Healing & Moving Forward From The Pandemic
April 20, 2021
As vaccinations are being rolled out and the world begins to reopen, some of us are ready to go waiting at the edge of our seats to book that flight, some of us are already feeling “back to normal,” all while some of us are stuck in limbo feeling unsure of how to proceed. Still, some of us are just not ready to go back out into the world (shout out to my introverts, empaths, and highly sensitives) as we’ve gotten used to the slower pace and being in our comfort zone. Anxiety about socializing, covid-19 variants, travel, busy-ness, finding a job, etc. is normal. However you’re feeling, there is space for it.
We have experienced a collective a trauma which has magnified existing trauma of racial and social injustice. That’s big and it’s okay to be in different phases of grief, healing, and readiness. The pandemic has both planted and uprooted us in ways that call us out to tend to and take care of ourselves and others. Personally, I want to relish in the slower pace of life because I have grown leaps and bounds by actually slowing down and taking stock of my life, my desires, my needs, and how I can show up for others.
So, what does healing look like right now? Before I speak to that, I want to acknowledge that a lot of us can deeply struggle to recover from hardship. We hear a lot about Post Traumatic Stress which is characterized by persistent mental/emotional stress as a result of a traumatic event that includes flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, avoidance, and more. I encourage you to seek support if it’s been particularly difficult to recover from the last year.
And- healing takes time. If there is one thing I’d wish for you to take away from this post, it is that there is no rush to move forward. Wherever you are post-pandemic, you are allowed to take it slow. You are allowed to say no. You are allowed to take your time, whatever that looks like for however long you need.
Some tips to support your healing and recovery:
- It can take time to adjust – be mindful of expectations of yourself and your energy that may be based on what you see others doing. Take it slow and be easy on yourself. Listen to your body, consider your needs, and set realistic expectations for yourself.
- Acclimate to the present – notice this point you’ve come to and allow yourself to dream about what you want for your life.
- Seek social support – talking to people, friends, and family can drastically support your adjustment. Processing, connecting, and relating can help integrate your experience, including pain, grief, and anxiety.
- Journal about the last year – looking at the hardship mindfully with compassion helps us make meaning of our challenges which is where our growth and resilience lies. (see journal prompts below).
There are ways that we can heal and move forward that demonstrates our resilience, our strength and our ability to grow from adversity and that is what Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) is about.
PTG is about understanding that it is possible to have new insight and gain new perspectives on life, our priorities, and our relationships after challenging and traumatic life experiences. There are 5 components to the experience of PTG including an increased appreciation of life, an increased feeling of personal strength, increased openness to new possibilities, deeper relationships with family and friends, and a deeper sense of spirituality,
Cultivating growth after trauma depends on many factors including level of isolation and socioeconomic issues, but it also largely depends on our beliefs about our ability to grow as well as conscious reflection. So, to support you in your evolution post hardship, here are a few journal prompts to consider:
- What the pandemic has brought to light for me is…
- One part of my life that I can now see hasn’t been working is…
- One step I can take toward what I want moving forward is…
- What I have learned about uncertainty is…
- What I have learned about myself, others, and the world is…
- One hard truth I have learned is…
- One silver lining I can see is…
- I am grateful for…
Take your time with these, and be gentle with yourself. Sometimes answers come right away as we are writing, and sometimes they come as unexpected flashes of insight as we move about the day.
If you get stuck, reach out! I love this topic and I’m right here with you as we all transition together.
Elana Morgulis, MFTAs a psychotherapist, I work on the level of the heart. I bring warmth, presence, deep empathy, and unconditional compassion to my clients. My work is grounded in mindfulness which allows us to open up to our experience with presence and compassion which supports change rather than judgment which keeps us stuck. I believe we have a natural capacity for growth, healing, and self-actualization which often gets blocked by our beliefs.