How to survive the stress of natural disasters as a couple

We live 37 miles Northwest of Houston, Texas.  Hurricane Harvey has devastated our community, friends, and neighbors.  I wanted to post something that might help those around me and even friends from around the world.  The outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming through texts, emails, and phone calls.  In times like this, it is important to take a few measures to help decrease the stress you may be experiencing.  In fact, for those of us in the Houston area, our levels of adrenaline have increased…which means we might not even start feeling the emotional effects of Hurricane Harvey until the immediate emergencies have subsided.

Things a couple can do to survive stress

TALK TO EACH OTHER
As a couple, you need to be able to voice your fears with each other.  Sometimes just voicing your fear aloud helps you to start taking power over that fear.  But possibly even more important, you want to be able to listen to each other and validate any fears your spouse expresses.

IT’S OK TO BE SCARED
Remind each other that it’s ok to be afraid of the future, especially for those of you who have experienced physical damage to your home or vehicles.  You certainly don’t want to stay afraid of the future, but your immediate fears or worries are a normal part of coping with a stressful situation.

TAKE GOOD SELF-CARE
When going through stressful times, it is important to actively engage in activities that bring you joy, happiness, or peace.  Self-care is about doing something together that gives you energy.  Stress will drain your batteries, so you need to give yourself a charge doing the things you love most with each other.

LAUGH
One of the greatest legacies my father left me was the ability to find humor in everything.  I think it has become one of my best professional qualities when working with stressed out couples.  After experiencing a two or three day intensive with me, couples often say, “I never thought we would have laughed about…”  Laughter has been found to increase your health in many ways.  It’s powerful medicine and it’s free!

These are not the only things you can do to help decrease the stress you’re experiencing from something like a hurricane.  But if you give these four things a try, you will begin taking charge of your emotions.  A friend of mine has said often, “Don’t listen to yourself, tell yourself…”  You can take charge of how you feel by making positive choices in your life.

TO HELP THE VICTIMS OF HURRICANE HARVEY PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TO THE RED CROSS

https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey