If you have asthma, natural disasters and some unavoidable emergencies can affect your health in unexpected ways. Asthma can get worse when wildfires, tornadoes, earthquakes or infectious diseases occur. One of the reasons is that strong emotions can trigger an asthma attack.
Thus, notice and accept how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing of asthma.
Take the following steps to cope with a disaster:
Take care of your body
Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Connect with others
Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system.
Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.
When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
Avoid too much exposure to news
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.
Seek help when needed
If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, or doctor.
Take these steps to help yourself manage your emotions so you can cope with the negative effects of asthma on you especially when disaster strikes.
Reference: Taking Care of Your Emotional Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 13, 2019 ahhahaha