Doctor offers tips to prevent mounting stress ahead of Harvey's La. landfall

Doctor offers tips to prevent mounting stress ahead of Harvey's La. landfall
Updated: Aug. 29, 2017 at 8:58 PM CDT
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Dr. Asghar Naqvi (Source: WAFB)
Dr. Asghar Naqvi (Source: WAFB)
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - Tropical Storm Harvey continues to batter the coastline as it made yet another pass through southeast Texas Tuesday. The images of water rescues, devastation of the flood-ravaged Houston, and desperation on the faces of those longing for shelter is enough to break your heart.

For those in south Louisiana though, the images are all too familiar and in many ways, are almost identical to what the Baton Rouge area faced just a year ago.

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As the same storm responsible for at least 13 deaths now slides into the Bayou State, many residents might be feeling nervous about the unknown and terrified by past trauma. "We have a little more anxiety-related urgent care time visits lately," said Dr. Asghar Naqvi with Ochsner Health Center in Zachary.

Naqvi says having anxiety is perfectly normal, but knowing how to manage it during rain events like this one is critical. "Those are things that can leave a long-term impression on people and depending on how many events like that they're exposed to, that can have a long-term impact on well-being," Naqvi added.

One way for people to limit stress is to be mindful of how much television they are watching during high-stress situations. While monitoring the forecast is important, Naqvi says spending too much time on continuing coverage can trigger stress. "Tune in two or three times during the day throughout the day and evening, but not incessantly," he said.

Naqvi also encourages folks to remember to eat and stay hydrated. He also says making sure the get enough sleep is also a good idea for people who want to avoid anxiety. Naqvi says anything that can be done to keep their minds from racing about the uncertainty of the slow-moving storm can help.

"Some people do repetitive meditations or prayer or exercise," Naqvi said. "Those are things that are known to decrease anxiety."

With Harvey poised to strike Louisiana, the doctor says it's important to have a plan and follow these tips. Anytime symptoms go from stress to something more severe, he encourages people to get checked out.

"Especially if it's associated with nausea or sweating profusely, it's definitely time to come get checked out," he added.

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