2. Reflection

PTSD: New Normal amid COVID-19

 

PTSD: New Normal amid COVID-19


After another long day of our new normal since COVID-19 shifted our lifestyle, I sit at the kitchen table noticing the crunch of an oreo cookie. I close my eyes and soak in the blissful silence brought about by electronics; all my loved ones are playing on their screens. Our kids are on their tablets and my husband is exploring the world of Call to Duty. 

 

It’s a really weird moment. While dinner is heating in the oven, I decided to soak in the quiet, sit down and savor a treat. 

 

Before COVID-19 we did not allow tablet time on a school night. 

Before COVID-19 I would wait to eat dessert with everyone else. 

Before COVID-19 I juggled food preparation and chores simultaneously. 

Before COVID-19 we leaned into structure and routine. 

Before COVID-19…..

 

Life looked one way. Now our days have to look different. Maybe for a short season or something more permanent. I thought I would adapt quickly because we face change all the time as a military family. It seemed plausible to sail right into the shift of a world responding to the impact of COVID-19. 

 

Then the nightmares started. 

Then the panic attacks threatened to surface.

Then the depression began seeping in my bones. 

 

I have resisted making this full transition and accepting the big picture of the reminder that COVID-19 brings, our world is uncertain. 

 

I worry for the kids mandated to stay home who are in abusive situations.
I worry for my Gran who has begun chemo. 

I worry for my baby niece who has surgery tomorrow.

I worry….

 

I bet you do too. Your worries, your reactions, and your life before COVID-19 probably look a lot different than mine but we are still navigating this change together. And we are doing it with PTSD. 

 

There are a few things helping me cope during this transition that may spark an idea or two for you:

  1. Take a walk everyday. I usually enjoy exercise but this feels more like a chore these days. What has helped me feel nourished by these moments is waving to neighbors and saying hello. I have never seen most of these people before! 
  2. Sleep. I’m in bed by 9.30pm and up by 6.30am. I allow myself to sleep in once or twice a week but that’s it. 
  3. Document life. Write down thoughts, lifestyle changes or reach out to a friend to chat.
  4. Minimal to no social media or “google searches”. I rely on a few trusted sources for daily updates. Otherwise my brain shuts down, even with good news. 
  5. Monitor my emotional eating. I’m not perfect right now and that’s okay. However, I watch what I eat and drink so that I can tell myself “no” when I cross a healthy line. 

 

The shift in our world is a little more than I can fully comprehend, so I’ve stopped trying to. Instead I am laser focused on creating a new normal for the people in my life and showing up in my small sphere of influence. How are you adjusting to your new normal amid COVID-19? We are responsible for our actions and decisions, so let’s make them ones we can live with in a  year. 

10 thoughts on “PTSD: New Normal amid COVID-19

  1. Trish, I am grateful for your beautiful words and loving support. Thank you! I have been struggling to. Miryam helps get me outside and into our backyard to explore the lake on our row boat or the creek and moss. I go even though I would rather not. I am always thankful I went.

    1. I hear what you are saying and appreciate you sharing it. I’m leaning into the natural joy from the kids as well so that hopefully my cup will run over :).

  2. You are so blessed with your gift of words! Thank you for sharing where you are and what you are doing for self care and, let’s face it, your sanity. We all can go a bit stir crazy with all the changes. I appreciate your transparency and vulnerability you share with the world. Love you lady💜💜💜🙏

    1. I love how you said it, sanity! Thankful for the kindness and tenderness you share with the world. Appreciate your openness — you bring so much light into the world!

  3. Beautifully said Trish! You are an inspiration ❤️
    Hang in there, try to keep to a routine, & stay engaged with your loved ones (those in your home, and beyond). As much as I appreciate the quiet times, those are also the timed I miss my kids the most. Ashleigh calls every Thursday, which I LOVE!!! Most of those calls last for hours, sometimed as few as one, (but usually closer to 4-5 🤣).
    Then there’s the other 6 days of the week, and sometimes Thursday’s too, I just want the phone to ring and Jacque to be on the other end, giggling with her usual delight.

    Love your children and hold them tight, in good times and bad. It may be one of the little things (beyond yourself) that you still have control over, and sometimes that is enough. The day will come when they move away and while somedays that may seem like a long way off, it’s just down the road. So enjoy these previous years while you can!
    Take advantage of the extra time with your beautiful children, start new traditions, try:
    jigsaw puzzle Wednesday’s,
    screen-free Sunday’s,
    movie Monday’s, or
    storytime Saturday’s (where you all write a short story and share it with one another)!
    Just some ideas that may help…

    I hope you all stay safe and healthy. Your Grandma and your neice are in our hearts and prayers for healing, as are you. Love & hugs! ❤️

    1. Thank you for sharing — it means so much to hear your heart.

      You are right– and your encouragement helps strengthen the focus to lean into these moments. Thankful to not be alone in it!

      I LOVE those ideas — theme days! I realized having a special helper each day would be fun, those are really going to help with the fun factor. Thank you so much.

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