The new way of life that COVID 19 has presented us seems to be slowly "sinking in". Although the theoretical peak of the virus has yet to hit Southern NH, it is here. I am hoping hard that one week from today, the hospitals are still quiet. Unfortunately it seems evidence is slanted against that.
This changed world is quiet. Quiet in traffic noise, quiet in business, quiet in movement. I hear the birds clearly singing their welcome to spring. I hear the frogs beginning to call. I hear the horses whinnying and the cows calling the calves. I HEAR more than ever on the farm, as human noise and human bustle is stifled by COVID 19. I find the peace that this quiet brings is eerie. The waiting period that we are sitting in seems like a pot about to boil over. Steam escaping the lid, bubbles of pressure rocking the pot....domestic voilence on the rise, children and young adults adjusting to a new way to be educated, some successfully, some not. Without a decrease in heat, the boiling point happens and maladaptive behaviors slip out. We are human. This is stressful, and many do not have "tools" to deal with the feelings, lack of sleep, nightmares, anger and fear that this pandemic has brought to our door. As founder of Cooper's Crossroad, whose vision is to help build a healthier community by raising awareness of the profound and insidious effects of trauma and adverse childhood experiences, I have been racking the parts of my brain (not battered by my equine career choice) for things I can do to bring a bit of light, and/or education into these dark times. A few tips that may help...(keep in mind decreasing stress can bolster your immune system) : * Try to limit watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media to 15-30 mininutes a day. Drumming it into your head will not change the situation... and can cause your stress response to go in to overdrive. * Take care of your body, even if it feels like work. Take deep breaths, try to eat healthy, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep. *Take time to do activities you enjoy...(pick up a hobby you set aside because life was too busy, maybe?). * Connect with others. And reach out if you need support. Mental health professionals are still working! * Do what helps YOU feel a sense of safety. It is different for everyone, and it is important not to compare yourself to others. * If you are able, get outside in nature. * Challenge yourself to stay in the present. Notice sights, sounds, tastes and other sensory experiences and name them. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to stay grounded. I hope everyone can find a bit of peace this week. Stay well. All my best, Christina