, therefore, I feel overwhelmed easily.  With this awareness of myself... I think, "how can I help others through yet one more crisis?"  Honestly, these crises of 2020 "seem" never-ending.

1. Do my feelings match the facts? Or is my Trauma Brain getting in the way?

It's important to identify how you feel during times of crisis... and then identify the facts.  It's so easy to get caught up in the anxiety of any situation -- but especially hurricanes in our area!  After Katrina and Rita, hurricanes bring up the reminder of the catastrophic consequences that can occur.  

And -- if you have Trauma brain, your emotional reactions will be more intense than others'.  Trauma causes us to experience more intense emotions in these types of experiences.  We experience the trauma of past events when current events trigger it.  

Looking at the facts is my go-to!  It helps me manage my emotions.  Essentially, I am seeing if the facts match how I feel.  If not I know I don't have to act on how I feel.

2. Identify Wise-Minded Solutions.

This is a DBT process where we identify feelings and facts leading us to find the answer in the middle of both.  If you center yourself, it will help you identify a plan.

3. Limit News and Social Media

In my office I often see this pattern with my clients (myself included): taking on a healthy coping strategy such as talking to others and researching, eventually turning into an unhealthy coping pattern when it is done on repeat.

Often in crises the news plays the same reports repeatedly and if we are in a compulsive pattern we feel reassured by the reports and then triggered by the uncertainty or the horror of it.  

This is when it becomes unhealthy to research and watch too much news and social media.  For the sake of our own well being and those of our children we need to practice healthy social media and news etiquette.  

My rule is if I am super anxious, I only watch it until it repeats itself or is unimportant information, and then I turn it off.  I actually watch something funny and light next.  I love funny pet videos.  I do this to help level the emotional experience.  

Stay Safe out there!!! Most of us have made it through much worse.  Remembering that FACT is powerful!  

DBT, Trauma, Wise Mind, Crisis Intervention Skills, Hurricane Help