• Elizabeth Bartasius

'Hurricane' Recovery: A Calming Anxiety Technique

Hurricane recovery...

...Looks like:

1. Tall skinny branches with v-necks holding up fallen power lines.

2. Blue tarps on roofs.

3. Jagged tree trunks, broken in hand, roots sticking out of the ground.

4. Debris piles by the side of the road.

5. A fallen Home Depot sign that now reads: “THE OM DE ”

...Sounds like:

1. Generators humming across the valley.

2. Equipment trucks rumbling.

3. Helicopters passing overhead.

4. The Home Depot guy saying, “Sorry, this isn’t in stock. I don't know when we’ll get it in.”

...Feels like:

1. PTSD & butterflies in my belly.

2. Mosquitos biting.

3. Overgrown weeds itching my ankles.

...Smells like:

1. Clorox.

2. Mold.

...Tastes like:

1. A lukewarm Presidente from the cooler.

A few years back, my therapist gave me an easy technique to help calm my mind and breath whenever I was faced with anxiety. No matter where you are, no matter what is happening, you can always bring yourself back into your body by asking:

  • What are 5 things you See?

  • What are 4 things you Hear?

  • What are 3 things you Feel?

  • What are 2 things you Smell?

  • What is 1 thing you Taste?

These details can become a storyteller's gems. And, make no mistake, we are all storytellers in the novel of our lives.