Most of us can remember the early days of March 2020. The fear of a new virus sweeping the world was making the rounds and many states were beginning to engage in lockdowns.
For many of us, this action was unprecedented in our lifetimes and we were not exactly sure what to anticipate. For many it was a time of uncertainty and uncertainty often leads to fear.
To be safe, we were told we must isolate, mask, distance. We must feel fearful of other people. This was an invisible, deadly virus and the fear was reinforced by the constant media streaming into our homes with more and more stories of lost loved ones. Many of us worried what would happen when Covid came knocking on our doors. We collectively began to examine our fears of our mortality and that of our family members.
Because this crisis extended for a couple of years, most people found their nervous systems profoundly impacted. Also, because we felt uncertain, many homes had the news stations in the background during most waking moments. Fear was flooding our living space.
When our nervous system gets triggered by a fight or flight response that is not resolved fairly quickly, it can often get locked into this fear based state. Many psychology professionals have seen trauma responses on a scale never seen before. Adults, adolescents and children alike have all been deeply impacted. Many have been diagnosed with PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
And just because the CDC says we can venture out, many people's nervous systems have been locked in this fearful state and they find themselves feeling safer away from other people. People's brains have actually changed as a result of the isolation.
The challenge is that humans are social creatures and crave community both to survive and thrive.
Below you will find 5 ways to recalibrate your nervous system:
Turn OFF the News! Nothing new is happening and each time you are exposed to the fear you are reinforcing the internal trauma.
Encourage Exposure- even if you feel resistant, get out into the world a little bit more each day. Spend time outside with friends. Meet for coffee, go for walks, get out from behind your computer screen.
Positive Self Talk. Create self talk that soothes you. Things like "I'm safe"; "Socializing supports my immune system".
Research the facts- the news is in business to generate fear because fear generates ratings (money). Rarely do you hear about all the people who either remained healthy or regained their health after getting sick . Nor do you hear the media talking about the ways to enhance your immune system.
Empowerment through Being Boosted: For some this may mean getting a booster vaccine, but for most of us, we have the opportunity to boost our health profile and empower our immune system. While Covid highlighted our health weaknesses, we can empower ourselves to chose ways to enhance our health. What we take in everyday is what creates a health profile. What few things that create greater health.
If you find you have worked with these tools and are still struggling with fear, please find a professional to talk to. It's vital that you are able to reengage with life and begin to feel a sense of safety in the world around you. Living In Fear... Is Not Living.