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  • Jolene Roehlkepartain

When You’ve Hit the Pandemic Wall

BAM! Hitting the pandemic wall hurts. Over the past year, we’ve been barraged from every angle with stress from the pandemic, work, current events, and our personal lives. Many of us have slammed into the wall, and it’s hard to get up.

That’s because all these stressors have overtaxed our adrenaline system. We’re not made to be in a constant state of fight, flight, or freeze.

But we don’t need to stay in this place. Experts recommend:

Acknowledging your feelings—All of your feelings are valid, even if they’re uncomfortable and you don’t like them. Embracing what you feel is the first step to healing.

Nurturing your spirit, mind, and body—What soothes you? What relaxes you? What healthy activities can you choose to nurture your spirit? Your mind? Your body? For me, I need to move my body. Otherwise, all that stuck energy inside of me creates problems.

Trying different things—Part of hitting the wall is that we’re doing the same things over and over in a small space. Experiment. Open yourself up to new activities. For me, I’ve been painting by number, which has become a meditative, creative experience.

Cutting yourself slack—Be kind and compassionate towards yourself. And others. Everyone is extremely stressed. Or burned out. Or terrified. Or grieving. Or a combination of many of these hard things. Slow down. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best that you can.

“Taking care of ourselves and each other should be everybody’s focus,” says Lisa Carlson of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. “We don’t have a vaccine for our mental health like we do for our physical health, so it will take longer to come out of those challenges.”

Do everything you can to take care of yourself during these difficult times.

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