Coping with the stress of lock down (and going back into the world)

To quote many of us, these are strange times we are living in, and just as we had to get used to lock down 6 weeks ago, we are now preparing to face the world outside of our own four walls and this can come with quite some trepidation.

Here Dr. Brandi Eijsermans and Charlie Hartmann discuss the various emotions we will be going through and, of course, how to deal with them best. At the end of the post we share some invaluable resources for you to use, whether for yourself or your family.

Symptoms of psychological trauma

  • Shock, denial, or disbelief.
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating.
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings.
  • Anxiety and fear.
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame.
  • Withdrawing from others.
  • Feeling sad or hopeless.
  • Feeling disconnected or numb.
  • Trouble with sleep or general nightmares/bad dreams.

* Note: some of these overlap with PTSD

For those who experienced trauma in the past this can trigger what is called complex trauma, when we have a diffuse history of traumas and the above symptoms trigger PTSD symptoms.

More on collective trauma here.

For those with individual and/or collective trauma symptoms we want them to know that…

  • It is not what happens but who is there when it happens and 
  • having a way to sort through the complicated thoughts and feelings so they don’t flood us

So if you are suffering reach out. 

Emotion regulation is important – we can improve resilience by having a healthy evaluation of our stress and stress response.

  • Know for yourself what to use to soothe difficult emotions (Are they adaptive and healthy?)
  • Know how to calm difficult emotions
  • Reflect on how this impacts your social functioning, as it is a key buffer for trauma
  • If you are not able to do the above on your own reach out to friends/family or seek professional help.

Local resources

If you find this information useful, we would be really grateful if you could help us stay open by donating to the LiLi Centre – even CHF 10.- can make a difference!)

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