What do we do after confinement and the begining of de-escalation?

None of us had imagined living through a global pandemic. That is, everything is new, including what we felt and experienced during the confinement caused by the state of alarm by COVID-19, and now, with the begining of de-escalation. What is certain is that this situation produced by the coronavirus is full of uncertainty regarding the most important things in our lives, such as health, personal and family relationships, our economic future, which has led to many fears.

Many of us are suffering from one, several or all the symptoms of post-traumatic stress (insomnia, fear, anguish, anxiety, increased food consumption, etc.), which is a defence mechanism of our organism in the face of a stress situation. In this case, after 71 days we can say that the stress have been prolonged for a long time. Of course, each experience lived during this pandemic is different for each person, as well as, each person’s ability to process and overcome them is different.

The symptoms we may have in common are the following:

Anxiety: caused by what has happened, what is happening and the uncertainty of the future, for example, if we will end up catching it, if we will lose our job, if we will be able to get our business back, etc., which can manifest itself in the form of palpitations, oppression, fear, concern, distrust, etc.

Depression: can be mild or turn into a state of prolonged incapacitation, manifests itself in sadness, a paralyzing state, negativity, and of course, not to mention those who have experienced the death of a loved one because of this pandemic.

Addiction: for some people this can be a way of coping with anxiety and low spirits. Some would already be engaging in addictive behaviour prior to confinement, and others will have developed it in the aftermath of the confinement situation. Example: someone who used to smoke may now smoke more; I am a coffee drinker, and there are days when I consume more cups than usual; other people refuges in food, etc. And I don’t include addiction over drugs, because for me it is something unknown, fortunately even in my family there have never been problems of this type. However, according to many literatures and experts in the field, this confinement has also been an aggravating factor for people with drug problems.

Grief: this complex psychological reaction is often caused by the loss of something, for example, a loved one, work, loss of health, etc. And in the case of this pandemic, some may have experienced it in an aggravated way, for example in the cases of people who could not say goodbye to their family member.

Insomnia: Lack of sleep occurs when some substances in the brain prevent normal functioning. It is serious, because its continuity hinders the clarity of ideas, alters the mood, causes irritability and even alters our metabolic health.

Fixation, tics, etc.: one example of the fixation that occurred in some people at the beginning of this pandemic was excessive shopping, which worldwide presented large queues in supermarkets, etc. There are also tics, personally I have had an involuntary tic in my eye, I have read on the internet that it is common, and can be caused by high levels of stress, tired eyes, dry eyes, etc.

So, I am not a doctor, nor a psychologist, so I am not going to list medical advice for each of the pathologies described above. However, we all know that we must try to regain our balance after confinement, therefore, from my experience, I will try to provide you with some advice that I have been practicing throughout my life, and am currently practicing, in order to try to heal or to best deal with all these emotions that we are facing.

The first thing I recommend you do is to be aware of the emotion when you are having it. Be aware if you are sad, angry, discouraged or afraid.

Second, pay attention to the bodily sensations in the different emotional states, losing the fear of what you are feeling. For example, tightness in your chest, shrinking of your stomach, energy going to your head, heat in your ears, etc.

Third, don’t judge yourself for feeling bad or having anxiety, don’t blame yourself or criticize yourself for it.

Fourth, breathe, so that emotion does not take over. Remember that what you focus on is what you get. Yes, the more you insist on what you don’t want, the more you will be creating it. That is, the more we think about not wanting to be infected, the more we are feeding our fear of contagion.

Fifth, use affirmations. When we learn to use positive affirmations in both speech and thought, our mood can change. For example, a simple affirmation “be calm or quiet (saying your name), all will be well” can decrease anxiety about the uncertainty that still exists in this de-escalation. Another example is to affirm “I accept a new job or the new conditions of my work”, this will allow to open the ways, the channels and the conscience to create this new situation, either this one is the new job that we need, or to accept that for example, we will retake our job partially, either because it has changed our day or because we will continue in an ERTE in a percentage of the time, among other variants.

Sixth, think of things that will make you happy. No matter how small, do things that you like. By virtue of phase 1 of the de-escalation, you will be able to go and see friends or your family (do you should respect the rules established by the authorities).

Seventh, eat things that make your body feel good. Let’s try to calm that anxiety, and for that we can support or leverage on some foods that help fight the symptoms of anxiety and depression, if you don’t know what kind of foods can help you, I invite you to read my post http://atomic-temporary-127928292.wpcomstaging.com/2020/04/16/alimentos-para-la-depresion-y-la-ansiedad/.

Eighth and last tips, strengthen your spirit. In the spiritual realm you have prayer, meditation, reiki or any way you have to connect with God or your Higher Source.

In conclusion, emotions are natural responses at a time when certain things are starting to change. It is a response which, in most cases, will eventually disappear, when we become familiar with the “new normal” and see that there are no outbreaks, that we do not get sick, that we can visit our family and friends and that nothing happens… Regardless of whether your symptoms require medical or psychological attention, the healing any of the symptoms we are experiencing must come from inside us (i.e. from a holistic point of view). Holistic philosophy seeks to nourish and nurture the whole of being: body, mind and spirit. If we disregard any of these aspects we will be incomplete beings; it doesn’t matter where we start, as long as we end up including all these areas; and of course, it’s up to you to keep the faith, the strength, the fortitude, because this too shall pass.

In times of crisis, more than ever there is a need for individuals who can maintain a constant flow and connection with his Higher Self, and urges us to have individuals who build this momentum and maintain a equable vibration so that the receptivity of the divine impulses can be clear and sharp to them to constitute a protection and a direction for many thousands of people in the emergencies that can be manifested.

Conny Méndez

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