COVID-19 and Trauma Response
Our society is living through a collective traumatic experience. as a result, you may be noticing some unusual phenomenon in your mind and body. Many of these are natural responses to abnormal circumstances and are actually your body's way of taking care of you. Here is some information about how stressful experiences can affect you and how you can maximize your wellness during quarantine.
What you may be experiencing
Parts of your brain may shut down, so the ones responsible for survival can take charge. You may feel forgetful, scattered, or numb, especially if you've lived through traumatic experiences in the past.
You may crave extra food; feel extra tired; and you may experience somatic symptoms like headaches, GI symptoms, dizziness, or tingling in your extremities. These are natural biologically driven responses, but you know your body best. Please check with a medical professional if any symptoms exceeds your tolerance or are linked to other health concerns.
Some people may feel anxious; others may feel a bit depressed; some a mix of both. Your reaction usually depends on your predispositions for dealing with stress.
It may be hard to incorporate your experiences into the big picture right now. That's okay. Take your time. It will be easier once you feel safe again.
What you can do
It's okay to just get by emotionally and functionally for the time being.
Try to get nutritious food, a little bit of movement, and fresh air when you can. Attend to sleep hygiene. Avoid consumption of alcohol and recreational substances.
Connect to people who genuinely support you, and try to do one simple thing each day to help someone else- while maintaining physical distancing.
Find time to do activities that bring you joy and comfort. Limit news and social media intake, try to stay updated without over consuming.
Practice gratefulness by noticing what is good in the moment and in your day, and share that with others. Practice mindfulness by being present in the moment and experiencing the world through your senses.