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  • Eve Coker, PhD, LCMHC

"Crashing" after stressful events

A friend of mine felt ill on the day after her holiday celebration and the telehealth doctor had strongly recommended for her to go to an urgent care clinic for more appropriate testing. In her area, the urgent care clinics were either insanely busy or were taking no more walk-ins due to the overwhelming number of appointments they'd already made. Multiple clinics were short-staffed due to the medical professional shortage as well. Thankfully, she was able to seek care the next day.


It made me think of how common it is for us to push ourselves through a difficult situation, especially when we need to stay strong and keep going, only to feel like we crash and burn once the situation is over. Once we have the chance to rest and our survival hormones/chemicals/processes are depleted, our bodies tell us to REST. With so many of my clients crashing after a stressful event, they often think there's something wrong with them.


It makes sense that the holiday season this year has been so stressful after all the insanity that Covid has brought. While I hope that you had a lovely holiday season, many of the people I've spoke with expressed feeling like they're just trying to survive it. While that's a pretty common thing for many people during any holiday season in the past, many have said that this one feels extra difficult. We're already feeling overwhelmed and maybe even trying to survive in our regular lives, and the holiday expectations coupled with added fears and struggles all just make it much more stressful and possibly even painful.


No wonder the urgent cares, telehealth queue, and pharmacies have been packed lately (despite medical professional shortages). We can compare ourselves to machines that way - if we don't take care of ourselves (which can be difficult to figure out!) and push too hard, we too can break down.


It's okay to take care of ourselves along the way, and not to beat ourselves up when our bodies and brains need to rest.




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