There have been so many changes in a short amount of time due to COVID-19. Several people Steve has known personally have died from the virus, health care workers across the country are exhausted, overwhelmed, and dying as well. Folks scramble to try to figure out who to believe and what to do. It’s stressful for everyone!
The human body was designed for three responses to stress — fight, flight or freeze. When triggered by a stressor (like the ancient tiger about to pounce), a flood of hormonal responses prepare the body to take immediate action to save itself. This works well in a brief moment of peril (e.g. the real tiger ready to pounce), but when it is a long-term stress, this same mechanism for survival is incredibly toxic both to our bodies and our emotional wellbeing. Living under prolonged stress can cause us to close down, losing our sense of hope, trust, or even good will to others. We become focused on ourselves and our pain, feeding fear and its many masks like anger, resentment, anxiety, even apathy.