Sonoma County residents are deeply effected by the tragic effects of the Butte fires. Our heart goes out to all those suffering loses and our gratitude to all those fighting the fires. Meanwhile, the smoke we have been living in also has taken it’s toll on each of us, both physically and emotionally.
Smoke in the air used to be a wonderful aroma in the fall and winter times signaling a way to stay warm with homes fires and fireplaces. Now it is signaling a terrible reminder of the fire we had here a little over a year ago and all the fires since then.
It is not fun anymore.
Watch some news but not for too long. If you notice you are returning to thoughts of our last fires or other tragedies turn it off immediately. Don’t wear yourself out with the feelings of loss, despair, grief, helplessness and other unhappy feelings that are fueled by this current event.
When you have a chance (because of work and family and other obligations) you will want to spend some time listening to nice music or other activities that are soothing to you.
Also call friends and be around friends who are upbeat and feeling good themselves.
It is important to take care of yourself.
Exercise inside a building and away from the smoky air.
This will take some time to establish a new routine of caring well for you.
Eat good vegetables and fruits with good color. Drink enough water throughout the day to keep you hydrated.
Back off on smoking, drinking alcohol, and consuming other substances that are harmful to your system.
Conscious breathing, inside a building and away from smoke, helps clear out the tension and stress build up in your body. It is energizing.
Get plenty of rest.
Do stretches and breathe.
Giving your body the message you want to take good care of it and it will reward you with giving you a good immune response.
Tell yourself, “I will get through this”. See the light at the end of the tunnel.
Sonoma County Executives Association (SCEA) member Bano Cummings specializes in stress reduction.
Written by Bano Cummings, M.A., MFT
Bano Cummings, M.A., MFT
720 Southpoint Blvd., Suite 212 A
Petaluma, CA 94954
Phone: (707) 778-8090
Fax: (707) 778-2076