Back to back hurricanes Gustav and Ike roared through the gulf coast and numerous states to the north. This path of destruction was like no other and left millions without power and even water. Whether you are a victim of this or another disaster there are a few simple things you can do to help keep your stress in check.

1. Keep a journal

On one page of your journal you can write down all of your frustrations and keep note of how you are feeling. A client told me that she felt guilty for feeling angry about having no power when many people have no home at all. Just because you have more than someone else doesn’t mean that it’s not Ok to be angry, depressed, frustrated or sad about your situation. We all have these feelings it is part of being human. Pretending that you do not have these feelings will only bury them in your body creating health problems down the road. So get it out on paper!

Then when you have finished dumping begin to notice all of the things that you are grateful for. Your life! Your home if you still have one! People who are helping you! A roof over your head! Food to eat! Nice weather! I like to note in my gratitude journal each and every person who helped or offered assistance to me that day. This helps me to realize how truly blessed I am!

2. Pump on your vitamins, especially vitamin B

This is not the time to forget to take your vitamins. Be diligent about taking your vitamins every day. Your body/mind has been under both physical and mental stress and you need to support it in every way that you can. The B vitamins are known as the stress vitamins and can be found in foods such as eggs, spinach, whole grains. If you are unable to get these things in your diet you may need to take a supplement.

3. Take a news fast

Stop watching the TV news 24/7. Chances are they are showing the same devastating pictures over and over. Your subconscious mind does not differentiate between what is happing to you right now and what has already happened so every time you watch the news your body produces stress hormones keeping you in a state of fight or flight.

Get your news via the paper or and online source where you are in control to read one or two articles about the disaster and then move on to something more pleasant.

4. Practice deep breathing

This is the quickest way to get your body out of a state of fight or flight. Breathing in through your nose slowly to the count of 6, then hold to the count of 4 and then exhale through your mouth to the count of 8. If you have a hard time breathing in or out to these counts just use this as a benchmark to achieve. Keep practicing until you can easily breathe in 6, hold 4 and out 8. You will find your anxiety and depression lift along with frustration, boredom and anxiety, which are all signs that your body/mind is under stress.

5. Take a walk out doors and spend time socializing

If you can get out in nature then make sure that you take a walk every day. 10 or 15 minutes outside soaking up a little sun (yes a little is good for you! It provides the much needed vitamin D), listening to the birds and letting go of your cares! The walking will help to relax your body and studies have shown that being in and around nature will rejuvenate your spirit.

Like wise spending time socializing with others will give your spirit the lift it needs. Make sure you choose people who have a positive attitude. You can visit with a friend in person or over the phone. "Just talking on the phone to a friend has the immediate effect of lowering your blood pressure and cortisol levels," says Teresa Seeman, PhD, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at UCLA. Cortisol is the hormone our body produces when we are stressed.

These five activities will help your body and your mind to return to a normal state of being. Remember you will get through this crisis and by paying attention to what is happening to your body and mind you can take these easy steps to ensure that you stay balanced. By keeping your balance you will be able to help those around you.

Author's Bio: 

Kathryn Watson is a speaker, trainer and coach specializing in relaxation training for Houston, Texas and beyond. She has been studying and teaching meditation and stress management techniques for over 15 years.

Download your free e-book, “Release Stress Now!” from Life and Relaxation Coach Kathryn Watson. Kathryn has been teaching clients to develop a relaxed state of awareness for over 15 years. It is from this state that you are able to stay focused on your goals and priorities in life. Her “Take Five Minutes to Relax” is a popular program for both corporations and individuals.