Most of us are now in our post-pandemic era where we’re no longer affected on a day to day basis by Covid and can live pretty much as we did before. There are still thousands though whose reality has changed or continue to be affected as Covid has not just disappeared.
For the majority, we’ve adopted that very British way of just carrying on; almost as if nothing has happened. For minor things in life, this works pretty well for us such as if we have a disagreement in a shop or a puncture on the way to work, we don’t need to reflect too much on this. There have been some significant new stressors, distractions and concerns that have taken our thoughts away from how the last 2 years have been such as war and the cost of living increases.
However, something so massive as a global pandemic affected our lives indelibly. Each and every person will have suffered some kind of hardship, loss or stress at the time and most of us have come through this. As we ‘carry on’, we’re not giving ourselves the time and space to reflect and deal with the losses and issues and with something so significant, it will affect us. This is evident in the tsunami of need for mental health support, the increases in clinical anxiety and depression and the increased levels of discontent and anger amongst the general population (Click here for tips to help manage post-pandemic rage).
Research suggests that the pandemic critical exposed societal needs as well as strengths such as resilience, creatively and innovation. It also exacerbated existing inequalities and differences and created new ones. Our feelings about the government has wavered where initially trust and national unity increased following significant decline especially when change and conflicting information was presented to us in the 2nd half of 2020 and when we began to feel a sense of Covid fatigue.
Taking some time to reflect can help us –
- To process and acknowledge just how hard it’s been
- To build resilience as we notice how we coped and what we did to get through – whether this be adopting homeworking, connecting with friends via Zoom etc
- To notice and process our losses. This could be not having your 18th birthday celebrated, missing a friend’s funeral, the loss of loved ones, loss of your own health, loss of income, savings, holidays, job……
- To appreciate where we are now and to notice the positive changes it’s brought you.
- To acknowledge the exposed inequalities that you may have experienced and ongoing difficulties in the aftermath of the pandemic (such as reductions in medical care)
- To process and let go of anger and resentment that may have set in from our losses or losses to loved ones and the changes we had to make.
I would invite you to open up conversations with friends, colleagues and loved ones to hear about their experiences and shares yours too. You may want to write about your experiences or find another way of expression. If this is having a deep impact on you, you may be experiencing symptoms of trauma or PTSD and having professional support from a counsellor can be of huge help. Holding onto emotion and stress, which happens so easily when we just carry on, will have a detrimental effect upon us!
As always, feel free to comment or share you experiences – I’d love to hear what You think.