Whew! You finally feel safer, but that’s when trauma can show up.
I can breathe.
I can’t believe how good I feel.
I cried through the whole swearing-in.
If you’ve been chronically on edge for the past 4 years, these post-inaugural comments might resonate with relief.
But the shift to a new president might also have some after-effects, especially if you also have a personal history of abuse.
“A thing to know about trauma is that physical symptoms don’t usually show up until after your nervous system understands you to be relatively safe,” says writer Amanda Guinzburg.
“So, be very gentle with yourself and aware of how you feel in your body over the next few months.”
One way to take care of yourself is to exhale.
When you’re scared or stressed, you naturally inhale deeply ( oh my!) and hold your breath. Even after stress or trauma has passed, it’s common to breathe only in the top ⅓ to ½ of your lungs.
Instead, let yourself breathe out. Release the irritations of…
- Half-connections on Zoom.
- Nearby mask-less joggers.
- Months-long wait for a vaccine.
- Constantly being alone or never being alone.
- Also breathe out the fear and disruption of the last four years. Take a …
Then let your body naturally inhale when it’s ready. Ask your body to release whatever it’s ready to the sky, which receives and recycles it. Do it again, another few times.
Feel your body resetting.
While tension may arise along with relief, you can rest into the healing.