The Maui wildfires brought overwhelming emotional, mental, physical and financial stress to its residents and their families. With the holiday season approaching, other personal and social stressors can creep in. If not properly managed, they can affect your health.
There is no avoiding stress – it’s everywhere. But you can learn to manage it. Here are some tips that experts say will help:
- Be physically active. Physical activity releases muscle tension, improves circulation, reduces blood pressure, diffuses anger and improves confidence. Take a yoga class or a dance class.
- Complete tasks or projects that bring satisfaction. Engage in activities that stimulate your mind, body and soul. Listen to music. Take a walk. Take a nap.
- Connect with people and pets that bring you peace, love and joy. Have fun and recharge your energy. Pet a puppy; cuddle a kitty.
- Take a break from media and connect with nature. Preserve personal time for yourself. Give yourself time to breathe.
- Eat healthy and drink lots of water. Avoid using caffeine, sugar, alcohol and other drugs as a coping strategy.
- Manage your time. If your “To Do list” is causing anxiety, cross off a few items. Cancel a few commitments and apologize if you have to.
- Accept and recognize your feelings. Speak words of encouragement to yourself or to a trusted friend or family member.
- Use the resources available to you. Speak to a professional if you need to. Remember that crisis counseling services are available if you’d like to have a confidential conversation.
- Call Hawaiʻi Cares toll free at 800-753-6879 or dial or text Hawaiʻi Cares using the 3-digit calling code 988. This service is available all day, every day.
For the latest information on the Maui wildfire recovery efforts, visit mauicounty.gov, mauirecovers.org and fema.gov/disaster/4724. Follow FEMA on social media: @FEMARegion9 and facebook.com/fema. You may also get disaster assistance information and download applications at sba.gov/hawaii-wildfires