Surviving Covid 2 years later – How are we really doing?

Life isn’t always easy, but if you are reading this, you’ve made it. Tattered and torn maybe, but you are brave and you are a survivor and I am proud of you!

HOPE
Have Only Positive Expectations

Please read through to the end for some of my positive & helpful tools I use for overcoming the aftermath of what we have been through. If you can relate, I would LOVE to hear from you.. Be well, stay beautiful. Kimberlee

Here we are, 2 years later when we were being told the COVID-19 virus that we were watching in China and Italy where they were running out of room for the deceased was officially going to be spreading amongst us here in the US.

It was this time 2 years ago I was sitting with a few friends at the Rail Stop in Boston watching the news when we heard Charlie Baker was, “closing Boston”. Terrifying!!! What was really happening? What weren’t they telling us?

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the beginning

We kept hearing,
 ” Flatten the curve.”  Stay home for those you love. Keep the hospitals from being over burdened.
Businesses were closing, we were forced into quarantine.

Nurses and doctors were suffering from exhausting hours, lack of PPE, missing their families and watching an overwhelming number of patients die, alone while their families said goodbye over a cell phone.

Working at home full time if you were lucky enough to be able to keep your jobs. Offices were closed, isolated from our co workers and our regular routines. Schools were being closed, gyms, spas, any personal contact services were being closed. People were out of work with no income. Some employees were essential, IT, home health care aids, hospital employees, grocery store employees, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, etc. Exhausted because of all of the extra hours they needed to take on to make up the lack of employees who were terrified or high risk of catching COVID.

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America hasn’t had to experience this type of fear since 9/11

Many were experiencing overwhelming anxiety when they had to run out to get basic necessities; food, toilet paper, water, medications, sanitizer and of course, gloves and masks. Shortages everywhere!

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Store shelves were bare.

Being freaked out that someone was standing to close to me at Wegman’s, I ran out without getting the paper towels, (but I did manage to get the carrot cake for my bday! Priorities.) Watching the news was tooo overwhelming. Even if it’s on in the background, it’s filling into your subconscious.

THE STRESS, Uncertainty, Fear..
Not being able to see our new born family members, elderly family members, dying family members. Cancelling of our life events –  weddings, funerals, engagements, showers, birthdays, holidays, vacations, graduations and life in general came to a screeching halt.

Many of us lost friends and family to Covid. I’m so sorry for those of you who suffered losses. Even if not from Covid.

Many relationships ended. Many jobs were lost. Businesses permanently closed. Many nurses, doctors, first responders quit their jobs after the collapse of their mental and physical health. Not being able to hug one another.. Socially distancing yourself.

Did we even realize what we were psychologically even go through?

How can we forget the tumultuous other social injustices that were added onto the stress of uncertainty?

Political fighting, Riots, Protests, Civil rights, all right in our own neighborhoods.

Everywhere we are seeing more and more people with generalized anxiety, depression, aggression, self isolation, grief or fear. Or maybe you didn’t even realize you were carrying this energic vibration the ENTIRE GLOBE has been under. As a collective whole, we all affect one another.

Stress is a response to a challenge. It’s usually temporary.
Ongoing stress can lead to anxiety.

We are all grieving. America hasn’t felt this type of collective fear since 9/11

Grief and COVID-19: Mourning our bygone lives
The pandemic has led to a series of losses, from our sense of safety to our social connections to our financial security We are grieving our lives as we knew it.

FEAR, UNCERTAINTY, DESPAIR

Have you experienced any of the following?

You may be anxious, nervous, overwhelmed, or grief-stricken.

You may also feel more irritable or moody than usual.

Changes to thoughts and behavior patterns.

These memories may occur for no apparent reason and may lead to physical reactions such as rapid heartbeat or sweating. It may be difficult to concentrate or make decisions.Sleep and eating patterns also can be disrupted—some people may overeat and oversleep, while others experience a loss of sleep and loss of appetite.

Sensitivity to environmental factors. Sirens, loud noises, burning smells, or other environmental sensations may stimulate memories of the disaster creating heightened anxiety. These “triggers” may be accompanied by fears that the stressful event will be repeated.

Strained interpersonal relationships. Increased conflict, such as more frequent disagreements with family members and coworkers, can occur.

You might also become withdrawn, isolated, or disengaged from your usual social activities.

Stress-related physical symptoms. Headaches, nausea, and chest pain may occur and could require medical attention.

Pre-existing medical conditions could be affected by disaster-related stress.


HOPE

HOPE
H.O.P.E!

Watch this video by Brene’ Brown

How to cope with grief, fear and anxiety during Corona  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pHIsPlhU7o

B R E A T H

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Remember to inhale slowly, pause, exhale slowly

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Psychologists point to ways we can heal.

https://www.apa.org/news/apa/2020/grief-covid-19

SOME PERSONAL COPING RESOURCES

LIFE changing tools I’ve experienced that have helped me personally and I hope that sharing may help at least ONE of you.

I’ve been offering Reiki for clients again. If you want some sage before your treatment, just ask. If you need to chat or stay quiet, please just let me know. If you need a hug, put those arms around me.

WE NEED EACH OTHER TO HEAL. And to feel ok.

.Finding something that brings you joy EVERY DAY!

  • Laughing at least once a day! (more is a bonus!)
  • Hugging someone
  • Hu/play with a pet
  • Playing with children
  • Get out for a walk.
  • Work out.
  • Dance.
  • Kayaking, Paddle boarding,
  • Swimming.
  • Smile.
  • Give someone a hug.
  • Draw, color,
  • Sing,Hum.
  • Play and instrument.
  • Journal
  • Cry
  • Be a friend to someone.
  • Share how you are feeling
  • Sleep -Rest
  • Water
  • Talking with a life coach or therapist:

ANYTHING that makes you feel better!


Psychologists point to ways we can heal. https://www.apa.org/news/apa/2020/grief-covid-19

Reach out to a therapist.

  • Vicky Sherwood – (trauma she does take new clients) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/vicky-sherwood-amesbury-ma/797300
  • I have had at least 3 clients in the past two weeks tell me about how an anti-anxiety medication has helped them. I could physically see the difference in them. Taking a medication to help you cope is selfcare. It is not THE answer, but in conjunction with therapy and other forms of self care it’s a step in getting well and coping!
  • I’ve gone back to Church. The sense of peace in prayer helps me feel comforted. Saint Patrick’s in Stoneham. Father Mario – hysterical.

Did you know that YOGA has been found more effective than talk therapy for anxiety & stress? Find free videos on YOUTUBE if you aren’t comfortable going to a class.

BOOKS

The Four Agreements Don Miguel Ruiz https://www.miguelruiz.com/the-four-agreements

This was so helpful for me

The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
4. Always Do Your Best.

Image result for the body keeps the score

READ THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE #1 New York Times bestseller

Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society.” —Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/313183/the-body-keeps-the-score-by-bessel-van-der-kolk-md/

Emotional healing The BODY KEEPS THE SCORE
The Body Keeps the Score Another GREAT BOOK!

A GREAT MOVIE if you are traumatized by the fear of loss.

The impossible has already happened’: what coronavirus can teach us about hope – In the midst of fear and isolation, we are learning that profound, positive change is possible. By Rebecca Solnit Podcast
theguardian.com/news/audio/2020/apr/27/rebecca-solnit-impossible-has-already-happened-coronavirus-hope-podcast

Of course, Always be grateful for what we have!

Be well, be Beautiful, Be grateful for every little blessing,

Kimberlee

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