Post Pandemic Stress Disorder is a real thing, affecting mothers from all walks of life. During the pandemic, we all felt stressed, overwhelm, and anxious at unprecedented levels. While the world may be "back to normal" some of us moms may not be.
It's okay if this is you mama because you survived a lot. So if any of these symptoms sound familiar, know that there is help and there is hope.
Feeling Depressed, Anxious, or Stuck Since the Pandemic - But You Can't Figure Out Why
It's no secret that life since 2020 has been tough for everyone. With the pandemic and other lingering threats, it's understandable if you're feeling a little down lately. But if you find yourself feeling depressed, anxious, or even stuck, despite there being no obvious reason, it might be worth considering whether the pandemic is to blame.
After all, we've been living in a state of constant stress and uncertainty for over two years now, and it's taking its toll on our mental health. Not to mention, we’ve been holding things together at home and tending to the mental and emotional health of our children. Add in homeschooling, lack of childcare, and work instability, and you’ve got the makings of a full-fledged mental health crisis for moms. If you're struggling to cope, don't be afraid to reach out for help. There are plenty of resources available, and you don't have to go through this alone.
Feeling Chronic or Nonstop Stress Even Though Things Are "Back to Normal"
Now that things are "back to normal," you might be surprised to find that you're still feeling stressed out all the time. This is not unusual. A lot of people are struggling with chronic or nonstop stress, even though they don't have any major life events or changes at the moment. There are a few possible explanations for this.
First, it's important to remember that stress is cumulative. Even if your day-to-day life isn't particularly challenging, the accumulated stresses of the past year (or years) can take a toll. Second, many of us have developed some unhealthy coping mechanisms during the pandemic, such as drinking too much alcohol or emotional eating. These habits can make it harder to manage stress in the long run. Finally, it's also possible that your perceptions have changed. After living through a global pandemic, small, everyday stresses can escalate and feel unmanageable. The ongoing uncertainty, global unrest, and social upheaval have created an environment where there is often little reprieve from stress and worry. Stress that is both chronic and unrelenting can lead to an uptick in anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and social (disorders) that may not have been an issue pre-pandemic.
Feeling Isolated or Lonely Despite The World Opening Back Up and Having Family At Home
Many of us are relieved that the world is starting to open back up again, but even with family at home, it can feel isolating and lonely. We're digitally connected to the world, but often at the expense of our real-life connections with friends and loved ones. And while our digital village has grown over the past few years, our tangible village has been taxed in many ways. It’s not uncommon to feel emotionally distant from friends and family we were once close to. And while working from home has been a positive and needed change for many moms, it can also be challenging to stay connected to the outside world when the home is your primary place of work.
Grieving the Loss of Your Former/Pre Pandemic Life
We’re heading into year three since the pandemic started, and life as we know it has changed drastically. For many of us, that means grieving the loss of our former lives. Whether it's the loss of a job, the loss of social interactions, or the loss of a sense of normalcy, the pandemic has been hard for everyone in one way or another. Sadly, many of us have lost loved ones during this time as well. It's okay to grieve those losses. In fact, it's essential to our mental health.
Ardenia is a Mom, Pundit and Host of The Motherhood Is Political Podcast. She talks about life at the intersection of Parenting and Politics. She’s an advocate for moms using their voice and their vote, and having tough conversations about the issues that matter most. (Link to show?)