ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – As Florida begins to get back to “life-as-usual” after Hurricane Irma, many people will undoubtedly have leftover emotions from the stress of being in the path of such a large storm.
Fear, anxiety, sadness and anger are normal feelings in times of stress. And while Floridians are rushing to get back to normal, it’s important to also acknowledge everything they felt before, during, and after the storm.
“Until they can move on, they need to deal with the past, said Dr. Stacey Scheckner, Ph.D. a Tampa psychologist. “They need to express their feelings, communicate what they’re thinking, reflect over what has happened with their spouses with their children, with neighbors, with strangers."
"The most important thing in order to move on is to process and think about everything they have been through and validate everything they have been through before we can get back to normal.”
Children’s mental health is also important after such a stressful events.
“Allow them to express themselves in whatever way is appropriate for them,” Scheckner added. “There is going to be some regression, there is going to be acting out, there are going to be questions. Sit down on their level and allow them to process, allow them to ask questions, explain the science behind what a hurricane is, explain to them this is what has happened to our house, this is what has happened to our belongings and whatever their reaction is, allow it."
"Don’t step in a push it back down, allow it. Allow their fear, their anger, their silliness. Whatever needs to come out, allow it to come out.”