Hurricane Dorian anxiety? Here’s how to stop it from spinning out of control

in Central Florida News & Events

SOURCE: Orlando Sentinel

If Hurricane Dorian’s swirling mass makes your mouth dry and your heart pound, you may be experiencing PTSD from hurricanes past. And even if you’re not a traumatized hurricane survivor, scientific studies have shown that prolonged exposure to hurricane coverage may be hazardous to your mental health. Really.

So how do you keep calm and carry on — but still stay tuned into what you need to know to prepare?

“There’s a calming technique that I teach all my patients,” says Altamonte Springs psychologist Alan Keck. “It’s all about focusing on their breath. And if you start to get panicky, take a quick breath in and then a long breath out to the count of about eight. If you do that for a minute or two, it reverses the panic.”

Ideally, of course, you want to avoid reaching the panic point.

That means checking in periodically with the news but not consuming a constant diet of dire hurricane warnings, Keck says. Get enough sleep, exercise to the extent possible, and stick with your typical meal schedule and nutrition for as long as you can.