Dear UU Churchers,
On Friday of last week, after a morning full of kid care, it was finally my turn to get into the home office. I was looking forward to the work I planned to do with and for our congregation that afternoon, but I found that instead feeling ready to jump right in, my brain felt foggy and floaty. I couldn’t connect my thoughts, and the words I needed to write felt just out of reach. I had to spend the first part of my precious work time that day lying down, meditating, and trying to calm and clear my system enough to function.
What we are experiencing right now is a collective, slow-moving trauma, as the Covid-19 pandemic spreads and our lives shift dramatically in response. Trauma has a profound impact on the brain and body. If you are feeling fatigue, insomnia, muscle tension or aching, sleepiness, inertia or lack of motivation, over-functioning or hyper-activity, irritability, forgetfulness, brain fog, or any number of other troublesome experiences right now, know that you are not alone, and know that your ancient brain is trying to protect you with fight, flight, or freeze responses. Spend some time breathing deeply. Lie down or go for a walk. Do the things that tell your own body that you are safe and well.
Then, when you feel able, take a look at these resources from the UU Trauma Response Ministry, who have created a simple list of the signs and symptoms of extreme stress or trauma and some things to try to help soothe your system. For caregivers of children, they have also created a helpful list of common experiences of children of different ages during traumatic times and matching suggestions for how adults can support them.
If at any time you could use further support, or more in-depth resources, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.