Yesterday, I went to church and for the first time in a long time I was able to remove my mask. I loved the fact that I didn’t have something covering my face and restricting my breathing. I’ll be thrilled when this mask mandate is lifted. Just another significant change towards normal, which felt great.
For survivors, though, change can be so terrifying. Many of us have worked really hard to re-establish routines to cope with the new normal that we’ve been experiencing during COVID. Now, we have to change yet again as things are changing with the vaccine, various mask mandates and the economic and political impacts of the virus.
Personally, what helps me best in dealing with change is the ability to talk about it with other trusted people. When I can express my anxieties and worries with others, I usually can come up with a plan to help combat the stress in my life. Also, I try to remember what I’ve done when other parts of my life has changed. Experience sometimes is the best teacher and best encourager.
For those who do not experience anxieties brought about by changes in routine, one of the best things you can do is to listen actively. Most of us don’t need advice or assistance in figuring out our lives. But we do need someone who will listen to us and know that these anxieties are real and play an significant impact in our lives.
My hope is that, as we return to a more typical routine of life, survivors can utilize as many strategies to help them cope with the changes and that others can develop an empathy for us who are struggling with our traumatic experiences.