4 Ways to Start healing From the Trauma of Pandemic
With the vaccination on the way and as businesses begin to reopen, hope is around the corner. As we start going back to “pre-Covid normal”, it may make us feel anxious to imagine interacting in the community again. We may feel scared of close contact, shaking hands, or giving a loved one hug. This is REASONABLE. For quite some time we have been trained to believe that these actions are threatening to our safety. Thus, it only makes sense that going back to “normal” will come with its share of fear and anxiety. The pandemic has been a traumatizing experience for society as a whole. So, how do we start healing from the trauma of covid-19?
Step 1. Acceptance– We have to accept that society as a whole experienced a traumatic event that has left marks on our society forever. Once we come to this realization, we can start adjusting to the new normal that is coming. We were in denial when the pandemic started, and once we realized that it was not going away, we became angry and sad while we practiced social distancing. It made us feel helpless due to the lack control. Once we accept the inevitable scars left by the pandemic and come to peace with them, we will be able to start living the life we mourned for so long.
Step 2. See the Glass as Half Full– To find inner peace, it is beneficial to be optimistic. Can you bring yourself to reflect on the good moments that took place during the pandemic? It could have been learning to bake bread, completing house projects, catching up on sleep, or just staying safe indoors. This is not to negate the trauma, or diminish the pain that was likely felt. This is to help yourself in exploring other points of view. I encourage you to reflect on how you spent your time in the pandemic and write down what you learned about yourself during the quarantine. And, how you can implement this new realization into your life going forward.
Step 3. Meditate on it– Try meditation to overcome the residual anxiety from the pandemic. Meditation helps boost mental health and the immune system. The most powerful method to implement is to practice shifting your thoughts and focus onto your breathing. This will help you stabilize your emotions and anchors you in the present moment. Can you take a few minutes out of your day to bring yourself to a relaxing space, and begin this process by simply taking a few deep breaths?
Step 4. Rebuild Lost Connections– Slowly and safely start reconnecting with your loved ones. Go at your own pace and gauge your emotions, as well as others about this process. Be gentle with yourself, there is no manual for rebuilding a social life after being socially distant. Take measures to ensure your physical safety, as well as emotional wellness. Senf yourself compassionate messages, take deep breaths, and focus on the present moment (finally connecting with those you care about!) Over time, you will begin to notice you are mindfully enjoying your company and slowly but surely you will return to those connections you had with family and friends from before the pandemic started.
Just remember, “Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.”
– Robert H. Schuller.
Author- Sukhi Sandhu