While many of us will have heard about PTSD it may be a surprise to find that covid-19 has led to psychologists categorising the pandemic as a collective trauma. Their reasoning was because it was experienced by all and its psychological impacts were felt by many. Data collected by Case Western Reserve University from 556 adults revealed a number of interesting statistics:
59% felt highly alert feelings and reactions
58% reported negative moods
30% were avoiding distressing thoughts and feelings
12% were recalling unwanted memories
86% reported 1 or more trauma symptoms
Furthermore, covid-19 has also led to a generalised loss of normalcy, lack of control of one’s life and a loss of trust in public systems. The researchers stated that 94% people reported at least one symptom of grief and 23% admitted to sensations of overwhelm.
With this in mind, how does an individual or society as a whole, repair the effects of such significant life events? One of the WorkLifeWell top tips surrounding this area suggests that adaptation could be the key.
Adaptation or willingness to change is a significantly useful skill in times of adversity and crises. The original term relates to an evolutionary process of an organism in order to better suit its environment. However as we have all experienced, the pandemic altered society in days rather than millenia.
As reported in the journal of public health there are certain advantages that emerge if one can adapt to a changing environment and it is up to an individual to choose whether they focus on the positives or negatives of the current climate. Adaptation brings with it the ability to manage resilience in the face of diversity, be flexible in times of difficulty and moreover can help a society emerge from the global pandemic with a new sense of purpose and direction.
One year on, it is likely that we are now at the end of the new beginning and as we strive to restore world economies, educational programmes or simply establish a new home-work balance the ability to adapt is one of a number of useful skills that we will all need for a smooth transition to the new normal.
So, recognise the change, accept it and strive to focus on and embrace the positives.