The entirety of humanity is currently in a state of panicked pause. What began in January as a faraway health worry has engulfed the entire planet within less than two months. We all are now living in a new reality of managing a strain of Coronavirus known as Covid-19.
At the surface how people are coping with the first major global pandemic in modern history might not align with the mission of Survivors to Thrivers. Covid-19 is only the current example of how a pressing uncertainty might encourage self-isolation to protect ourselves and others, but ends up magnifying the underlying stresses of our daily existence. The anxiety and fear of whether something will happen is known as catastrophizing, and compounds the normal triggers and limited belief we bravely tackle every day. This is particularly true for those of us who have suffered traumatic events in our lives like sexual abuse.
Currently, members of our beloved and uplifting community might be concerned about being forced into closer quarters with abusive family members, unable to leave the premise to get help. In other cases, current victims of sexual assault might be reluctant to go to a hospital for treatment in fear of either overtaxing an exhausted hospital or exposure to the virus.
For others, the main issue is the lack of human contact or even isolation. When you have rebuilt your life around the family you chose, it is hard to be limited on how you can act with “family” that resides outside your house. Although this is currently brought up in the context of the worldwide virus, it is a more common reality for many individuals due to a variety of reasons. Much like we are seeing in the spring of 2020, people who face isolation are forced to get creative with ways of building relationships and sustain a sense of community.
Living in a place of panic drastically alters daily routines. In the era of Covid-19, shopping
trips are more planned and rooted in more anxiety. We have lost the ability to read subtle facial cues due to the masks we must wear when we are out in public. As someone with chronic health conditions who lives alone in an isolated area, my errands were often a means of creating human interactions and discovering new experiences along the way. My errands went beyond meeting my basic needs. They were a safety net to feeling average. Exploring the products, bantering with staff or customers and trying to spread joy made me temporarily go beyond being disabled and living a life of limbo. Now, in this time of panic I dread going out and seeing anyone. It feels like the anxiety of the pandemic has become a cancer overtaking the healthy and joyful energy.
So, what are we as lightkeepers to do? First, understand as much of the situation as possible and identify what you are able to control. Clearly establish your needs and any limitations. By taking care of yourself, you can be in a better position to help others. Next, focus on absorbing factual, and unbiased information in small chunks. Make sure you give yourself time to fully process and then practice self-care. This will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and maintain a sense of grounding. Finally continue to face each day with grace and kindness towards yourself and all affected in your current state of turmoil to help create tangible solutions to improve your situation. By leading with love, you can shine a light onto the darkness of anxiety, fear and doubt and maintain your Thriver-mindset.
Throughout any storm, including our current pandemic, it is essential to keep and spread hope! Call loved ones, especially people that might be feeling alone or scared. When you catch up with them, keep conversation light, joyful and make sure to laugh! This postivity will go a long way in driving out the anxiety of this uncertain time. Above all, be kind to yourself and listen to what your inner wisdom is telling you about your needs. It is important to remain, not just physically healthy, but mentally as well. For the sake of addressing of the current pandemic we are including list of resources that you might find helpful below.
Covid-19 Suggestions and Resources:
KNOWLEDGE: Make sure you follow all state and Center for Disease Control guidelines, especially practicing good hygiene! Keep informed about all the resources in your city, county, and state. For me, focusing on updates from my Governor allows me to balance seeing science-driven recommendations as well as ways I can be a position to help other individuals either through direct donations or sharing via social media.
EMERGENCY SUPPORT: If you or someone you know is currently being abused, we recommend either visiting RAINN’s resource page or contacting one of the following national networks that you can call, text or video chat at any hour of any day.
· National Sexual Abuse Network: 800-656-4673
· National Child Abuse Hotline: 800-422-4453
· National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE
· The Antiviolence Project (LGBTQ): 212-714-1141
· Safe Helpline (Global outreach by the Department of Defense): 877-995-5247
COMMERCE: You can donate to regional food banks or nonprofits helping with the crisis.
Buy gift cards to local restaurants or shops if possible, and treat yourself with local takeout periodically! If you have more financial ability, consider working with a travel agent to plan a far-off future trip to a country heavily affected by the virus. They will need this revenue desperately in the next year to year and a half, and you can expect to get amazing deals.
EMPOWERMENT: Pay attention to the companies or influencers who are handling the effects of Covid-19 in a way that best aligns with your values. If you like how they are managing things for their consumers/fans, employees, or the community, then make sure you support them financially and advocate for their success when the panic ebbs. Likewise, if you dislike a reaction, then share your negative experience with others as well. You can vote politicians out in future elections and decide to stop shopping or watching a program if they are acting in an uncaring or irresponsible manner.
We at Survivors to Thrivers, are holding you and your loved ones in our hearts during this time of great upheaval. We extend you blessings of good health, peace, and hope so that you might continue to promote works of joy and healing in whatever ways you currently can. If you need additional support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email, social media, or the blog comment section. Not only are we on this journey to eradicate the shame of sexual abuse, but we are united in this battle against Covid-19 and the darkness it is fostering. Thank you for being a part of this loving, hopeful, joy-filled, and uplifting community.