Life After the Coronavirus Pandemic: How to Quickly Recover from this Tragedy
Witnessing or learning about a tragedy like this ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic tragedy can have deep personal impacts. A tragedy is a traumatic event that involves a large number of victims and/or a significant loss of life. It can have short- and long-term effects on individuals, families and entire communities.
You may become aware of a tragedy by witnessing the event, knowing someone who was affected, being in the community or seeing it on the news/social media. Tragedies can impact the mental and physical health of those involved, as well as those who hear about it. You may feel:
- Fear: You may feel afraid that something like this may happen again. You may also feel fearful for your safety and the safety of people close to you, or scared to go to the place where the event happened.
- Guilt: Sometimes, people feel emotions that surprise or shame them, like feeling relief that they weren’t hurt or the tragedy didn’t happen to anyone they know. This may turn into guilt for feeling this way or having these thoughts. Try to be compassionate with yourself while you process your feelings about the tragedy.
- Helpless: Since tragedies are rare, they can often leave people wondering what to do or how to help. A traumatic event may leave you feeling vulnerable or frustrated that you’re unable to help.
- Traumatized: When people become overwhelmed, their minds may try to protect themselves by shutting out emotion or becoming numb. You may find yourself isolating from others, feeling withdrawn or no longer being interested in activities you once enjoyed.
- Strong emotions: It’s natural to feel strong emotions following a tragedy. These feelings may appear suddenly and be overwhelming. It’s OK if you feel differently than others, there is no “right” emotion following a tragedy. Many people feel sad, angry, surprised or sympathetic.
Others may experience:
- Panic attacks and/or anxiety
- trouble sleeping (e.g. nightmares or difficulty falling asleep)
- A shift in perspective (e.g. feeling like life is short)
- A change in spirituality/faith (e.g. seeking answers for why it happened)
- Feelings of confusion, anger, rage, denial and/or hopelessness
- Flashbacks (e.g. reliving the event)
After Tragedy: 3 Reasons to Bring Joy Back into Your Life
Reason #1: Joy is your nature.
Joy flows from the same source as love and peace; it flows from your heart. When sadness comes, allow your tears to flow. When joy comes, allow your smile to shine. That’s how it is supposed to be. It’s your nature; it’s who you are.
Reason #2: Joy is your light.
Joy is the light within. One step at a time, toward the light. Isn’t that a fine way to respond to tragedy?
Reason #3: Joy is your power.
The deep joy flowing within you is a healing force. Its warmth has the power to melt the inner paralysis. Its energy has the power to fuel your journey toward a life in alignment with your heart’s desire.
Ways to Bring Joy Back into Your Life
If you’ve been affected by a traumatic event, there are things you can do to cope and get support;
Unburden your pain and lift your spirit with Prayer.
Many of us have been taught by our parents the importance of prayer; before going to bed, before eating and so on. It is important that daily prayer becomes a lifelong habit. The other bonus with prayer is that it helps us let go of my pain and lifts your spirit at the same time. I have no idea how this happens, other than to revert to my religious instruction that God will take our sorrow to relieve our burden and heal our souls and spirits. In fact, make prayer your friend during this time, it will be helpful.
Therefore, pray upon waking and whenever you encounter difficulties or emotional upheaval. I won’t assure you of immediate answers you will seek, but you will always feel better. I know that powerful divine forces are looking out for you at this time.
Treat yourself with kindness.
When you are facing the most painful tragedy, treat yourself with kindness first. Always eat healthy meals on a regular basis, get a good night’s sleep, and do other things that make you happy. It may sound like simple advice, but it works. When your body (and your mind) are in pain, tending to your physical and emotional needs through good self-care helps you cope with tragedy and loss.
Get out of the house and be with other people.
When the hours just seem to drag by during the day and obsess about how bad you feel or the memories and thoughts, the best thing you can do is to leave the house and be with other people. The effort you put into doing this and struggle, especially at first will be worth it. You’ll be distracted a bit from your pain and sorrow, paying attention to who’s around you, what they’re saying, and what they are doing as well.
Not interested in being around people, you can wall to a mall, beach or any place that has many people. Even if you go to the mall and wander through the stores, you’re surrounded by people. Sit by a coffee shop or restaurant or in the lounge area and watch people. Think about where they’re going, what their stories are. Of course, spending time with loved ones, family members and friends are preferable, but if they’re not available, go somewhere, anywhere and be with people.
Have someone you can call whenever the pain and sorrow get too much.
The worst feeling in times of depression is being alone at night and afraid to let anyone else know what you are going through. It’s important to have someone to call whenever emotions become overwhelming. Just talking can help transition through the most intense pain. It doesn’t have to be about the pain, but perhaps the sense of that person’s willingness to listen is vital to your healing. A 2018 study by Michigan State University of National Guard members formerly deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan found that the quality of family and relationships improves life satisfaction level and decreases suicide risk.
Spend time outside in nature| Take a trip, tour, holiday or vacation.
The healing power of nature and spending time outside like on a Uganda safari is well documented. In fact, natural surroundings provide a ready and easily accessible remedy to soothe body, mind and spirit. You can decide to go for an Africa tour in a country of choice. It could be a Uganda tour, spend time in the wild doing a game drive, take part in adventurous activities like gorilla safaris in Uganda, boat cruise, hiking safaris, spot fishing etc. Not interested in a tour, you can go gardening, walking in the neighbourhood or park, going to the beach, these are all healthy ways to allow nature to work its wonders. It doesn’t cost anything, either.
Looking forward to going for a trip after this is all over, think of the prominent Africa safari destinations like Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya among the many where you will enjoy adventurous activities like; Congo safaris offer you chance enjoy a Congo gorilla safari in Kahuzi Biega National Park to trek lowland gorillas or a Congo gorilla trekking tour in Virunga National Park to trek the famous Mountain gorillas.
Rwanda too has lots of Rwanda safari activities to offer travellers interested in Rwanda tours like Rwanda birding safaris, Rwanda gorilla safaris in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Nyungwe Forest National Park, a canopy walk in Nyungwe, a Kigali city tour or a Rwanda wildlife safari in Akagera National Park.
Tanzania safaris offer one of the best Africa wildlife safari destinations. A Tanzania wildlife safari offers you the chance to visit Africas’ most famous Serengeti National Park while Kenya safaris offer Kenya wildlife safaris that bid you the chance to visit Masaai Mara National Park and many others.
Do something to help another person.
When you feel your own pain, remember that others are also going through pain or loss and could use a little help from someone like you. Say something kind or welcome those around you, for they likely need the expression of human kindness more than you know right now. Donate something to charity, whether cash or non-cash items. Help a neighbour. Offer to do errands or chores for someone who needs assistance, for example, spends time at the orphanage. This helps that person out and also provides a measure of solace for you.
Tackle chores around the house.
Most of us have things that require our attention around the house. By tackling household chores, you’re not only keeping busy but also doing something useful. Be sure to keep a list and cross off items as you complete them. It may seem small comfort, yet it does produce a sense of accomplishment.
Take up a hobby or activity.
When all the chores are done, you’re finished at work, others may be too busy or occupied to spend time with you, and you want to spend a few hours doing something productive, find a hobby or activity you enjoy.
Forgive yourself for not being able to control the situation.
No matter how smart, resourceful, loving, faithful, organized, or pious you may be, you don’t get to control this. No matter how meticulous you’ve been throughout your lifetime, life has its own terms, and certain things are just not in your control. Surrendering to rather than wrestling with and resisting the situation may give you some measure of peace.
Release all self-criticism.
Pressuring and rushing yourself, blaming, shaming, judging, and/or persecuting yourself only prolongs the suffering. If you’re harshly self-critical, find people to keep you accountable or reminders to be gentle with yourself as you process this pain.
Be grateful to yourself for having made this journey.
Going from feeling completely lost, broken, humiliated, and destroyed to where you are now is a powerful statement about who you are. Showing yourself respect and appreciation and accepting it from others is a really good thing.
Conclusion thoughts: We all know that life is unpredictable and uncertain. What we have today, can be taken away the very next day. How we expect things to be today, may not be how they are tomorrow. Life served us well yesterday, but may not favour us in the future. Life is a cocktail of unexpected adventures. For every 100 stories of defeat, where people have given up all hope, we should all use tragedy as a catalyst for positive change.
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