( ENSPIRE Mind, Body, Soul ) Reflect and Prepare for What’s Next
ENSPIRE Contributor: Rosalyn L
The last few weeks have started to feel like a scene from one of those dystopian Netflix movies where the world is on the brink of the apocalypse as crooked politicians do their best to tell us “everything is fine” while lining their pockets.
We are officially in the midst of a global pandemic because of coronavirus, but what can we do to reset? Often, the unsettling thoughts and feelings of traumatic stress—as well as any unpleasant physical symptoms—start to fade as life gradually returns to normal over the days or weeks following a catastrophic event or crisis. But there’s also a lot you can do to assist in your recovery and better come to terms with the trauma you’ve experienced. Whether you lived through the event itself, witnessed it, were an emergency responder or medical worker, or experienced traumatic stress in the aftermath, there are plenty of ways to calm your nervous system and regain your emotional balance.
Repetitious thinking or viewing horrific images over and over can overwhelm your nervous system, making it harder to think clearly. Partake in activities that keep your mind occupied (read, watch a movie, cook, play with your kids), so you’re not dedicating all your energy and attention to the traumatic event.
Reestablish routine. There is comfort in the familiar. After a disaster, getting back—as much as possible—to your normal routine will help you minimize traumatic stress, anxiety, and hopelessness. Even if your work or school routine is disrupted, you can structure your day with regular times for eating, sleeping, spending time with family, and relaxing.
Don’t watch the news or check social media just before bed, and refrain from repeatedly viewing disturbing footage. Give your thoughts a rest!
Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to reduce stress, ease anxiety and depression, and improve your sleep.
Schedule time for activities that bring you joy—a favorite hobby or pastime, or a chat with a cherished friend.
Use your downtime to relax. Read a book, take a bath, or enjoy an uplifting or funny movie.
Take a moment to think positive and to focus on the positive. The process of healing emotional wounds can feel uncomfortable at first, but I promise it will be a very rewarding journey. The energy we currently spend on trauma will be released, and the space inside ourselves that trauma took up can instead be filled with new, more positive energy that can help us build a life that we will love.