For weeks, the news about hurricanes has been nonstop. First, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, other parts of Texas, and areas of Louisiana. Then, Hurricane Irma caused chaos in Florida and even led to the first tropical storm warning in Atlanta’s history. Together, these natural disasters have caused devastation across the South, and their effects on Atlanta are palpable. Obviously, the heavy rains and high winds have caused damage and power outages in certain parts of the city. Also, evacuees from Texas, Louisiana, and Florida have sought shelter in Atlanta, and many Atlanta residents are giving their time to help — whether it means opening their homes to friends who were evacuated from affected cities, volunteering at evacuee shelters, or even traveling to flooded cities like Houston to help with the most severe damage.
Whether you are contributing to hurricane relief efforts or dealing with storm damage in your own home, recovering from an extreme weather event can take a toll on your body, so it is important for you to make sure that you stay on top of your own health throughout the hurricane season. That way, everyone — from evacuees to volunteers to supporters — can come out of the hurricane season in top shape.
Recovering from the Physical Exertion of Hurricane Relief Efforts
If you have volunteered in a flood zone or an area hard-hit by a tropical storm, you know that it can be a physically exhausting task. Tasks like bailing water out of a flooded basement or carrying heavy boxes of supplies to evacuee shelters can cause significant strain on vulnerable areas like your shoulders and your lower back. When you lift heavy objects, it is easy for your body to get out of alignment, and repetitive motions can lead to chronic pain. Therefore, you may want to consider getting a chiropractic adjustment after doing storm-related manual labor, in order to ensure that you recover properly and are strong enough to continue to help with relief efforts in the future.
Coping with a Stressful Living Situation
There are many ways in which a tropical storm can serve as a source of stress. After all, you never realize exactly how much you rely on electricity until the power goes out! Also, if you have opened your home to a friend or relative who was evacuated from a hurricane zone, you can feel good about helping a friend in need — but it is still fair to acknowledge that a more crowded living arrangement can be stressful for everyone involved, especially when the weather is bad and there is no place to go.
Stress can impact both your physical and mental health, so you need to make sure that you stay as relaxed as possible during times of strain, like hurricane season. Remember to take at least a few minutes for yourself each day, and when things get overwhelming, remember to breathe! Also, if you notice that the muscles in your shoulders, neck, and back are becoming tense, you may want to consider a massage to loosen them up. Tight muscles can cause chronic pain — which can serve as a further source of stress and make uncomfortable living situations even harder to deal with.
Returning to the “New Normal” After the Hurricane is Over
As with all hurricane seasons, this one will be over soon. Things will never be quite the same, especially for those who lost everything in the hardest-hit areas of the South, but for most Atlanta residents, life will become more normal fairly soon. If you had to give up your regular exercise routine to volunteer or deal with storm damage in your own home, you might notice that your normal workout seems more difficult in your first few days back at the gym. Again, if your muscles seem particularly tight, a massage could help loosen them up. In particular, Thai massage — which is essentially a yoga session guided by a trained massage therapist — can be a great way to stretch out and get your body ready to start working out at the same level as you were before.
If you have nutrition-related health concerns, the tropical storm may also have thrown off your efforts to maintain a healthy diet. Power outages and grocery store shortages in Atlanta have made it hard to prepare regular meals. If you served as a volunteer, you might have received free food that you appreciated, but that didn’t quite measure up to your usual nutritional standards. For some people, it can be a challenge to return to a normal eating routine, so nutritional counseling from a chiropractor or another health care professional can be a valuable tool as you return to the “new normal” after hurricane season.
Atlanta Chiropractic and Wellness stands behind all American who were affected by the hurricanes and tropical storms, and we want to make sure that you and your family are as healthy as possible when the hurricane season is over. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!