At the start of the year we had hit the ground running with resolutions and new goals, AND then Covid-19 threw an absolute spanner in works. Woolies had no toilet paper, social media was overwhelmed with misinformation and constant updates, oh and the conspiracy theories.
If you became overwhelmed, you are not alone!
When events such as a health pandemic come along, and the mixture of social media and public fear, this may have activated your automatic stress and fear response - flight, fight, or freeze. This is particularly true for people who have experienced anxiety, trauma and/or adverse life events.
When our emotions are in the driver’s seat, it can be difficult to put our thinking caps on and move forward with a sense of calm purpose.
Remaining in this zone of fear and stress response can have adverse effects on our health. Therefore, it is important to tap into your resilience muscle and apply some psychological first aid.
Here are 3 simple steps to take to start to apply psychological first aid during and after the pandemic.
#1 – Stay safe
Because Covid is an illness, and a silent one at that, it is important to notice you are safe and to take precautions to stay safe such as social distancing, practicing hygiene and staying home if you’re unwell. If you have been around someone who has Covid, self-isolate and look after yourself.
#2 – Connect
As humans, we were created to be social creatures. Even if we have a small circle, our survival depends on that feeling of community and connectedness. Over Covid, staying connected encouraged a creative response. Video chats, phone calls, texting and emailing became more normal for socialising and staying connected with friends, family and even health professionals.
As we start to head back into our new normal, aim to stay connected via these means, if you are unable to connect in person yet.
#3 – Claim your calm
Your body follows your mind, therefore when you remain in a fight, fight, or freeze mindset, some of your body reactions will include irritability, frustration, poor concentration, fatigue, or burnout. Therefore, it is important to regulate your stress hormones.
Create your calm by having easy go-to stress relieving activities list. Here at Positive Future Self some of our favourite stress relieving activities include:
Connecting with Nature
Spend time with a pet
Studies have found that playing with a cat or a dog can elevate your serotonin and dopamine, which in turn helps you to calm and relax. If you need any more reasons to cuddle and play with your pet, here it is. Science.
Build your resilience over the next few months simply by nurturing your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. By applying Psychological First Aid, and self-care care to your daily life, you will notice a big difference in the way you respond to events.