In the wake of Hurricane Irma there are many Florida families dealing with power outages, water damage to their homes, displacement and the list goes on. Ashley Vigil-Otero, Psy.D., joined Great Day Tampa Bay to talk about stress management after a traumatic event, like Hurricane Irma. She answers questions and gives tips about getting life back to normal, and how to talk to your kids about the damage they see in their own neighborhoods. Here are some tips she gives on stress management:

1.Make time for relaxing activities and take technology breaks.

Rather than overly focusing on tasks and devices, give yourself permission to take breaks and engage in healthy, enjoyable activities such as taking a short walk, yoga, or meditation . Reduce overstimulation from devices and screens by making time for simple things like listening to music or reading a good book.

2. Prioritize healthy eating, sleeping and self-care

In times of stress, it is easy to neglect the basics of self-care. Healthy sleep, diet and exercise are essential well-being habits that can enhance our physical and mental health. Make an effort to get recommended sleep, eat healthy and engage in physical activity to offset the recent stress.

3. Reach out to others for support

Share your thoughts and feelings with supportive friends and family. Accepting help and connecting with others can help stress management. If you continue to struggle, reach out to a psychologist or licensed mental health professional.

4. Practice Gratitude and Give back

Keep your blessings in perspective. For one week, make a mental list of three things you are grateful for or three things that went well that day. Engaging in gratitude practices can increase optimism and hope, which can help us stay resilient in the face of adversity. Giving back to others who were more affected by Hurricane Irma can also reduce preoccupation with our personal struggles, while also giving us greater perspective and well-being.

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