The pandemic affected people all over the world. Physically – with their mobility reduced due to health protocols; socially – with lessened interactions with loved ones; professionally – with productivity impacted by remote work arrangements. It also impacted all of us personally on a much deeper level from a psychological and mental health standpoint as the pandemic created conditions similar to a traumatic event.
Duane Bowers is back on the Justice Clearinghouse to talk about long-term coping skills for the prolonged stress and trauma brought about by COVID-19. Duane is a licensed professional counselor, educator, and author of the books Guiding Your Family Through Loss and Grief and A Child is Missing: Providing Support for Families of Missing Children. He supports and works with survivors and their families, and supervises and trains organizations and volunteers that provide assistance to those who experience trauma or traumatic loss.
Specifics of the discussion include:
- Understanding the concept of coping emphasizing the conscious effort entailed for this.
- Recognizing trauma focusing on the role of perception in it and the core issues that individuals feel.
- Dissecting the infographic that outlines individuals’ feelings surrounding COVID and how their coping skills can help transcend from one zone to another.
- The risk factors brought about by COVID that made people respond to it as if it was trauma.
- The resiliency factors and support that made people more resilient that center on hope; meaning, order and satisfaction with life; altruism; and success.
- Elements that threaten resiliency such as signals of and prolonged danger; disruption of one’s construct of personal and societal order; and breakdown of social connections and rules.
- Defining stress management and resilience as it relates to each other where stress management is the skill applied amidst stress and resilience is the way of life that adapts well to stress.
- Unpacking how our brain and body functions and responds as cortisol plays a crucial role in the processes when trauma takes place and is prolonged.
- The concept of mindfulness as a stress management tool that allows us to go back to the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Elements and efforts to incorporate in life to improve one’s resilience and cope better in the long-term.
- Distinguishing self-care and wellness where self-care is the body-focused aspect of wellness while wellness is the overall activities to maintain well-being in an adverse environment.
- Understanding stress management, self-care, resiliency, and wellness and how each of these relates to one another.
- The five areas of life that are involved in the concept of wellness.
- The value of a sense of future as a long-term coping mechanism, and a glimpse into the future with the lens of fear or hope.
- How to adopt a hope-centered view through things that support and increase the sense of hope.
- Social interactions as a long-term coping mechanism, the qualities and experience we want to have in these connections, and the expanding social interactions we’re a part of.
- Changing our concept of meaning and value by getting rid of negativity and trauma, and focusing on positives and goals.
- A rundown of the things that we should do on a daily basis in order to be resilient and to live in wellness.
- The importance of constant awareness of our stressors, sources of support, and our coping skills and resilience factors.
- Characteristics that we’re doing okay signifying post-traumatic growth based on our interactions, beliefs, and mindset.
Topics raised during the Q&A are about:
- The effect of cortisol on our sleep patterns
- Diet and exercise as part of self-care which then becomes a part of our resilience which plays a part in our wellness and coping skills.
- Video games as a component of focus time and means of creativity and problem-solving.
- Consuming alcohol and chocolate to counter stress and cortisol.
Other Webinars with this Speaker:
- Change and Acceptance: Why We Succeed, Why We Fail
- Long-Term Coping Skills (this webinar)
- “The information shared about the core elements of resilience and how to improve it were very helpful. I thought it was good that the presenter did talk about the science behind how the body processes/reacts to stress without getting too ‘into the weeds.’ I also liked the information about research on wellness and things we can do to improve problem-solving during times of cognitive strain.” — Amy
- “Great presentation! I present in the rural communities that my organization serves over pandemic fatigue and your information was spot on while also being able to learn some new things! Thank you!” — Shyanne
- “I thought the way the presenter described creativity as the ability to problem-solve was enlightening since I usually associate creativity with being “artsy”. I am sure others thought of it this way also.” — Angelina
- “The instructor provided a lot of great information regarding hope. Very informative webinar, I got a lot out of it.” — BARBARA
- “This was a fantastic webinar and very helpful. thank you.” — Denise
- “I am a Probation Officer who currently runs an 8-week mind-body skills group for staff. Over the 8 weeks, we teach staff a number of the skills that you mentioned today. We have only been teaching the classes for a year, so hearing your information further re-affirmed for me the importance of offering this course to staff. Thank you!” — Ermelinda
- “HUGELY needed reminder of all the coping mechanisms that I started to use at the beginning of the pandemic, but went out the door somewhere along the way.” — Jennifer