Why you're feeling what you're feeling... and what you can do about it.
There’s no doubt about it, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced us to a lot of ‘new’ ways of being. On top of new risks to our health and wellbeing, we have new ways of working, new terminology to understand, and new impacts on our relationships and friendships.
Then along came Omicron with its own unique set of challenges, and the scenarios we are finding ourselves in can be really diverse: isolating because we are unwell ourselves, isolating because someone at home has the virus, working from home while trying to support someone who is unwell, unable to work from home, trying to keep things ticking over at work with a reduced workforce, regular updates to the rules... there's a whole lot going on, and everyone is affected in some way! If we’re finding things a bit much at times, it’s really no wonder – the pressure is on and our stress levels are raised... and that equals a range of emotional reactions.
How we react will be based on what other stressors we have in our life, our personal circumstances, and our past experiences. We may feel one emotion more than others, but we are likely to experience a range across time. These could typically include things like, worry, fear, sadness, gratitude, embarrassment, relief, frustration, and anger; and with each experience, our ‘fight-or-fight response’ kicks in. As it’s unlikely that we will be familiar with all the unique ‘threats’ of a pandemic, we can find ourselves cycling through a variety of responses while our instincts try to decide on which will serve us best. That can be emotionally trying, but we can help ourselves to deal with how we’re feeling by taking notice of what is going on, seeking to understand it, then deciding if we can let it go or if we need to take some sort of action. Below are some steps you can take to help you decide.
Managing your emotions mindfully
1. Be aware
Take notice of the emotions as you’re feeling them. Where in your body are you feeling them? What physical reaction(s) are you having?
2. Give them a label
It can help to observe yourself as you would someone else, and dispassionately identify what you’re feeling. Say to yourself, “This is fear” or “This is anger”.
3. Accept it
Don’t try to deny what you are feeling – acknowledge it and accept that it is there for a reason.
Ask yourself, “What triggered me? Why do I feel this way?”
5. Act, or let go
If you would like to work with the emotion(s) you’re feeling, check out our resources for tons of ideas. But bear in mind, we don’t always need to control our emotions. Sometimes it’s enough to just notice, acknowledge, and accept that emotions come and go.
Need a hand?
Our emotions are on a continuous cycle and we know that even if they feel overwhelming in the moment, they will generally pass. But if you feel yourself getting lost in negativity, you don’t have to go it alone. In the first instance, you might like to have a chat with whānau/matavuvale, friends or colleagues, but if you feel like you could do with some neutral, professional support, it could be a good idea to speak with your doctor or one of the Raise team.
We're just a call away
To discuss how we can support you with whatever you’re feeling or dealing with, you can get in touch via phone or email, or you can book an appointment via our website.