Ben Stocking is the University of Miami Counseling Center psychologist who is staying with students at the university shelter during Hurricane Irma. These are his tips for coping with a crisis like a hurricane.
Acknowledge the feelings
Crisis situations can bring about feelings of distress, guilt and worry. Stocking says “be present” with those emotions and allow yourself to feel them. Don’t stress about hypotheticals unnecessarily; handle situations as they arise.
Use positive coping mechanisms
Reach out to family and friends for support. Try to have fun during waiting periods by playing games, talking to loved ones, writing, drawing, reading, etc.
Take care of yourself
Turn off the news for a while. Eat, sleep, soothe yourself with music.
Connect with your community
Ask for and offer help. It can take time to heal, but remember everyone is being affected in one way or another. Be kind and compassionate to yourself and to others.
The after-hours counseling center hotline is still running and can be reached at 305-284-5511.