Vt. mental health leaders urge flood victims to practice self-care

Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 8:41 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont mental health commissioner is urging flood victims to prioritize their emotional well-being during these challenging times.

Commissioner Emily Hawes encourages people to consume credible information from reliable sources; limit exposure to distressing news; rest, move and fuel their bodies; keep a routine that maintains stability amid the chaos; weave calming practices into their routines like deep breathing, meditation and creativity; share thoughts and feelings with friends and family; and monitor your loved ones’ stress, workload and safety.

Hawes emphasizes that self-care is not selfish. You can’t meaningfully support others if you aren’t supporting yourself.

“It is not just visible destruction that leaves a lasting impact. Its effect on our hearts and minds can linger long after rebuilding has started,” Hawes said during the governor’s disaster update press conference Wednesday. “The toll this has taken on our neighbors whose lives have been upended, on our brave emergency and essential workers, and on volunteers dedicating their time to piecing our communities back together.”