A few thoughts from a trauma-informed teacher:
All of us have experienced trauma in one form or another, ranging from witnessing traumatic experiences in the media to experiencing specific personal or mass trauma. Trauma can be defined in many ways, one of which is anything that threatens your physical, mental, emotional wellbeing or witnessing something that could threaten your wellbeing, or as anything that threatens your ability to cope.
The global pandemic of novel coronavirus and experiencing and witnessing its unfolding certainly qualifies as a global traumatic event, accompanied by varying degrees of personal trauma for individuals based on their personal life experiences, socioeconomic status, physical, mental, and emotional health, access to support, and other factors.
I am grateful to offer some tools to explore as we navigate through these uncertain times together.
- Present Moment Awareness. Pause and connect to your body and/or your breath. What does your right big toe feel like at this moment? Your whole right foot? Inhale and lift your toes up. Exhale and lower your toes down. Repeat with the left foot. Pause and notice sensations. Repeat as often as you like.
- Choice. Recognize that you have a choice in every moment. Deeply ingrained patterns and habits can trick us into thinking we don’t have a choice about how we are living our lives. Pause. Notice. Ask: what’s important in this moment? Notice how your choices and habits (physical, mental, and emotional patterns) make you feel. If you do not feel you have a choice in an abusive situation, I will post some resources below.
- Repeat the phrase “In this moment, I am safe” to yourself or aloud as often as you like, as taught by David Emerson. Teach it to your children and loved ones. Or use any phrase that helps to bring you peace and into the present moment. If you do not feel safe, please see the resources below.
I invite us all to practice compassion, loving-kindness, acceptance, surrender, and grace even more deeply in our lives at this time.
National Suicide Prevention
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Women’s Resource Center of the NRV