Dear Support Network Community Members
Our hearts and thoughts go out to all those who have been affected by these horrific storms and we are heartbroken over the terrible impact on our neighbors, their homes, and businesses in the community. We know that many of our members experienced severe property damage due to winds and flooding, some have evacuated their homes to take shelter on higher ground or with friends/family. The issues of everyday life, like having food for families and babies, and the ability to travel to important family events have been disrupted for so many people. We are aware your lives have been turned upside-down and want to offer the support of your AHA family now more than ever.
Here are some simple tips to help with these concerns: stress, nutrition, and exercise.
Taking small steps to alleviate your own stress will help others around you.
- Reach out and connect with others as you can.
- Repeat a positive mantra.
- Take three to five deep breaths before making decisions.
- Add a one-minute meditation or reflection to each hour.
- Re-establish routines as quickly as possible.
- Small steps can help manage the stress so many are feeling at this time.
- Remember, you are not alone. Come here to the Support Network and share your thoughts & experiences. We are here for you.
For more information on how you can maintain your well-being during these challenging times, visit www.heart.org/stress.
Finding appropriate nutrition may become challenging. Much of what is consumed will be canned and preserved with sodium. These tips will help you reduce salt and sodium as much as you can.
- Healthy Proteins: Canned tuna, chicken, and salmon are healthy protein choices, with a portion size equaling half of one can.
- Tip for eating canned goods - rinse the canned goods with fresh water to rinse as much sodium as possible.
- Other good proteins include beans, boxed tofu, nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
- Tips and such on staying healthy and exercised after the storm.
- Simple workout routine that will help alleviate stress and get you moving during long hours of enforced inactivity.
As the local law enforcement and government officials continue to assess the impact, know that you can gain strength from each other to move forward in solidarity. When a catastrophic event like Harvey occurs, how one copes with the stress it creates can have a significant impact on one’s health, potentially exacerbating a pre-existing health condition or elevating the risk factors around stroke and heart disease.
While the current conditions may be unprecedented, natural and other disasters have caused similar physical and emotional upheavals over the years, and some of our members have faced these difficult times. If so, please share the information or tips that helped you.