In case of emergency, break glass

5 Ways to Cope

As restrictions ease and many companies are bringing workers back into the office, many people are anxious after working from home for over a year. 62% of people said they feel more anxious today than a year ago, according to a recent study by The American Psychological Association.

This is in an emergency, and as fire boxes all over the world have taught us, we need help. We need to break the glass in case of an emergency. Is it time for you to break the glass?

A former client from many years ago called to work together again, as she is struggling. She remembered the life changing work we did for her fear of flying (GONE!) and realized how easily we can get her back on track.

We were forced to adjust to a “new normal” in 2020 and now we are being forced to adjust to another new normal: OF COURSE that is going to cause stress! I am hearing from so many who are just hitting the wall now. “My boss has been going in and pressuring me a bit to do the same although the office isn’t technically open yet. And it feels like a switch was just flipped and we are back to February 2020, so weird.”

Here are 5 ways to help you cope with “The New PTSD:”

  1. Practice self care many times during the day. Simple shifts are what create lasting change. When we stop and empty our stress on a regular basis, it doesn’t have a chance to build up as high.  It could be as simple as setting a random timer for you to stop and focus on your breathing for just a minute. Download your free “Your Own Private Paradise” meditation here. 
  2. Take a digital time out. As we learned in The Social Dilemna, our devices are designed to control and manipulate us and are intentionally addictive. When we keep bombarding ourselves with “doomscrolling,” our cortisol levels go higher and higher. Of course I’m not suggesting just turning all our devices off, but try to start becoming aware of how much time you are on screen and begin to back off gradually.
  3. Focus on what you CAN control. Where your attention goes, your energy flows. When we focus on all the stress and anxiety, we become more stressed and anxious. If you have your first in person gathering coming up, rather than focusing on all the “what ifs?” focus on what is within your control: you can choose to wear a mask or not, you can choose to still be socially distant, etc. You can also focus back to how you were resilient in adjusting to the “new normal” last year, reminding yourself that you can be resilient again.
  4. Start small. Rather than making a bucket list of all the things you want to do and then start doing them could be overwhelming. Perhaps start by meeting with just one friend, rather than a whole group.  If you are physically going back to work, see if you can go in before your actual return date to reacclimate yourself.
  5. Be gentle with yourself. Acknolwedge all that you have been through – allow your feelings. When we try to stuff our feelings down or ignore them, it’s like trying to push a beach ball down into a pool. It’s just going to pop up somewhere else.

If you want help navigating through this “new normal” of PTSD “present time stress disorder,” click here to schedule your free 20 minute consult to see if we are a good fit to work together.

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  • Stephanie Dalfonzo

    Anxiety Expert Integrative Hypnotist | Author of "Goodbye Anxiety, Hello Freedom"

    I've spent more than 20 years researching holistic, natural and scientifically ways to calm stress, anxiety and fear. I work with individuals and teams to protect their emotional health and build resilience. My two adult children, Crissi and Greg, are making their mark in the world, and live in Connecticut with Michael, my husband of over 30 years and our 2 rescue dogs, Maggie and Claire.