After shock. Shell shock. Pandemic shock. Shock. Shock. Shock.
Definitions include numbness, upset, devastation and disbelief. It’s a word that brings to mind the after effect of some intense situation or a drawn-out pressure. Much like many people are currently experiencing.
Yes, a lot of the pandemic stats for our areas are encouraging, more people are getting vaccinated, much fewer hospitalizations and covid-related deaths.
In some ways, we’re climbing back, things look better than they did last year at this time.
However, we all went through it in one way or another. Even if we were fortunate enough to not be directly impacted by the actual virus, we know people who were. And if even that’s not the case, we were surrounded by news, advertisements, public service announcements and conversations that kept the concern in front of us.
I think most of us experience the weariness that comes from anxiety and vigilance wound tight, and are just plain tired.
And now that, seemingly, the crisis point has in many ways passed, shock as an after-effect can come creeping in.
Dealing with post-stress stress seems ironic, but nonetheless it’s a real dynamic.
There may be a sense of relief running alongside the noted weariness/exhaustion and the thought of “Now I can at least relax a little” or “I still need to deal with more stress?”
There are some helpful tips in shortening the length of post-stress stress. And many of them deal with one general theme: Talk about it with others. Take time for yourself away from news and other talking heads of media. Breathe.
The CDC site, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html offers the following general tips, plus other guidance:
• Schedule time to unwind
• Connect with others — friends, faith-based organizations, families, etc.
• Take deep breaths, stretch and/or meditate
• Eat healthy
• Get plenty of sleep
Another helpful site is Washington Listens, and they have a fact sheet for a starting point at www.hca.wa.gov/assets/program/washington-listens-fact-sheet.pdf.
It’s free and anonymous and available to any Washington resident and sponsored through the Health Care Authority.
Will we ever be “done” with all this? “Done” can be a relative term, but consider: We’ve made it this far, have seen progress, and are coming out the other side, so — at least to a large extent--“Yes, we will.”
Now it’s time to take care of you.
Information & Assistance
Long Beach: 360-642-3634