As waters rise, so does stress: Tips and strategies on how to emotionally cope with potential floods

    TORONTO, May 10 /CNW/ - The reports of possible flooding through the B.C.
Interior has put many people under high levels of duress and anxiety at the
prospect of displacement, evacuation and damage to personal property.
    "B.C. in particular has had a very difficult year with severe weather,"
said Rod Phillips, President and CEO of Shepell-fgi. "With reports of stalled
storm systems, heavy snow packs and flooding predictions, it's typical to
expect people will experience reactions and interactions that - while they
seem to come out of nowhere - are actually a very natural response."
    While there is no right or wrong way to cope under these circumstances,
some common responses are: Distraction, increased irritability, nightmares,
verbal outbursts and a fear or reluctance to travel.
    "The emotional strain of periods of uncertainty can affect everything
from your sleep to your ability to concentrate on the job," says Gerry Smith,
Vice President of Organizational Health. "This particular type of stress can
manifest in many ways - people can feel overwhelming sadness or feel anxiety
or isolation - but they can also feel nauseous, have night sweats and
headaches and fatigue."
    Smith says the best immediate way to deal with this kind of stress is to
talk to friends and loved ones about the stress everyone is going through.
"Talk, talk, talk. Not only talk to others, but encourage them to talk to you
as well. Storytelling is the natural human way of processing stress and
processing an event", says Smith. "It may seem simple, but communicating what
we're feeling, what we're going through is our automatic coping mechanism and
helps us a great deal."
    Other tips include avoiding alcohol or drugs, drinking lots of water and
eating well, and if insomnia or nightmares are a problem to have a drink of
water and read before trying to get back to sleep.
    "Unfortunately you can't stop the stressing factor in a flooding type of
situation," says Smith. "But if you take small steps and remember to
communicate, you can get through it."

    About Shepell-fgi

    Shepell-fgi is Canada's leading provider of workplace health services,
including prevention-focused Employee Assistance Programs. The company
services over six million employees and their families across Canada, the
United States and internationally. Shepell-fgi helps organizations maintain
healthy employees and healthy workplaces.

For further information:

For further information: Rosalind Robertson, PR and Events Manager,
Shepell-fgi,, (416) 355-5424

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