Managing our emotions during a pandemic can feel like a difficult prospect sometimes. This is when it becomes important to recognize that the behavior of the “herd” has an effect on our thoughts and emotions. We can offer ourselves compassion, because this is what our minds are designed to do, to detect threat, pay attention to social signaling, and to respond accordingly.
So if you are hard on yourself because you are experiencing anxiety, try talking with yourself in the way you might comfort a good friend: “It’s okay. Things seem hard right now. You are doing the best you can.”
It is also important to stay centered and grounded in your body and in the present moment. Too often news coverage, designed to grab and hold your attention, starts spinning doomsday scenarios. It becomes like a train wreck, hard to look away, though you know it is a disaster to keep watching.
Acknowledging difficult emotions and letting them rise and fall within you is very important. If you try to deny them, or push them away, you just intensify those feelings. So give them proper space, and allow the thoughts to come and go. Write them down if this makes it easier to get some distance.
Then breathe, close your eyes, come back to the sensations in your body and realize that, at this moment, you can let go of these temporary thoughts and emotions. They do not have to drive you toward hoarding behavior or destructive habits like over-eating or over-drinking. By allowing yourself to be fully human, and to realize that thoughts and emotions will arise. and we can still find ways to be calm, we will get through this.
Sending all of you love and virtual hugs.
P.S. If you feel the need to get some coaching or support on emotions that may be troubling you, please to set up a free call with me via Acuity in March. There is no obligation to purchase anything or sign up for a long-term commitment. I just want to offer what I can and be of service as we get through this crisis together. Be well.