COVID-19 has put us all in positions we were unfamiliar with. Being home for long periods of time, adjusting to online and/or socially distanced school activities, and having limited contact with friends are only some of the things we have had to adjust to. And we’ve been adjusting for a long time. All of us have been experiencing this pandemic for over a year. This can cause a lot of confusion, stress and other emotions you may be finding difficult to manage.
Understand that you might need to adapt your approach to manage emotions. Before the pandemic, you may have had different coping mechanisms or a larger network of people to talk to. It is important to first recognize that this has changed due to the nature of the pandemic and secondly, it is important to find different outlets to express your emotions. Expressing emotions can be the most difficult part of managing your emotions.
During times like COVID, we can tend to not realize how we truly feel as daily activities (ex: online school, at-home activities) can become boring and monotonous. Due to this, we may bottle up our feelings and thoughts, and not have consistent ways to express our feelings.
Finding consistent outlets for your emotions will prevent you from bottling up your emotions and feeling burnt out.
Your feelings are valid. Your world may seem limited and uneventful, so you may feel that there should be few reasons to feel worried or anxious. With the uncertainty and difficult times that COVID-19 brings upon us, it is important to recognize that you have valid feelings and struggles that need to be expressed and maintained consistently. Finding consistent outlets for your emotions will prevent you from bottling up your emotions and feeling burnt out.
Here are four examples of outlets and ways you can help moderate your emotional wellbeing during the pandemic:
1. Talking to your friends over Zoom or FaceTime regularly
This can help you let your thoughts in a healthy manner while having the chance to socialize.
2. Writing a “quarantine journal”
This is a fun and interesting way to reflect by thinking about both the interesting and troublesome parts of your day. You can use your journal as a tool to let out your feelings and look back at previous entries to track your progress. Simply allocating 15-20 minutes of your day can help you recognize your concerns. This acts as a great starting point to realize the issues you feel and brainstorm ways to combat them.
3. Take a social media break
Social media is flooded with information and content. Social media is a mixbag of various things like the news, information about social issues, and obviously people sharing their daily activities. It can be an overwhelming place to be, so sometimes you simply need to unplug. Staying updated is important, but it is important to draw boundaries by logging out of your accounts or simply not looking at your phone for a couple hours.
4. Keep open communication with family members or whoever you live with
Since our bubbles mainly consist of household members, it is a good idea to check in with them. It is important to express your needs to them so that they understand your perspective. If you want time alone or want a certain space to yourself, it is best to communicate that respectfully.
I understand that everybody is in different situations and it can be difficult to navigate your own feelings. I hope that this post helps you recognize any changes in the way you are feeling and helps you find some ways to regulate your emotions during the pandemic.