The coronavirus pandemic has certainly brought up a range of emotions for all of us. However, for some people, COVID actually triggers past trauma.
When the pandemic started, there was the fear of an unknown infection and its ill effects. Now, there is also hope for the future and the promise of vaccines. Still, even if you thought that you had settled your past, COVID may have brought up new issues that you didn’t even realize.
Although it’s troubling, this may actually be the best time to treat the unresolved pain. Here’s how you can safely face and worth through it if COVID triggers past trauma.
How COVID Triggers Past Trauma and Emotional Pain
There are a couple of reasons why the coronavirus may bring up pain for you. For example:
- Lack of Control: A common issue is that when you experienced the traumatic event you were not in control of what happened. Whether it was an accident, abuse, or violence, it was a situation where you had little or no control. Similarly, you can’t control the fact that COVID-19 is occurring and impacting your life so completely.
- Lack of Safety: Certainly the pandemic has made us all feel less safe to varying degrees. Moreover, the situation is even more disturbing if you work in a job that requires you to be in-person. There is always a chance of contracting the virus and becoming very sick. That invisible, pervasive danger may trigger the same sense of exposure and insecurity you connect to your previous trauma.
Why Addressing Past Trauma via COVID is an Opportunity
If COVID triggers past trauma then this may actually be an opportunity for you to resolve old pain. Why?
All told, the pandemic provides chances to face real-time fears and look at how your coping methods are impacted by the past. This may provide insight into related beliefs or behaviors and spur you toward finally living in the present with less fear and healthier emotional balance.
Practically, you may also have more time on your hands to prioritize yourself. If you are commuting less, running fewer errands, and reorganizing your work or family life, now may be the best time to resolve the issues plaguing you. You can take advantage of this time in your life to slow down, reflect, and take on past issues purposefully.
Strategies to Soothe the Triggers from Past Trauma
Here are some ideas to help you begin processing the unresolved trauma:
- Work some personal time into your daily schedule. Choose a time when you can be alone and uninterrupted.
- During this time, practice mindfulness. This includes deep breathing exercises. The idea is to allow thoughts to come to the surface, then drift away.
- Select a place in your home that is comfortable and allows for complete relaxation.
- Practice journal writing. The goal is to release thoughts and write feelings that you hold inside.
- Do some light stretching or physical movement during this reflective time.
Try to schedule 15-30 minutes a day for this personal reflection time. Try to stay consistent so that it becomes a daily habit.
Taking Advantage of Remote Therapy
COVID-19 has presented many challenges. Yet the pandemic has opened the doors for new opportunities for health and peace too. One aspect of the pandemic has been the rise of teletherapy. Now it’s possible to have a therapy session at home, rather than an office. Why is this helpful?
- You may feel more comfortable and emotionally safe in your own home.
- It’s more convenient, and less risky or triggering, with no need to commute or sit in a waiting room.
- You still get the same quality sessions and therapeutic relationship as when you are face-to-face.
This is the right time to reflect and resolve issues if COVID triggers past trauma for you. Reach out today to learn more about how teletherapy and trauma therapy can help.