You are not lazy, you are exhaustedApr 01, 2022
With the first news of the pandemic, we experienced the biggest of fears - the fear of death. Our body went into “survival mode”- fight, flight, or freeze reaction of your brain. We lived with uncertainty and adapted to frequent restrictions while feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
We had to continue to work and take care of our family. Mostly, we focused on getting through the day. And not getting the Covid-19.
Some of us experienced a significant decrease in income, lost our job. Or much worse, lost a loved one.
We did our best, learned how to work hybrid, how to homeschool our kids, got used to wearing a mask, recovered from Covid-19, might be found professional support or at least some silver lining in all the challenges.
2 unbelievable years passed and when we were just about to finally take a breath... came the thread of WW3.
Some of us it affects more, others less, but there is no one, who can ignore it.
You might have caught yourself compulsively reading the news. If you have experienced war before, or you know by heart the stories of war in your country by your parents or grandparents, it is provoking trauma that you might even not be aware of.
Our brain does not always differentiate between real-life threats or perceived threats to our safety, it just reacts.
And goes into survival mode. Again.😥
When in survival mode, our “emotional brain” takes over the “thinking brain.” We are unable to make rational, long-term decisions. Our senses are heightened, and we react impulsively for self-preservation.
You can’t focus, feel stuck, and tired? You procrastinate and hardly find motivation for most urgent tasks. Do you neglect your basic needs like healthy food and sleep?
❗You are not lazy, you are exhausted.
How to go on like this? Where to get the willpower to cope with the never-ending stress?
Here are 5 things that may help immediately:
1️⃣ Acknowledge it’s happening. You are having a physiological experience of stress and trauma. You will get through it, eventually.
2️⃣ Notice how often you scroll through your phone reading the latest news. Or watching TV. What does the news do to you? Where do you feel the anxiety in your body? Noticing and labeling/naming the stress helps to decrease it.
3️⃣ Ask yourself what is it you need most right now? Sleep? Internet detox? Day in mountains? Give it to yourself. Prioritize yourself.
4️⃣ Connect with others. Seek support from people who energize you. Who can help you to gain perspective? Or seek the support of the professional. We are social creatures, sharing helps!
5️⃣ Move your body! Survival mode keeps you in a state of hyperarousal and fear. Any kind of exercise can be a great way to release negative energy.
👉What is the one step you can take right now towards your wellbeing?
Thank you for reading this far. If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, too, please share the article. We might not be able to stop the reasons that cause us stress, but we can pack ourselves with tools to support ourselves and each other.
Behaviour Shaper & Organizational Psychologist @PARP
Inuta joined our PeopleAtRightPlace team in 2009. She has more than 15 years of experience in supporting people to find their right place, discover their potential and hidden limitations. She has graduated from Psychology department. Even though she loves to dig deep, she does it quickly and rather focuses on how to immediately improve today.