Skip to main content

After Fiona, Some Reminders to Take Care of Yourself

After Fiona, Some Reminders to Take Care of Yourself

It’s hard to fathom the misfortune of enduring a hurricane on the fifth anniversary of another devastating one, but that is what happened to those living in Puerto Rico this past week.  Hurricane Maria was a Category 5 hurricane in 2018, and there are areas of Puerto Rico that are still not fully recovered. This past week, Hurricane Fiona barreled in with 25 to 30 inches of rain, that left most of the entire Island without power or clean water. Knowing how long it took for power and supply chains to be restored last time, no wonder people are feeling intense worry, stress, anxiety, and anger.

At the same time, many Puerto Ricans also have vivid memories of how remarkably individuals and communities mobilized to help each other and rebuild. Schools and health centers were emergency response hubs, with teachers and health care workers offering significant support. While being helpful to others in a time of crisis helps many people to feel less powerless, anyone can also feel overwhelmed by the enormity of what needs to be done.

Quick and easy ways to help yourself feel better are crucial.  Believe it or not, a simple breathing exercise done three to four times – it takes three minutes in total – can bring hours of calm. Even a two-year-old can do the butterfly hug and benefit from its calming effects. Here is an alternative butterfly hug technique. Here is a butterfly hug explanation in Spanish. This video shows a different technique for the butterfly hug; it is short and translated into Spanish while the woman demonstrates.

On the Witness to Witness home page, we have many resources in English and Spanish. When things are less of a crisis you may find some resources there that will be helpful.

This week, we released How to Help Yourself Now in This Time of Crisis – Hurricane Fiona. It is now available in English and Spanish. As Puerto Ricans began to mop up the water in their homes and consider ways to stay cool and safe, I hope this resource can be supportive.