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Pandemic Reintegration

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View from Gate at at Hollyhock retreat centre in Cortes Island, BC

How are you? How is your mental, emotional, and spiritual health these days?

We’ve been through a wild ride, and as pandemic restrictions lift, it is an incredibly pertinent time to check in with yourself and consider your reintegration approach.

While the lifting restrictions may be met with joyful celebration, psychology experts are warning that some people are experiencing high stress and anxiety with the change.

In fact, a recent Mental Health Research Canada poll reported that many Canadians are still feeling significantly more depressed and anxious than before the pandemic, a trend that signals the mental health impact of the pandemic will likely linger.

As social events start to ramp up again, the social FOMO (fear of missing out) that many people used to experience pre-pandemic is returning in full force. It’s as if the many cancelled events of the last 2 years are suddenly all being promoted again. And for some, FOMO is being replaced by FONO – the fear of normal. After two years of acquainting to a “new normal,” and with differences in risk tolerance, and general uncertainty about the future, the path towards reconnection is not straightforward.

Psychologist Deborah Serani explains that the pandemic was a traumatic event and that this time is a global example of what’s called “re-entry after trauma.” As with any trauma, that re-entry will have to happen slowly.

However, if we manage this time well, there may be exciting possibilities ahead for us. When we look at the arc of human history, some of the greatest creative booms have emerged from crisis – such as the Renaissance after the Black Death and the Roaring ‘20s after the Spanish flu pandemic.

At Hollyhock, we know all about the importance of mindful integration as an integral part of any healing or transformative process. We offer programs on the pristine landscape of Cortes Island to provide the spaciousness needed to connect with your body, be inspired by nature, and remember what’s most important to you.

If you are feeling uncertain about your path through this time, you may want to take Time of Transition with one of our legacy spiritual teachers, Atum O’Kane. If you’re feeling the repercussions of prolonged stress and anxiety in your body, perhaps you could join Whole Human Health with medical doctors Lawrence Cheng and Devon Christie. If you’re wanting to strengthen or rebuild relationships that have suffered, have a look at From the Roots Up with veteran Nonviolent Communication trainer Rachelle Lamb. And if you need to process grief and gain tools for resiliency, we suggest checking out Grief, Joy, and the Way Forward.

As you take this time to contemplate your reintegration approach, remember to go at your own pace, breathe, and connect with nature wherever you are. There are many paths forward – let’s approach it with care and creativity.

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