The pandemic has been particularly bad for us at many levels. Our movements are monitored, we are to limit the time we go outside, take care of our health and watch out for health protocols. Even our mental health is affected by all the news and perhaps knowing that some of our loved ones are affected by it. By the end of the day, we are mentally tired and slightly traumatized by it. Yet this is the time to adapt to the new conditions after the storm has passed.
Here are some things you can try to adapt to the new conditions:
Take your time to process your thoughts
What everyone went through during the pandemic is traumatic. On a daily basis, we are bombarded with news of serious illness, death, and sorrow. Making sense of all that fear and loss is tough, especially when the contagion seemed to selectively strike the most vulnerable of us and inflict even more hardship on so many who already were living hard lives. Going through all of that is not easy, so take your time to sort through your thoughts and feelings.
Don’t compare your experience to others’
Trauma affects all of us at different levels. How you react towards a certain traumatic event may be completely different from others who experience it. Some may seem to have escaped the trauma and stress completely unscathed, but it might not be like what it seems. They may simply be suppressing their feelings because they’re afraid of honestly confronting them. Own your experience and truth, regardless of what anyone else thinks about it. Push back against anyone who tries to dismiss your experience. Chances are, they are not dealing with the experience in a healthy way.
Take care of your physical Health
The condition of your physical health can reflect heavily on your mental health. For that reason, you will need to take care of your body well. Eat healthy, nutritious food. Exercise and move around, especially if your work requires you to sit for long periods of time. Get for a walk or hike. Especially when times are bad and you are stressed beyond words, you’ll be amazed by how rejuvenating it is to simply walk among trees and flowers, listen to birds singing, and enjoy the unfolding of the new springtime.
Know it will take time
When you are feeling physically unwell, the doctors can tell roughly when you will feel well. But when it comes to your mental health and well-being, there is no deadline you can set it on. Doing this will only add on even more stress. As frustrating as it may be, mental health care isn’t something that can be scheduled or limited to a specific number of days, weeks, months, or even years. Caring for your mental health, adapting after trauma and stress, will take much of your time. Don’t feel the need to rush and taking a longer time to heal, despite what others may think.
Speak kindly to yourself
It may not seem like it, but our thoughts shape how we are and our mental health. The first thing to do is accept that you have suffered and had a tough time. Your frame of mind is especially important, so try to have kind internal self-talk. Do it as if you are talking to a dear friend who is having a tough time. Show yourself compassion and give yourself the space and time you need to get back on your emotional feet and recover your balance.
Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help
Asking for help to your friend or a therapist is one of the most effective ways of healing trauma. Reject the social stigma of weakness and those surrounding mental health and mental illness. Reaching out meant that you are strong enough to take charge of the state that you are in and not allowing trauma and stress to control you. Take pride in taking care of your mental health, just as you would take care of your physical health if you were physically ill or injured.
Mindfulness allows us to peer into your mental health, as you will be able to assess what you are feeling in the moment, both physically and emotionally. Being mindful can offer you clues about the times when you feel triggered, which can help you address the situation in a healthy way. Other than that, it helps keep you grounded in the present moment. Mindfulness can be practiced in a number of ways, like focusing on your breath, walking or doing a meditation.
Have you practiced any of the tips above? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!