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Staying Afloat

May 31, 2020 07:40PM ● By Joan Marie Lartin
Anxiety, fear, depression, loss, worry, overload, disorientation, uncertainty, exhaustion, financial and many other practical aspects of the coronavirus pandemic are wearing people thin. No one is untouched by this crisis. We see a range of attempts to cope—eating, drinking, spending, denial, anger, reaching out, exercise and the creation of daily routines. Some lash out at “others”. 

Some populations: people of color, nursing home residents, the disabled, impoverished and incarcerated—are being decimated before our eyes. Anyone with a heart is shaken to the core by the widespread devastation we see around us.

We are dealing with overwhelming loss. Our past way of life, the threat or actual loss of work, income, food, freedoms, social life, hobbies, personal space and most importantly, the threat of a loss of health or life for self or loved ones. We know that anger, bargaining, denial, depression and acceptance are not linear, distinct processes. On a given day, there might be a jumble, or see-saw between any two.

Useful Ideas to Ponder

·      No one can do everything, but everyone can do something that is constructive.

·      Self-care is not a luxury right now. It is a basic survival strategy.

·      Be clear about what you stand for—what is important and what is trivial.

·      Inspiration from Benjamin Franklin: “Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” 

·      If this pandemic illustrates anything, it is the unseen and underappreciated extent of our deep interconnection.

So, make self-care a priority every day. Reach out to someone that can support you or you can support. Take a moment to list all the things you are grateful for every day. This is the first chapter, but this is not forever.

Joan-Marie Lartin, Ph.D., RN, is a psychotherapist in Carlisle and Gettysburg who provides clients with access to neurotransmitter testing and amino acid therapy, as well as therapy and neurofeedback training. For more information, call 717-961-0088.

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