This blog is the fourth in an education series about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle while following the Stay-at-Home order. Healthy Living blogs will be released each Wednesday and will be made available at www.perrymemorial.org/healthyliving.
COVID-19 is an unprecedentedly frightening and uncertain time for everyone. It seems like we have been dealing with this pandemic forever; it has been the longest 2 months of our lives. Due to the vast impact COVID has had on our daily routine, even now we continue to encounter circumstances which we must figure out safe ways to handle. This constant fear of being exposed to the virus and not being protected is very stressful. This causes us to experience emotions more vividly, and this can lead to irritability, insomnia, depression, anxiety, or extra distress. If all the coping skills in the world are not helping you relax, sleep, or coax yourself back to a neutral state of mind, reach out! Visit www.perrymemorial.org/covidresources for a list of resources to receive help in managing these feelings. I also want to remind you that we are all in this together, and we each need emotional support. We are also feeling the void of our support network of friends and family. Not being able to physically spend time with them has added more stressors and lacks hugs. I am always up for a big hug and feel at a loss when I cannot give or receive them.
As the social distancing guidelines begin to lessen their impact, many new emotions surface. Coming out of quarantine, you may experience:
Either way, change is required for this transitional period, which causes another level of emotional distress. I want to recommend we focus more on where we can go from here, rather than what we may have missed. We’ve read or watched amazing stories of innovation and creativity during the pandemic: food pantrys developing drive-through shopping, community members volunteering to deliver groceries to those who are at higher risk, individuals supporting small businesses in new ways. We can all pivot our problem-solving into creativity and innovation:
We are familiar with post-traumatic stress, but what’s less known is a very real concept called post-traumatic growth that occurs when we transform adversity into resilience and growth. Communicating with positivity and hope to brighten the day for others always boosts your own spirits too.
Our emotional health impacts our physical health, causing us to feel like we are ill even when we are not. I would like to recommend some helpful tips to assist you in feeling your best during this transitional time:
Living Healthy is so important and I am hoping you are reminded, by reading my blog, that you are not alone and you have many resources and tips to improve your emotional health while transitioning in this new normal way of living.
Laurie Badel, therapist and author of The Five Gifts