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Hurricane Isabel felled trees and wreaked havoc on electricity and water service as it twirled through Hampton Roads, but other effects are still being felt.

Old Dominion University's Office of Counseling Services is offering the following tips to combat resulting feelings of depression, anxiety and adjustment concerns following the cycle of hurricane preparation and clean-up, as well as resulting personal and financial losses:

1. Identify your feelings and understand that what you are feeling are normal reactions to a stressful event such as a hurricane.

2. Take care of yourself by maintaining proper amounts of eating, sleeping and exercise.

3. Allow time for yourself to make the transition back into your daily/weekly routine.

4. Focus on the routine activities you are able to do, as well as some positive activities you have done in the past.

5. Talk to friends, family members, faculty, co-workers, or clergy about what you are feeling. Sharing your feelings and concerns can be reassuring and it's okay to ask for help.

6. Inquire about community/state/government resources that provide support.

7. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, experience loss of control or have trouble coping with life events consider seeking help from a mental health professional.

"It is important to remember that most reactions are normal and we hope these suggestions will help you restore emotional well being as we go through the hurricane recovery process," said Lenora Thompson, director of counseling services.

The Office of Counseling Services is available to provide short-term supportive counseling services for students. Faculty and staff may also contact us if they are experiencing recovery difficulties and want a referral for counseling services or if they want to discuss their concerns about a student or colleague.

For more information, call 683-4401 or come to 1526 Webb Center North. Further information is available on the Web at www.counseling.org; helping.apa.org/daily/traumaticstress.html; or www.nasponfire.org.

This article was posted on: September 29, 2003

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.