You have no power. Your family is cold. Your car is low on gas. The food in your refrigerator has gone bad. You may even have damage to your home or property. It's been a week since Sandy pounded our community and most of us are still under a lot of stress, feeling some combination of anger, sadness, depression and anxiety. So here are some tips for coping with all of this: 1. Talk about the event with others. You will find that others most likely share your feelings. 2. Spend time with family and friends. They can help you through this tough time. Stay in touch by phone. 3. Take care of yourself. Get rest and eat properly. Don't over-indulge in caffeine, alcohol, or other drugs, as these can increase your stress, anxiety, and/or depression. 4. Take one thing at a time. Pick an urgent task and work on it. Once you accomplish the task, check it off and choose the next one. 5. Do something positive. Helping others can give you a sense of purpose in a situation that feels out of control. 6. Talk to your kids about any fears or worries they may have. Let them know you are coping and that, in time, things will get better. 7. Ask for help when you need it - now or in the future, and especially if feelings of depression or anxiety continue for several weeks. Where can you find help? Here in Essex County, call FAMILYConnections at 973-675-3817 or visit our website at www.familyconnectionsnj.org. We are a community based non-profit agency that provides counseling and skills building services to help children, adults and families overcome life's challenges. Or call the Disaster Mental Health Helpline at 877 294-HELP. Or visit the SAMHSA Disaster Counseling Hotline at www.disasterdistresssamhsa.gov/.
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