The COVID-19 virus is having unprecedented effects on society and individuals. I recently watched a presentation by world renowned expert on PTSD Bessel Van Der Kolk about COVID-19 and PTSD. As a mental health professional, I have taken his seminars and even had lunch with the man. His knowledge and understanding of PTSD cannot be understated and his approach to dealing with patients is something I use in my office everyday.
He had some strategies for how to approach this situation with PTSD patients, but it's really good advice for everyone. One of the things he talked about was the need to keep moving. One of the reactions in a traumatic experience is the fight or flight mechanism. From an evolutionary standpoint, if we were to be attacked by a bear we would either fight it or run away from it. We are now being attacked by a virus. But instead of being able to directly fight it or run from it, we are for the most part constrained to our homes which can leave us sedentary.
What can we do? Our ability to attack it or run from it has been stopped by being on lockdown. But we can take that energy and put it into other things. We can do things around the house. We can clean. We can build things. We can do at-home exercise programs such as yoga or tai-chi which have a calming effect on the body. As a family, we can do things together like cook meals. We can go outside and walk or run.
Using this approach can help relieve some of the built up tension from this global crisis and put us in a better state of mind.
I'm a Chiropractic Physician, Psychotherapist and researcher. I'm interested in helping people live their lives to their full potential. That could be simply without pain. Or it could be without more complicated physical or mental health problems. Or it could be getting help in making changes in their life so that they can achieve their dreams.