COVID-19 Support & Reflections
The present COVID19 pandemic has brought trauma into our lives. We have suffered losses of family or friends. Many who have survived a bout of the virus are struggling with its impact on their bodies and functioning. Most who are in self-isolating and practicing social distancing are attempting to cope with what we’ve come to call a situation that is “unprecedented”.
The external world has closed and even as it opens, it is not operating as we have known it. Schools are different, work is different, shopping is different, and so are restaurants. Many have lost jobs. Some businesses are in jeopardy. Real estate is even impacted.
At such times as these, some common-sense wisdom from one of the leading experts on trauma is valuable.
Bessel van der Kolk, MD has dedicated his career to studying trauma and generously has provided the general public with a service video with such sound advice, When the COVID-19 Pandemic Leaves Us Feeling Helpless.
You can find out more about Dr. van der Kolk and his work at https://www.besselvanderkolk.com/.
Have you established a routine amid this pandemic for yourself and loved ones?
Are you making sure your body is getting what it needs–with food, exercise, and sleep?
Are you keeping active? Engaging to keep your own sense of agency?
The sense of self-agency van der Kolk refers to is very important to nurture. What can you do to remain engaged in life, find activities that are meaningful to you?
Here are some ideas to start your brainstorming:
- volunteering online
- learning new skills
- joining an online book club
- rescuing a pet from a shelter
Of course, such advice does not reduce the reality of loss of external control or remedy the pandemic. There will be times when you will have to accept some sorrow, loss and grief. Such feelings and complex struggles during the pandemic do not preclude developing “your own internal capacity to organize your life.”
Viktor Frankl, who is quoted on my home page slides, lived through the concentration camps of World War II. He discovered that having a meaningful focus, a goal and vision that was future-oriented enabled him to cope with the most unthinkable circumstances without giving into abject helplessness and hopelessness. Out of these experiences and this approach, he developed Logotherapy, a form of psychotherapy.
I wonder what enterprising, inventive individuals might be devising to help us all move forward. I invite you to imagine how our world might look, post-COVID-19, not from a bleak stance, but how our society might function favorably post-COVID-19.
Where there’s life, there’s hope.
I invite you to call me to receive personalized support for coping with the pandemic, for building resiliency, and for developing your own sense of agency.