Sunel’s Blog | It’s Normal. It’s Human. But do something about it.

Sunél Veldtman, | 04 June 2021

People are exhausted and dealing with heavy and difficult stuff. Stories of loss, drama and suffering abound.

Events that are normally stressful – like helping my parents move to a retirement home – become even more difficult. In the middle of my parent’s move, we learnt that a friend from the Karoo had died from Covid. The following day we got devastating news about another close friend, and the day after, a business associate’s brother died.  Collectively, it becomes all too much to bear.

Normally stressful stuff like medical procedures, moving, divorce or losing a spouse, pile on top of an underlying heightened state of stress. We are affected.

What happens to us when we face such trauma is that our capacity to make sound decisions and think rationally, to deal with even small, normal challenges, becomes impaired. Case in point: I put my glasses down, my brain wanders to a friend facing unbearable pain, I walk out the door and can’t remember where I put them  – and it was just a few seconds ago. I am, at the best of times forgetful, but this is a whole new level of distractedness. It prompts me to take note. I’m alerted to my brain’s fogginess as a sign that I am overwhelmed by the trauma surrounding me.

I wonder how many can resonate?

We must take note. Self-care during these times is not a luxury. It’s not about lying in a bubble bath either. It’s about applying what we know about purposefully restoring our minds, bodies and spirits. Rest, sleep, a long walk, a good laugh, a heart-to-heart with a friend and time alone – these help me. Perhaps other remedies work for you?  Or used to work for you. Because if they are no longer working, take note and have the courage to seek help.

It’s not easy to admit to being affected by trauma, but know that it’s normal. I wouldn’t be human if I reacted in a different way, and denying it just kicks the can down the road.

Admission and action are necessary. It’s not soft stuff.  It is about protecting your ability to make sound personal and business decisions. For me as a financial partner for my clients, it is about defending my energy to collaborate with my clients. It is about fuelling my stamina to deal with another wave of Covid infections and the implications for our clients. It’s about making good financial choices. It’s about delivering on my existing promises.

It helps me to know that I have a plan of action, a home-care kit that enables me to unwind and recharge. It empowers me. It leaves me hopeful, not floundering.

I am talking about this in the hope that it can help someone else who needs to read this. It’s normal. It’s human. Admit it and then do something about it.

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