Easter looms as we turn the corner farewelling the first term of 2022. So, ‘How is your COVID whiplash?’
It feels a bit like that; our learning to 'live with COVID’. Borders open, masks on, restrictions in place, restrictions eased, masks off, isolation rules changing and the virus itself morphing into all sorts of variants and sub-variants - and here we all are, showing symptoms of COVID whiplash and not really knowing where to go or what to do with it.
Just when we think we can move forward, our close contact status whips us back into iso. The threat of disrupted school, family, work, sports, church, or life in general looms, and the impact of the pandemic on the world and each of us individually is not fully known. Many of us are holding out for things to ‘go back to normal,’ or that at the very least, hoping that the disruption will decrease allowing for some order to return.
A recent study in the US and Italy, discovered that, despite the increase of more regular sleep due to isolation rules, "potential benefits of more regular sleep were outweighed by the negative impact of pandemic-related stress on sleep quality."
(Weiten, W. (2021). Psychology: Themes and variations (11 th ed.).
This is significant and highlights what I am seeing in my private practise. The impact on our emotional, mental, social and physical health of the pandemic requires acknowledging. It is tempting and ‘appears’ easier to put it behind us and move forward, however, our overall wellness really does require paying more attention to what our body and our mind is telling us. Maybe it will require some adjustments in ours days allowing ‘space for healing’ and some balm for our whiplash bruising and ligament damage.
The first and most important place to start, is to challenge the feeling of guilt and shame. Often these undercurrent emotions hinder the lifestyles adjustments that might be required. Being driven by guilt, shame, and the fear of letting others down or trying to prevent further disorder will only increase the severity of the whiplash. It takes courage to do what we need to do to heal and it takes vulnerability to be our own safe space and be honest with where we are really at.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness."
It has been a unique start to the year, but we made it! We are in it together and we will make it through next term and who knows what opportunities lie ahead for us to continue moving into deeper more authentic spaces of life and living.
Praying that each and every person in the King’s family are blessed abundantly over the holiday break and enjoy time to be together with loved ones.
Amanda Cox, Finding Space