By Tori Carroll, MSW and Mental Wellness Coach
We are living through wild times (understatement of the year and a half).
Anyone else feel like we are in a weird game of pretend now that things are normal(ish)? Like we are trying to act “grateful” and “refreshed” after our “time off?” LOL! Psychology research says it ain’t just me who is struggling in this weird game. (Phewf!)
Check out 3 Reasons You Don’t Feel Like Yourself Since The Pandemic to gain some sanity.
- You don’t view the world the same as you did.
This is a very common symptom of someone who has experienced trauma of any kind. Trauma has many definitions, but my favorite is the APA definition: “trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident… or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical.”
This pandemic has shook up our physical safety, worldviews, friendships, sense of security, trust, and more.
It is impossible to unlearn this experience. It will always be a piece of our life stories. The key for us to live healthy, full lives is to ensure this pandemic does not define you, limit your goals and plans, or is not something that you use as an excuse to live a half-hearted, sad life.
- Whatever loss you experienced may have caused you to enter the Stages of Grief.
Picture someone/yourself healing from a breakup. It can look very similar to someone healing from the death of a loved one, even the brain activity looks similar. Really think about it! It is the way our brain is wired. The Stages of Grief (learn more here) are commonly discussed as a response to death, but it is actually a response to LOSS. Have you “lost” during the pandemic? It could be loss of a loved one, relationships, job, financial stability, socialization, health, etc.
Many people have unknowingly been going through the Stages of Grief (see the graphic below to understand the definitions of each stage). In order to heal and grow through the stages, you have to get through them all in order. Acceptance is the goal. Many people get support from loved ones or mental health professionals when going through these stages, which can help the healthy progression through the stages.
Learn more about the Stages of Grief specifically related to COVID-19 and tips to heal here.
- Fear of the Unknown
Ah, one of the greatest human fears, even before the pandemic mayhem! I think I can say that almost all of us are worried/terrified that the world will shut back down. We have already seen it happen and seen the devastating impacts on mental health, the economy, schools, and relationships to name a few.
For control freaks like me, I really believe that my own actions and forcefulness will prevent bad stuff from happening (hey, it works sometimes!). The truth of the matter is that the best you can do is always act according to your values and stand up for what and who you believe in. The way the world or other people react is out of your control, just like the future of this pandemic. I’m begging you to fight for your values, relationships, and do not lose yourself in these strange times – many people are.
If you want to continue this conversation and gain some simple solutions to improve your mental wellness today, join my live webinar “4 Ways to Achieve Mental Wellness in a Post-Pandemic World” on Wednesday, August 18th at 6:30pm (Mountain Time).
If you are having a hard time emotionally during these tough times, I encourage you to reach out to a mental health professional or a loved one for support. A life filled with love, purpose, and joy is available to you – it sometimes just takes some work! My programs are a great fit for people who want some support in the journey to mental wellness. Check them out here.
My programs are not suited for serious mental health concerns. In the case of an emergency, call 911.
Sending love and kindness your way, today! – Tori Carroll
In the Colorado area? Mental Health Colorado has an incredible data base of resources for mental health support, Covid-19, children, veterans, elderly, emergency situations, and so much more.
I’d love to know what you think! Let’s have a discussion. Tag me on Instagram or Facebook @victorywellnesscoach or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The information in this article are for informational and educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat mental health disorders or serious concerns. Contact these concerns to a medical or mental health professional. For emergencies, contact 911.