It sometimes feels like the last three years were like a kind of weird dream or nightmare, doesn’t it? The collective trauma we all experienced while living through a global pandemic was entirely real, though. We all remember it. We were all there. There was the fear we all experienced surrounding the virus, but it also created division amongst our families and communities. The massive loss of jobs, income, and the ability to provide food for our families. Add to that the food shortages that were experienced, inflation, and the so-called threat of the next pandemic and it’s easy to see why such a collective trauma occurred. While we’re not entirely past it, things are slowly returning to some form of normality. So, how do we start to get our lives back on track? How do you move forward with your life after a pandemic?
The Effect on Our Bodies
The pandemic had a very real and distinct effect on all of us. The disruption it caused to our nervous systems and, in turn, the traumatic effects it has left behind will leave their mark for generations. In an interesting twist, though, it also perhaps showed us that the existing patriarchal systems of working that we’ve known and experienced for an entire lifetime can be changed and made different. It also seems like they’ll continue to be adapted moving forward. So, it may be that the disruption this pandemic caused wasn’t entirely negative to what we know and believe.
Of course, we need to be fully aware of how this situation has created trauma in us and our bodies. Recognizing the way in which it has affected each of us individually is the first step to moving beyond the experience and into the future.
The Effect on Our Lives
For many of us, the pandemic significantly influenced our daily lives. We saw huge changes happening around us in the way we work, shop and especially in how we socialize and interact with one another.
We were forced into our homes, encouraged to stay there as much as possible and stay away from the people we knew and loved. As a result, for some of us, physical touch has become a thing of the past.
We saw massive disruption to the patriarchal work system that we have known and followed for generations. For example, women were initially expected to homeschool their children, despite both parents now working from home, and so this prompted massive changes when women stood up and said that it couldn’t be that way anymore.
Of course, our mental health was adversely affected. But this also sparked recognition that more care needed to be taken to protect and nourish our mental health that we may not have done before.
For many, the global pandemic also showed us that now is the time to get in touch with our desires and to follow through on the whisperings of our souls. Things we had been wanting to do and delaying for whatever reason became the things we focused on to get us through the tough times.
Some decided it was an excellent time to pursue starting a business (a big cheer for you!). The term “pivot” increased in popularity because people decided to pursue businesses and career changes in order to protect themselves from future negative impacts that another pandemic might bring about. Side hustles became full-time, and people took the opportunity to finally leave the jobs they had been stuck in and hated.
Interestingly, while, in some ways, the pandemic was restrictive and had a negative impact, it also brought about the idea of possibility for many.
Creating Safety and Healing
In moving past such an impactful event as a pandemic, we first need to look inwards and work on ourselves and the personal consequences this major event had on our minds and bodies. Recognition is always the first step—by recognizing how the pandemic has affected us on an individual basis in both a physical and emotional way.
Once you start to understand how you’ve been affected, you can learn the techniques of regulation to create a safe place in your body and how to bring yourself back to that feeling of safety and comfort.
It might also be the right time to start getting in touch with your desires. Survey your life, your work, your living situation and so on and ask yourself if it’s really what you want. If the answer is no, you can start to pursue how you can make changes to your life in ways that feel meaningful to you. Is now the time to pivot and put all your efforts into your business, for example?
By embracing what’s possible, you start to see what can be achieved. And yes, perhaps a significant world event like a pandemic is the push you need to explore the possibilities for your own life and dreams.