You get trauma, You get trauma, We're all getting trauma!!
I think we can agree that we are all experiencing a certain level of trauma after living through the Covid-19 pandemic. Trauma is defined as deeply distressing or disturbing experience. I would say that is an accurate description of this pandemic. The virus has created death, fear, uncomfortable mask mandates, loss of normalcy, and lack of essential and fundamental items. Conflicting reports about the evolution, spread, and transmission of this virus have been confusing, and the worst part, isolation from our friends and loved ones. Covid-19 has shaken and for some crumbled their foundation. Suicide and divorce rates are skyrocketing and the political aspect of this pandemic has been exhausting. Many of us hold on for hope that things with go back to normal but rumors swirl that this may continue for the foreseeable future. So what can we do right now to show resiliency through adversity and take care of our mental health? These are a few things that I have done to uphold my emotional wellness.
1. Get Outside!- Getting outside in nature is naturally therapeutic. According to the University of Minnesota, studies have shown that being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, but it also contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
2. Zoom Dates- Socialization is so important to us humans. Dedicating certain nights to zoom dating with friends and family can add a sense of connection to the people we are missing and separated from. Call up your buddies and make social interaction a priority!
3. Turn off the news/social media- It's okay to watch the news and scroll through Facebook here and there, but having a constant loop of the pandemic commentary, election news, and clashing opinions tends to put someone in a crummy mental place. Unless your newsfeed is filled with cute puppies and rainbows, take a break!
4. Make it a family affair- While restaurants and entertainment establishments are closed have some family bonding time. Play board games, do arts and crafts, include the kiddos while cooking delicious meals together. We have an opportunity right now to create some pretty awesome memories, take advantage of this moment to really bond with your family.
5. Shift your perspective- It doesn't have to be all gloom and doom. Shift your perspective to allow in some gratitude. Although the pandemic has been difficult; it has also granted us time. Time to slow down, time to engage with our families, and time to connect with ourselves. So take this time to appreciate the little things in life. The attitude of gratitude will surely transform your mood.
Yes, a positive attitude and healthy habits can go a long way but I can also acknowledge that some days its okay to not be okay. We are mourning what our lives use to look like and what they use to be but we cannot dwell in these dark places for too long. Try out some of these self-care practices that I have used and see if they add a little joy in your life. And remember, This too shall pass!