The new normal
Covid-19 has affected all our lives more widely than any of could perhaps have imagined. The contact and interactions we take for granted and that form a stabilising connectivity for people and communities has been shaken. Our usual ways of getting our social, emotional and psychological needs met has been destabilised and this has inevitably impacted our relationships with friends, family and work colleagues.
For people who are already suffering from health conditions or from depression and anxiety, the extra stress and changes wrought by lockdown can increase the nervous systems response creating hyper-arousal and lead to increases in anxiety and catastrophic thinking.
There is also the effect of coronavirus on the process of bereavement and loss. If you are unfortunate to have lost a loved one to the virus, the usual grieving and processes are interrupted. The additional losses corona virus has caused may come in the form of jobs, education and health where what we had and hoped would continue has suddenly changed or disappeared altogether. The fact is most of us will have experienced loss in some form due to the coronavirus pandemic and finding ways to manage this is key to helping ourselves through the process.
How do we respond?
This is the key question and it will be different for all of us as we will all need slightly different approaches to see us through. Largely "self care", confidence and resilience are skills we need to know and master to help maintain ourselves through the pandemic. It can be the simple things like eating well, and sleeping regularly. It might be continuing or starting a daily practice or routine that involves exercise and breathing techniques. We can certainly take this as an opportunity to become curious about how we do care for ourselves in a crisis. 1
If you feel the losses and anxiety more keenly than you think you are able to cope with please reach out for support, either here, or through your GP. You may want to look at some of the support organisations here to find an appropriate service.