Coping with Holiday Stress, Post-Irma

If your home, business or personal property was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma, you or your family may be struggling to cope with the emotional impact of the disaster. 

If you are looking to rebuild or if you had to move from your home, health officials say this holiday season may be especially difficult.

FEMA’s online resource, Coping with Disaster, provides suggestions that may ease the stress that can follow a traumatic event such as the recent hurricane, which can be even more challenging around the holiday season. It can be found here .

There are special sections on how to recognize signs of disaster-related stress, and how you can help children deal with their emotional needs.

Two suggestions stand out, though. 

Officials advise you to stay connected with family and friends, and accept the fact that your recovery may take time.

Staff at the Mayo Clinic say the holiday season causes stress and depression in some people. 

This may be heightened by the emotional impact of other situations, such as Hurricane Irma. 

They offer some tips on how to cope with stress, depression and the holidays in this article.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression may include difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions; fatigue and decreased energy; feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism; insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping.

Resources are available to help families cope after the disaster, and can also be found at


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