A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

A WORD FROM OUR DIRECTOR, BARRIE PENROSE

The human mind constantly searches for meaning and this can make things seem even harder when faced with a situation like Covid-19. With questions like: ‘Why has this happened?’ ‘What does it mean for me?’ and perhaps, ‘Who is to blame!’ repeatedly invading our thoughts it is very difficult to simply take stock of the situation and calmly get on with things like many are advising. It’s not that this advice is wrong, rather we need to allow for a psychological adjustment period for those who need it.

In my policing days, if an officer was exposed to a trauma that caused them distress, there was very little done in the first two weeks. It was accepted that this period needed to pass before any treatment would start. The officer’s mind would be allowed to naturally process the incident and return itself to a state of in equilibrium. This process of dealing with trauma is something which has evolved over many thousands of years and we’re actually very good at it. It’s in our nature to be resilient; we wouldn’t have made it this far in time had we not been.

As the situation with Covid-19 evolves quickly and people search for impossible answers and struggle with the uncertainty of the future I think it important to remember many of us are suffering a trauma. Shock is widespread, as is denial, and many people have been left numb and feeling low. My advice is very general and should not be substituted for proper, specific medical advice where you or a person you know seems to be having an adverse reaction to current pressures. My advice however, is treat this situation like any other traumatic event. Give yourself some space to adjust to the new environment many of us are now in. Accept any unpleasant feelings as a normal healthy reaction and trust that your mind and body is able to deal with these shocks if only you allow it.

I don’t want to overload this message with recommended actions and mental health tips. For me, this is a time for finding our ‘norm,’ a place where we start to feel at ease. Stay in touch with friends and loved ones and take time out to consider your perspective on what are the valuable things in your life. And, if you are able to do so at this time, remind yourself of how grateful you are for having these things.

Myself, and the team at Resilient People, will be following up with more support and strategies to help get through this challenging time.

For now though, good health and best wishes to you and your nearest.

Barrie

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