We have been in a Quarantine for 7 – 8 weeks now. We had to adjust to a “new normal” of sheltering-in-place to slow the spread of the virus and not overwhelm our healthcare systems. At first, we had plenty of celebrities entertain us on our computer or phone screens, and we even had some people to entertain us with everything from home exercise programs and cooking.
The one thing no one has really mentioned is the mental health aspect of being part of a global pandemic and what do we do to keep our sanity. Most people are highly resilient to tough and challenging times in our lives. There is always that sense hope for the future and the strength to persevere despite all the challenges we may face.
But this is different…
This is the long term effects of psycho/social/medical/financial stress. No one knows what the future holds for us. This can lead to both adverse acute and long term psychological problems with symptoms that include post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, fear responses, anger/irritability, insomnia, fatigue, impaired concentration, diminished work performance and even detachment and avoidance behaviors.
THIS IS NORMAL. It may not feel like it is, but it is.
We have very few of our ancestors still alive that we can ask “how did you survive this?” when it comes to The Great Depression in the 1930s, or the Holocaust and WWII in the 1940s. Some may remember Black Monday when the US stock market crashed in 1987. Some may even remember The Great Recession of 2008. Perhaps we could ask some of our elders how they survived. This pandemic has us living in fear on so many levels, it may be difficult to navigate through this when we have lost our faith in our government, our country, our healthcare system and even our supply chain.
Just BE with it.
It’s okay to feel the feelings, no matter how dark, how angry, how sad, how upsetting and how hopeless they may feel. Just FEEL the feelings. Acknowledge your feelings.
Talk to someone about it. Talking about it is not asking for sympathy or resolution. Talking about your feelings actually takes away the hidden powers of those dark feelings, so that they can no longer scare you. Expressing those feelings actually starts the process of shedding LIGHT on to the darkness. Think of this activity as planting a seed into the darkness and dampness of the earth, leaving it there to allow the earth to work its magic. Soon, with the beginning of light, the seed will grow in to whatever you imagined it to be: a flower, a vegetable, a tree.
If you’re having a difficult time talking about your feelings, try writing about your feelings. Allow yourself 20 minutes to write down anything that comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be grammatically correct. Just write down whatever comes to your mind. You can keep a journal about this, no matter how dark your feelings may run. You may want to go back and read what you’ve written someday… or you may decide to burn the paper you’ve written upon. Either way, acknowledging those feelings helps to release those feelings.
The key here is to acknowledge your feelings, express your feelings and then release your feelings. You don’t have to stay in the darkness of your feelings for very long. You may need some help with Self-Care. Dr. Cynthia Seebacher, D.C. at Fusion Chiropractic can help you create a Self-Care routine that works for you.
If you are still completely overwhelmed and having thoughts of harming yourself or another person, please seek help from a mental health professional. The Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 800-273-8255. Many professionals are seeing people via Telehealth and many insurance companies are waiving copayments when you use Telehealth.
This is only TEMPORARY. You have the POWER to CREATE your future.