Amputees Learn Skills to Deal with a Pandemic

helplessAmputees Learn Skills to Deal With A Pandemic

 

The Coronavirus has left people in social isolation. They are housebound, and their movement is restricted. People are panicking because their lives are shattered. They can no longer go to work and don’t have a clear idea when things will be back to normal. Their lives feel out of control. They realize this is a life-threatening situation. The pandemic makes them feel fear, anxiety, and frustration. It is up to them to cope with the restrictions this pandemic has imposed upon them. Not even knowing if you have the virus while it is highly contagious create anxiety that can reach the level of panic attacks.

As amputees, we have all had our fair share of social isolation. Having to learn to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        walk again was hard enough.  and being unable to regain control over our lives in the          lengthy recovery we went through. Physical rehabilitation was one of the hardest      things we accomplished. We have all dealt with depression, anxiety, and all the other       psychological symptoms this pandemic has created. Our experience as we struggled      through physical and mental pain may help us get through this pandemic. We have       been confined for long periods as we adjusted to our new life without a limb. Every      amputee has gone through a life-changing experience. We struggled with the       psychological aspects of our recovery and are more resilient because of it. Frustration       can be overwhelming no matter how hard we try to turn things around, it seems to        end up as wasted effort, and all we can do is throw our hands up and ask, “Why me?”        But as much as we resist our anger, sadness, grief, or frustration, it is often during               these dark moments when we come to realize we have the most significant         opportunity for transformation.

Amputees Are Resourceful in the Following Ways

As amputees, we had gone through these feelings when we recovered from our loss of a limb. In returning to this emotional space here are some ways to gain better control of your emotional wellbeing:

Acknowledge and accept it: Experiencing a pandemic, being forced to be socially isolated, reduces the control of your life. You have probably heard the phrase “resistance is futile.” You were not asked to do these things you were told to. Fighting against negative feelings will not make them go away. If you find yourself in a dark room, you will not make it light by pretending it is not dark. You must, at some point, acknowledge that it is dark before you search for light. To change your mood, you must first admit to yourself how you are feeling.
Reframe your depression: This social isolation will teach you something about yourself. Being away from other people will bring on the frustration that leads to depression. This allows you to see yourself without having to consider other people. It can mean the difference between being alone and being lonely. If this is the cause of your depression, then you know how to control the feeling and reframe it. The more you know the triggers that cause you to feel or frustrated, the more you can control it. You are now able to reframe your feelings. Emotional reactions can teach us a great deal about ourselves. Rather than see your depression as an enemy, reframe it. It could be a possibility to learn about yourself and grow as a person.
.     Cultivate gratitude: When you find yourself waking up in a bad mood, try focusing on what you should be grateful for. Don’t focus on how this pandemic has restricted you. Concentrate on those parts of your life rather than you are appreciative of. Taking a few moments to build a simple list of things you are thankful for each day can significantly improve your mood and change your outlook.
Monitor your thoughts: The virus is out there. Its threats will not go away. It is up to you to monitor the change in your thoughts and feelings. The effect of the Chronovirus will be the same. It is time to start to monitor  your thoughts for negativity. Our thoughts typically precede our feelings. If we consistently engage in negative self-talk, it is virtually impossible to feel good about ourselves. Try to remain aware of your thoughts throughout the day, or consider keeping a journal to help you shift your negative thoughts into positive affirmations.
Remember, you are not your emotions: It’s easy to get so caught up in emotions that we become them. We often hear people say, “I’m angry at the Cronoavirus” rather than “I have anger at the precautions I have to make.” You are not stuck with your feelings because you are more than your emotions. Acknowledging your feelings means being able to observe them without being overcome by them.
Exercise: Exercising releases endorphins, which create a positive feeling in the body. Regular exercise improves mood, reduces depression, and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress. Yoga is also beneficial, as well. There are many online yoga websites for amputees the most famous is  Marsha Danzig
Meditate: Even brief meditation helps us monitor our thoughts and feelings, but it also brings us into the present moment. Many times, when you are in a bad mood, it might be over something that occurred yesterday or even last week. When we come into the present moment, we can experience a sense of freedom and peace.
Try something new: The daily grind of life can start to feel mundane, and a lack of stimulation or excitement can contribute to a bad mood. Novelty awakens the senses and sparks our curiosity. Try something you’ve never done and enjoy the benefits of shaking up your routine.
Talk to someone: Sometimes, directly speaking your thoughts aloud and sharing your feelings with others may help you feel better. Consider talking to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or qualified therapist.
Get creative with your emotion: Emotions are meant to be expressed, not repressed. When you feel like you are in a bad mood, try using your favorite creative means to express your feelings. Write a poem, play an instrument, draw, paint, dance, or craft—whatever moves you.
Spend time in nature: Spending time outside naturally relieves stress. Sunlight, fresh air, and living plants tend to provide us with a sense of invigoration and aliveness. Going out also gives us a great excuse to exercise. Try going for a bike ride or a walk or hike in the woods next time you feel down in the dumps.
Pay it forward: Giving evokes feelings of gratitude and promotes feelings of goodwill. Giving is also known to release oxytocin, a feel-good hormone in the brain. Shifting your focus away from yourself and onto someone you care about may help you gain perspective and feel a more reliable connection to others.
Focus on self-care: When you’re down in the dumps, it is easy to let your self-care regimen fall apart. Taking care of ourselves is essential to making sure that we feel good physically, emotionally, and mentally. Among other important things, make sure you’re eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest, and effectively managing your stress.
Set attainable goals: Studies have shown that people experiencing depression often set unrealistic goals. While setting goals is a great way to motivate oneself, setting unattainable goals will only increase our feelings of dissatisfaction and hopelessness. Consider working with a life coach or therapist to help you create realistic goals and set them into action.
Forgive yourself: We judge ourselves too harshly and others too meekly. Sometimes when we ask ourselves, “Why am in a bad mood?” we may find it is due to feelings of shame, regret, or guilt over mistakes we have made in the past. Forgiving ourselves is typically more difficult than forgiving others. Remind yourself that you are human and that life is a learning process. Let go of your mistakes and focus on how you can do better in the future.
Know When You Need Help

One thing that amputees display has been their determination to heal themselves. They can use the skills they have learned to face the stress and depression that the Coronavirus creates. If you have tried unsuccessfully to improve your mood and nothing seems to work, consider reaching out for help. Depression and chronic bad moods can seriously affect a person’s quality of life and lead to more serious mental health issues. You can find a therapist that will help you on the phone, texting, or via skype or zoom.

Resources

Coronavirus: Advice for Amputees

Limbless Association

Amputation Federation

 

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