Plan Your (Healthy) Escape. 5 Ways to Prepare for Emotional Hurricanes

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Irma the hurricane has the United States enraptured and anxious today as she devastates Florida. Millions of people foresaw the need to run away nearly a week ago. Others stayed behind, flirting with hope that Irma would not bother their area too much. One such couple insisted to their family as late as Friday night that they had a plan of escape if it came to that. 

I hope the plan worked, because as I write this, their city is being pummelled. 

We know life has struggles. Yet how many of us plan ahead to deal with our anxiety or depression disorders?  One of the most important decisions we can make today is to know our healthy options.  Strong emotions will threaten to overwhelm us. Still, they are only threats. We control how much power we give them.

An old hymn has a line that applies today.  “On… solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand…”  

Where is that solid rock in our emotional well-being?

  1. Know what you can and cannot control. You cannot stop a hurricane, and you will not be able to prevent life from hurting once in a while either.  Focus on what you can change or that to which you can cling.  Time spent worrying about outside forces or other people builds anxiety and depression.  (9 Coping skills) 
  2. Practice faithfully your anti-anxiety coping skills (Coping skill 1)(Coping skill 2) You will be pleasantly surprised how quickly they become automatic. 
  3. Know why life matters. Be prepared to fight for yours in the face of growing depression. Write down all the reasons people, pets, even God want and need you alive. Keep the list in an obvious place. 
  4. Know where to turn for help. Have local crisis line numbers available; call 1-800-273-TALK for quick access. If you have intent or a plan for suicide, do not hesitate to call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
  5. Build yourself an ark. When those crashing surges of pain or fear threaten to undo you, an ark will carry you through the storm. My ark is Jesus, yes, however my feet are solid on the promises of his Word. Years ago I was told to memorize Psalm 91. Try it!

The context of that line in the old hymn is this.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 62:6-9 MSG

He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life.  My help and glory are in God. So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.




NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

Beach pic by MICROMOTH and damaged home pic by PAPARABBIT on

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