Irma, Harvey and stress

As I write this Hurricane Irma is barreling toward Florida, having devastated the Leeward Islands and a good bit of the Caribbean. India is still experiencing flooding, having lost well over 600 souls at this time. Fires ravage in the West, and an 8.1 earthquake hit my beloved southern Mexico. And then there is Houston. My word.
While most of us are safe and sound in locations where the “worst” weather for this week includes wearing gloves to fend off the chill, many of our friends, family and fellow humans are in the middle of deep concern about their safety, future ability to work, and to even find a dry bed. 
For those in the zone of possible harm – know we are lifting prayers, sending love and holding you in our hearts. 
For those watching TV, mobile devices, listening to the Irma play by play on the radio (raises hand), remember this: Even if we are not at the event site (Florida, Houston, Montana, etc) when we stream it continuously, it can cause traumatic stress. Just because we are not at the weather event location, does not mean we do not experience a moderate to high level of stress. Our body only reacts to what our mind tells it, so if we fill our mind with stress, worry and hours of spaghetti models, our body follows up with somatic stress.   
Here is the resiliency tip for this week: Make plans to connect with family or friends who are in harms way. Find out where they are going and the best way to get ahold of them afterward. When you can, turn off media. Take a deep breath, go for a walk. Stand outside and breathe fresh air. Wash dishes. Do something that feels normal.  Bottom line is give yourself a break from the news. Just like traffic slows down to gawk at an accident, so we slow down to watch media events. You will not miss anything by turning off your devices for a while. 
What is the benefit? You will gain some calm and peace of mind – which you can use to send love to those who cannot “turn off the storm.” 

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