Most disasters you and I encounter in life are personal and quite specific. The majority of mine have resulted from poor choices.
A pandemic is an entirely different trauma. It’s not specific or personal (unless, of course, it overtakes your personal health).
You and I didn’t cause it.
We had no way to prevent it.
Rather, we are surrounded and [greatly] impacted by it.
During the early stages of the coronavirus ‘lockdown’, one of our team members asked me, “Is PPI going to survive this?“
Here was my response:
“There’s no way to know what or who will survive this. When we look at past struggles each of us has had in our lives, we can today see how they’ve made us better and stronger. While this [pandemic] is unprecedented, what we must do individually is take our best shot at considering this is happening FOR us (not to us). Not easy, but essential.”
While the causes and effects of this trauma are ‘global’, how we each deal with it is absolutely specific and personal.
Trauma causes stress. Allowing it to become distress is often an individual choice.
Acute or chronic distress can lead to a common malady in modern society- PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder).
In the United States, about 3.5% of adults have PTSD in a given year and 9% of people develop it at some point in their lives. It’s very real, and can be a bi*ch to deal with.
There’s no telling how much PTSD numbers will rise because of the COVID. Especially as longer-term economic impacts play out.
I believe though, the strongest defense against distress lies between your ears.
Keeping your ‘head in the game’ is essential.
Three things that are helping me ‘keep my chin up’ include:
- yoga & physical exercise, and
- seeking and finding inspiring stories (especially funny inspiring stories)
Remember, what you focus upon expands, and- you’re gonna find whatever it is you’re looking for. Suzette found something recently that’s currently at the top of my ‘hit list’.
Actor John Krasinski has now completed two episodes of what he’s calling “SGN” (Some Good News). If you’re a fan of The Office, you know him as Jim Halpert. More recently, you’ll recognize him as Jack Ryan.
Here’s Episode 2, which includes a VERY special “Zoom Bomb”:
As a small business owner, believe me, this isn’t ‘pie-in-the-sky-everything’s-wonderful’ time.
Most every day I face some level of mental struggle. I imagine you do as well. And when our mindsets begin to tilt negative, our responses define us.
It appears the coronavirus and its impacts have a bit longer to run. During this global intermission, rather than allowing yourself to get sucked into the ‘pool of despair, why not tilt upward? Why not choose to GROW?
As we collectively do so, I believe we have the opportunity to coin a new term (perhaps even start a movement)- #PTSG (Posttraumatic Stress Growth).
Why not help get this going? Let me know your thoughts, as well as offer links to great stuff (like SGN) using the COMMENTS section below.
For now, I’ll sign off with this quote from Jack Dempsey, one of the greatest boxers of all time: “A champion is one who gets up when he can’t.”
Thanks for being a champion!
Until next time,
P.S. In my ongoing efforts to GROW, I’ve come across a book I wish I’d read years ago: ANTIFRAGILE- Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (author of The Black Swan). Fantastically (laugh out loud) written, it offers great insight in light of what we’re currently facing!
 American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. pp. 271–80. ISBN 978-0-89042-555-8.