Healthy Ways to Deal with Stress after a Natural Disaster
Information for Teens and Young Adults
After a natural disaster, it’s normal to feel different and strong emotions. Feeling emotional, nervous, or having trouble sleeping and eating can all be normal reactions to stress. Here are some healthy ways you can deal with stress.
Take care of yourself.
- Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Get plenty of sleep
- Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out
Talk to others.
- Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a parent, friend, counselor, doctor, or pastor.
Avoid drugs and alcohol.
- These may seem to help, but they can create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling.
Take a break.
Listen to other teens’ stories about life after a natural disaster. Find videos, posters, and graphics here.
- If news events are causing your stress, take a break from listening or watching the news.
Recognize when you need more help.
- If problems continue or you are thinking about suicide, talk to a psychologist, social worker, or professional counselor.
- You can also call or text SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990. People with deafness or hearing loss can use their preferred relay service to call 1-800-985-5990.
- Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline external icon
- COVID-19: Support for Teens and Young Adults
- SAMHSA: Mental Illness and Substance Use in Young Adultsexternal icon
- Coping with Stress
- Ready.gov: Youth Preparedness Councilexternal icon
- Ready.gov: Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)external icon
- LGBTQ+ Youth Resources
- girlshealth.gov: Feeling Stressedexternal icon
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Tornado Response for Teens: Right After a Tornadoexternal icon
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Tornado Recovery for Teens: Making Things Betterexternal icon
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Coping in Hard Times: Fact Sheet for Youth High School and College Ageexternal icon
- SAMHSA: Tips for College Students after a Disaster or other Traumaexternal icon En Españolexternal icon