We are in unprecedented times. The impact of the pandemic is significant on multiple levels, including psychological, as it contradicts what is familiar and expected in the world leading to confusion and uncertainty. For some, it may be impairing your ability to cope with all that is happening leading to strong emotional responses like grief, panic, anxiety or depression.
Trauma experts Dr. Peter Levine, PhD and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, MD, recently sat down together (from afar) for an online webinar to discuss the pandemic from the perspective of psychological impact. They shared their thoughts on some of the primary risks of the COVID19 pandemic as well as what can be done.
A Few Pandemic Psychological Risks
No one really knows what’s going to happen or the full scope of impact to our society and world at the hands of the virus. We are wired to asses threat and not knowing what’s coming makes our brains unable to do that accurately which can lead to chronic stress. Our lack of ability to move around in ways we are used to has hindered and removed normal social activities. These are unnatural states that can feel profoundly disconnecting. And the lack of a coherent narrative, conflicting information and deep division around the virus itself and what to do about is causing many to feel powerless and scared.
According to Levine and van der Kolk, there are some important things we can do to alleviate the psychological risks above. They involve reducing physiological distress by gaining mastery where it may feel lost, particularly by getting connected to the body. Self-regulation and other practices can at least help you gain control over your internal systems within the greater chaotic context. We all need different ways to calm ourselves.
Some Things You Can Do to Soothe a Trauma Response
Trauma recovery is not only about being able to be held by another person – but by yourself.
Originally posted at https://loveandlifetoolbox.com/trauma-and-psychological-risks-of-the-pandemic/
Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of LoveAndLifeToolbox.com with tools for emotional health and incredible relationships. She is a frequent consultant for the media having appeared online on CNN, Huffington Post, Men’s Health and others. Lisa has a private practice in Marin County, CA and offers Emotional Health and Relationship Consultations via email, phone or video conference.