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What’s in a name? Plenty in a stressful world

What’s in a name?

The “walking wounded” is a term that was first applied in the middle of the 20thcentury to refer to victims of war, earthquakes or some other disaster, according to an online dictionary. The “walking wounded” are people whose physical or psychological injuries are not life-threatening, they are able to keep moving, keep proceeding with their lives as they normally would. Their injuries are low on the care priorities list, perhaps because they so often appear invisible.

The term came up this week during a telephone call when “walking wounded” was used in reference to everyone because everyone’s life has been touched by Covid-19 in some way. Parents are concerned about the issues they are seeing with their kids who are isolated at home, out of touch with friends and activities they would normally enjoy. Children worry about their parents and grandparents, particularly if they are high risk because of age or an underlying health issue. How can they keep each other safe and still live their lives? This is time we can’t ever get back! And many families have lost someone to the virus that just seems to keep on giving.

Everyone has a story to tell: how they were confronted with Covid, what happened, what the outcome was. Everyone is trying to cope, to process, to get a handhold on life again but Covid is still around. And the news changes all the time so what can you trust as accurate information? How much longer must we wear those annoying masks, stay at a distance from everyone, and when will it be safe again to visit in person, and hug the people we love but haven’t sheltered with? What about the vaccine?

Walking wounded. We all are walking through our days and weeks and months, wounded even if no one can see inside and know what we think and feel beneath our façades of strength.

“Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations,” advises the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.) The CDC recommends knowing what to do if you are sick and suspect it might be Covid-19. Call your health care provider before you start any self-treatment for the virus. Know where and how to get treatment.

Take care of your emotional health. Take breaks from the news reports, including social media. And limit what your children see, too. Give them age appropriate information. Take care of your body … deep breathing, stretches, meditation. Exercise may not be your favorite activity but if you have children in your home there are fun ways to get steps, breathe deep and enjoy the moment. Have you tried Follow the Leader and let a young child be the leader? Where do they get all of that energy?

Restful sleep is essential. Has your Fitbit told you there wasn’t enough data to set your sleep score because you were restless all night? Restful sleep helps you stay focused and helps you manage stress. A healthy diet is important. We’ve just come away from the holidays and there are probably still some sugary snacks around the house. Are you stress eating? Maybe you call it comfort food. Avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs.

Connect with your family, friends and neighbors. Check on those who live alone. Isolation and fear lead to depression and anxiety, say the health care professionals at Cleveland Clinic. They also suggest disconnecting from the news and do other things like tackling a project. Work puzzles … jigsaw, crossword, Sudoku, cryptoquote, word search and fill in. How many have you exhausted over these months? Have you worn the ink off of your favorite board games? A treasure hunt might be a good challenge, too. And it’s just about time to begin planning our gardens. (Might we call them Victory Gardens?)

What’s in a name? Recovery is “a return to a normal state of health, mind or strength.” Just now pretty nearly everyone is feeling the stress. Family. Recovery. Who doesn’t want to get back to normal?

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Family Recovery Center doesn’t help only families with addiction issues. FRC can help families find ways to navigate through these challenging times. For more information about how FRC can assist you with the anxiety and stress of Covid-19, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. Visit the web site at www.familyrecovery.org. Family Recovery Center is funded, in part, by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.

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