By Michelle Woodward, LPC
In the recent months, we’ve had to face unexpected changes and hardship of a pandemic and there is no doubt that we are in the beginning stages of a huge mental health crisis involving psychological trauma. COVID-19 will leave a large percentage of our population traumatized and not knowing where to get the help they need. I recently watched a video by Bessel Van der Kolk, leading expert in trauma and author of The Body Keeps Score. In the video he discusses Psychological Trauma in the Age of Coronavirus. I've highlighted six points from the video on how we can minimize the impact of this trauma on ourselves throughout (and after) quarantine. Though the video was created specifically with Coronavirus in mind many of the points can be applied to all traumas.
So, what sets people up for trauma and what can we do about it? See these helpful tips below:
By Amanda Craig, PhD, LMFT
One of the hardest commodities to come by in life has now been mandated... TIME
As hard as it is to slow down and change habits, this is our present reality. To support the health and wellness of our communities we must make changes to our "business as usual". One change we can make is the way we spend time with our families. Many who work in the city, travel a lot for work or have long hours are being asked to stay home. Schools are closed, activities are cancelled, restaurants are empty. Our daily routine has been turned upside down.
How can you embrace this "opportunity" through emotional connection?
Emotional Connection is essential for optimal health and wellness. Now is a good time to reconnect with our children and partner. When we are in emotionally connected relationships we know the other person will support us, is part of our team, and will have our back in times of trials and tribulations. Emotional connection soothes our nervous system and makes us feel healthier and happier. We feel calm, have more energy, have a more optimistic outlook and are better able to deal with tough stuff, like the uncertainty we are all experiencing.
by Sarah Trance, LMFT
During trying times, why does it seem that we lose compassion? Fear and anxiety as a collective group can trigger characteristics that we don’t usually see in ourselves and that we don’t really like. David Brooks has a recent article in the New York Times around the history of pandemics and its effect on collective culture. When compassion dies, it seems that we lose collectivist needs and shift to individualistic ideals like buying all of the toilet paper and hand soap, continuing to travel to the office for fear of lost business, and battling our fellow neighbors in Facebook commentary about the need, or lack thereof, to close schools.