To say things are rough in the world right now, is an understatement. The scariest piece of all of this uncertainty, panic, scarcity and economic insecurity is that there is no end in sight and even no plan from our leaders. That is really hard, especially when you have experienced trauma because it is hitting all of the undone emotional stuff you might have. It has been so interesting for me because I can clearly see that if I had not done so much work emotionally prior to this pandemic, I would be losing it right now. Thankfully, I am probably the calmest I have ever been. This is what is working for me:
- Therapy. I just mentioned doing my own work. I know I am biased, but I cannot understate how important therapy is when you have experienced trauma (nearly all of us). It is even more important when you have a significant trauma history because if you haven’t addressed old pain, new scary experiences knock you down so easily. Being a trauma therapist and having a pretty brutal history personally, I am a big fan of trauma therapy. My favorites are EMDR Therapy and Comprehensive Resource Model. Without them, I would not be functional today!
- EFT Tapping. Looks super weird, especially if you do it as you are walking around the neighborhood (as I like to do), but it blows me away how well it works! If you are not familiar with EFT Tapping, you tap on specific meridian acupressure points while repeating thoughts and feelings about anything that may be bothering you (anxiety, depression, stress, overwhelm, trauma, binge eating, etc). You name it and there is a video on YouTube that can help you through it. Just use the keywords “EFT Tapping” along with anything you would like to change. Using this tool every day has brought me to a level of joy and calm that I never thought possible.
- Moving my body and getting sun exposure. I am seeing so many people outside these days. It is great! I am all for responsible social distancing, but if you stay in your house all day every day, I guarantee you will end up depressed. Your body needs to move and it needs sunlight!! Going for a walk first thing in the morning is the best thing I do for myself. I start the day feeling amazing and it sets the tone for the rest of the day.
- Deal with emotion. If we don’t address the stress of what is happening and turn to numbing behaviors instead, it will just get worse. By acknowledging how hard this is and giving a voice to the fear, it is so much easier to move through it.
- Limit media exposure. There is so much scary stuff out there. That will certainly not help you feel more secure. I am all for being informed, but not at the expense of our mental health. If you are reading, watching or listening to anything that is creating more panic than peace, it is work re-evaluating the things you are exposing yourself to.
If you are struggling and need additional support during this time, please find a mental health professional in your area. Most therapists are currently offering online sessions. Don’t wait until things are at their breaking point!