As restrictions are eased, we may perhaps expect from ourselves or others that this transition will be effortless. Perhaps some might adapt more easily, but for others, this transition might also bring with it concerns, anxieties, and stress. Think about it. For a considerable period of time, people became so mindful of the risk that being close to others brought with it; or that going out when you didn’t really need to was considered reckless and disrespectful. All of this made sense in the context of a pandemic; but happens when this context starts to change? I would like to share three ideas to keep in mind if you, or someone you know, is struggling to adapt to this transition.
It is understandable
Many are speaking about the Covid-19 pandemic as a traumatic event. Trauma expert Peter Levine (1997) defines trauma as the reaction to something that overwhelms our ability to cope. The intense concerns that many experienced when their businesses were threatened, when their loved ones were hospitalized, when working as front liners, when remaining in their houses for months with partners that they are unhappy with (only to mention a few); are all highly distressing experiences which can overwhelm someone’s ability to cope. Why am I saying all of this? I am saying this because I believe that it is important for those of us who are struggling with the transition brought about with easing of measures, that it is understandable.
Eight dimensions of self-care
While it is understandable, I would also like to invite you to look at these eight dimensions of self-care (Satir, 2008). In brackets you will find some examples of what each category represents. Are there any areas which you think you have neglected that can help you take care of your Self more completely?
- Emotional (Self-compassion, laughing, crying),
- Interactional (Calling a loved one, sharing your break with a colleague),
- Sensory (Long shower, scented candles),
- Spiritual (Medication, dancing, caring for plants),
- Physical (Exercising, stretching),
- Nutritional (Eating well, drinking plenty of water),
- Contextual (House chores, clearing up the desk, changing the bed linen),
- Intellectual (Learning, debating, reading)
If you are struggling to move through this transition, please remember that you do not need to go through this on your own. Reach out to a loved one, a friend, a professional that you trust. Many professionals are currently offering their clients the possibility of receiving online sessions if, for now, that feels safer for you.
Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on email@example.com or call us on 79291817