How are you coping with so much time at home? Whether you call it lockdown, sheltering in place, or quarantine, just about everyone’s work-life balance has been disrupted. We need to nurture ourselves even more than usual these days. We are all in need of more self-care, gentleness and especially healthy boundaries in relationships!
You might be standing in a room with hundred-dollar bills blowing everywhere, but if you can’t catch any, or even notice them, you won’t have any extra money in your pocket. Gratitude works the same way.
My clients aren’t running around town wearing “I’m a trauma survivor” t-shirts.
Of course they aren’t. Who wants to announce that bad things happened to them? No one!
And yet, unfortunately, many live with the aftereffects of trauma every day and don’t know it.
Trauma is what happens to your nervous system after you’ve felt unsafe and scared, and powerless to escape or protect yourself.
Who knew when the year started we’d be separated from loved ones for months? And here we are, canceling celebrations, work and vacation plans, and not even hugging our friends. We are facing more stress – financial, emotional, social – than anyone could have imagined. We haven’t seen the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health yet. But as therapists, we know that as chronic stress continues, more people will experience depression and even suicidal thoughts.
Many people are feeling pushed past their limits these days. Does it feel like you have a short fuse, get upset easily, or worry a lot – more than you used to? You may see others getting frustrated, cry, or blow up over small things. Do you want to hide from the world? Is it all too much? Feeling okay through stressful situations is possible when you can widen your window of tolerance of emotions.
We’re all facing a lot of stress these days. How are you coping? I am both struggling and learning. The health crisis and the crises of racial injustice, violence and protest in our country are challenges and opportunities for us all to learn about staying healthy. This includes mental health.
On May 7, 2020, Robyn was a guest at the Northern Virginia Family Practice town hall. This meeting took place during the COVID-19 epidemic and Robyn was on the panel with Dr. Jennifer Santoro. Robyn and Dr. Santoro shared their insights on the psychological impact the recent COVID-19 pandemic has had on our community as well as different ways to cope with feelings about COVID-19 and how to think about the future.
If you are feeling inundated and overwhelmed by information about the trauma of the world right now, you are not alone. And if you are someone who experienced childhood trauma or you are in a relationship with them, you already entered this time with a lot on your plate.
In order to help survivors and their loved ones in one post, I asked two trauma-informed experts to weigh in on the topic of support for trauma survivors and their loved ones during Coronavirus. While this post is a bit longer than usual, I hope to give you trauma-informed information and insights you can use now and in the future.
You will also find links throughout the post and a recommended resources list from my guests and myself at the end.
This global pandemic, COVID-19, is happening to everyone! Everyone will have some trauma history after living through this crisis. Every child now has at least one point on the ACE score! (Learn more about the ACEs study and its connection to trauma and health.) Everyone needs support to build up their resilience right now, during COVID-19
During these challenging times, it’s normal to be experiencing increased anxiety. Everyone is! And if your baseline is regularly higher in anxiety or hyperarousal, this will feel like even more to you!