Our life, as we know, it has changed drastically and so abruptly that many of us are still grappling with the swiftness of change and fathoming a myriad of ways in which we can adjust to the new reality of today. The mega contagious virus Covid-19, which name has recently been updated to Sars-CoV-2, has taken over the world in the mere month and a half, signaling humanity that we have to re-evaluate many things in life that we deemed important and nearly impossible to live without. My clients, family and friends experience a form of de realization and a “blurred vision” kind of feeling of their whereabouts every single waking moment. I constantly hear the questions of “what now” and “how is it possible”, “this is the end of the world”, “the world will never be the same”. Catastrophizing and panic that people are dealing with on the daily basis since the outbreak is really heartbreaking and is so raw. We, as nation, were really unprepared emotionally and psychologically to deal with such an invisible “monster” that already claimed lives of thousands of people. Difficult and tragic experiences that we went through as a nation (9/11, Sandy superstorm) were utterly catastrophic and also surreal but one factor that separates those tragedies and this present viral outbreak is the aspect of socialization and a sense of unity, that we had as a nation, as a community in the first 2 tragedies and the lack of the possibility to socialize and stay united and physically connected during the Covid pandemic. Our need to connect, our longing for togetherness and socialization is clearly portrayed in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it stands on the 3rd level, with the 2 first primary needs being the Physiological needs and Safety Needs. The 3rd hierarchy of needs named “Love and Belonging” outlines the sense of togetherness, community, connection, love and friendship. I feel that on this particular level, due to the increased risks of close socialization and the need for social distancing and staying inside our homes, this Maslow’s need has suffered significantly. Our Physiological and Safety needs were also shaken in a remarkable way, for many members of the community these needs have been shaken the most (i.e. the healthcare workers, police officers, firefighters). These hard working and courageous professionals had to become the frontlines during the Covid outbreak, consistently placing their lives and health on the line to preserve and save countless lives of those affected by Covid and our general community. To them, our highest gratitude, a deep bow and a profound sense of sympathy and emotional support, that we can and should all extend. As a psychotherapist, who observes and understands the emotional and psychological reactions, experiences and post effects of high levels of stress that people experience in today’s reality, I’m saying- I’m here for you, for any type of emotional and psychotherapeutic support that you need, because your needs and your voices matter to all of us, and your safety should be of a high priority to this country, that values togetherness, connection and a sense of camaraderie and community! I believe that this horrid experience has been given to all of us for a very particular reason, that we can not fully understand or appreciate at the present moment, because our attention is directed to our survival and safety. I believe that one of the very powerful messages that this outbreak brings is- Be Prepared and Act swiftly with first signs of danger. Another message that I believe to be of no less significance is how unbelievably lucky, prosperous, talented, skilled, happy, hardship free this country has been before the outbreak and how significant and paramount should the steps be in bringing this country and our communities back to normal, to the LIFE that we knew and successfully lived each and every day. To all of us my wishes are to be strong, resilient, safe, healthy and try to concentrate our inner sights on the present moment and things at hand, knowing that dwelling in the past can bring about depressed mood and looking constantly into the future and what it holds can spark more anxiety and unneeded panic. Stay close and connected to your immediate families, relatives and friends through any possible social media to maintain support, unity and give support to others. Nothing in this life is permanent except for the Finish line, let us all maintain this feeling in our hearts that this situation and stress will end and as a nation we will rejoice in winning the “war with the virus”, on becoming stronger, deeper thinkers, more appreciative and grateful for our lives and new adventures to come. Please consider the importance and effectiveness of mindfulness, breathing techniques and meditation, that you can incorporate into your daily routine. These techniques are paramount in dealing with anxiety, stress, panic and depressed mood. They stabilize our system and teach us how to control our response to stress and bring our body and mind to the state of equilibrium. Try to engage in daily stretching exercises (found on Youtube) to help your body relax and avoid problems with the spine and neck areas. Read more books and literature on mindfulness (I.e. Jon Kabbat-Zinn, Eckhart Tolle books) to bring about more sense of inner peace and calmness, and increase our natural self-healing process as well as enhance our knowledge of yogic stillness and mindful living.
I thank you for reading my article and I’m here for you if you need my assistance and advice.
Please reach our to me with any questions by emailing Myquietplacepc@gmail.com or check out my website at www.myquietplacecounseling.com
Please be safe, healthy and maintain calmness.
Marina Krugolets, LMHC, CDP.