This is undoubtedly a stressful time for everyone in very unique ways. When even buying toilet paper and the most basic things in life requires a strategy or lengthy internet search, we know we’re in a time of great concern that necessitates being ready for a multitude of possibilities: Hearts race, blood pressure rises, everyone has a slightly wider gaze in their eye, all the while trying to pretend to go through a “normal” day when the truth is that it’s anything but normal.
It’s unnerving to the core of who we are, to our most basic needs…and lets be honest, unnerving to the not-so-basic needs that were really wants and luxuries but had turned into necessities in our hearts and minds. It causes pause to re-evaluate how we differentiate the two, what we truly need, and how much if it we use on a day to day basis. Crisis makes us distill the superfluous into the necessary and most important.
For those of us with trauma in our history, times like these are an enormous trigger and if it’s one thing we’re good at (because it’s familiar) it’s responding to emergencies. It means we’re more apt to have an immediate response that then easily goes into panic. However, panic does not equal preparation. In fact, often just the opposite. Panic can lead to:
- impulsive and
- unwise decisions,
- over-consumption or the opposite, lack of consumption, so that if something happens you’re left totally unprepared.
- angry outbursts
- unstable emotions that can change from moment to moment.
Any of those will mean you’re not taking good care of yourself and, instead, abandoning yourself in the moments you need to be present the most. That’s what triggers do, despite their promises to bring good results (safety, being heard, etc.).
How do you calm the panic and the trauma trigger so that you can be the real, wise and intentional version of you who takes good care of yourself and properly prepares:
- Notice the panic and take a one minute pause.
- Deep breathe and release all your anxieties to God. (Repeat until you feel release)
- Ask yourself what the fear/anxiety is all about – is it that you’ll be without food, necessities or is the fear about something else
- What do you need right now? And remind yourself constantly that you WILL be provided for and there is a way to meet your needs
- Do you truly have enough NECESSITIES for the 2 weeks they recommend?
- Are you taking the proper precautions re your health?
- Take HALT inventory – are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?
- Be honest about each of these these because they lower our immunity and decision making
- Then figure out 3-5 things you can do right now to help with the anxiety and fear
- Nourish your body very well – remember there ARE vitamins and nutrients in food
- Sleep and rest
- Connect with the people you love
- Journal your feelings and get them out of your head. Then refute any lies you’re telling yourself.
Trauma triggers tell you they’re wiser and more powerful than you and that you need to be reacting this way to stay safe. THEY’RE WRONG. Staying calm and accessing the wisdom God gave you, trusting yourself when you’re thinking clearly and caring for yourself all lead to true preparation.
We will all get through this together. Let’s love our way through these difficult times. It always wins over fear.
Be well. Be safe and know that you are loved and cared for.