How To Handle The Emotional Effects Of COVID-19
The sudden changes and uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have caused several people to experience stress and emotional turmoil. To reduce the spread of the virus, many individuals have had to alter their routines, experience financial pressures, and undergo isolation. This, along with excessive information from the media about the drastic effects of COVID-19, has resulted in several people becoming sick with worry and frustration.
If you are experiencing similar circumstances and are struggling with your emotions due to the pandemic everyday, professional therapist, Marlene R. Dyck, has listed three common challenges you may face and how to get through them. Keep reading to know what they are.
1. Feeling anxious or fearful when you’re with yourself
During tough times like these, many uncomfortable feelings tend to resurface that had been tucked away, consciously or unconsciously, so you could deal with everyday activities and interactions. But now, due to social distancing, you may find that your world has come to a halt, and you are suddenly forced to face yourself and the emotions you’ve been harboring.
To overcome your painful feelings, it’s vital to explore your personal thoughts and feelings. One good way to do this is to write down one feeling and explore it by asking yourself questions like:
a. What was I thinking when this feeling came up?
b. Was that thought the truth or not? (If it wasn’t, discard it or replace it with the truth).
Just by writing down your feelings, you can gain a better understanding of yourself. It will also teach you to be kinder to yourself. Writing down your thoughts on paper can be scary and tough, but once you pen them down and read them, it really opens up your eyes. Just by doing this little activity every day, you are choosing to become self-aware, which is an excellent step towards overcoming your fears and anxiety.
2. Experiencing the feeling of loss
Personal losses can cause you to feel a loss of control over the dreams and plans you had, loss of security, and events that you were looking forward to. Relationship losses could be related to emotional distance caused by the much needed physical separation to fight the Coronavirus. The trials of loss could also be caused by the fear of death, either for yourself or loved ones.
When experiencing loss in any of these forms, it’s vital to name what you’re experiencing and try to understand it. This is the first step to work through your challenge. If you are experiencing personal losses, embrace yourself, and choose to be loving and kind. Take some time to explore your true self, and what you have often thought about doing for yourself but said it didn’t matter. Remember, your dreams and aspirations do matter, and it’s never too late to get started with them because you are always on the edge of new beginnings.
If you are experiencing tangible losses, identify the best way to manage your thoughts for now. One way to do this is to think of creative methods to improve your future. These hard times won’t last forever, and because you are strong, you will get through this. Perhaps with a bit of introspection, you may even be surprised about what you discovered regarding yourself!
3. Experiencing trauma
Trauma is defined as “a psychological, emotional response to an event or an experience that is distressing or disturbing.” This pandemic has emotionally affected many people in varying degrees. Some of the emotional symptoms it has caused are anxiety, fear, anger, irritability, mood swings, withdrawal from others, and feelings of sadness or hopelessness. If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, and they are not going away, or if they are getting worse, it is crucial to seek advice from a professional counsellor or therapist. They will be able to help you calm down and get to the root of your troubles. Simultaneously, they will help you take away the power of your negative emotions and replace them with positivity and nurturing emotions.
On the other hand, if you are experiencing milder symptoms, here are a few tips that can help you:
a. Maintain some time for personal self-care during the day to enjoy a book or movie that you really enjoy.
b. Connect with loved ones and let then know how you are feeling, let them be there for you, and soothe you with their love and compliments.
c. Get moving and be physical as it will help you mentally too. Physical activity is said to release endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline, and endocannabinoid, all of which are brain chemicals that encourage you to feel happy, confident, capable, and less anxious.
While doing these activities, you must remember that you are a resilient individual, and you can and will get through this.
I wish you all the best with your endeavors and look forward to helping you in any way that I can. If you’re looking for a therapist in Winnipeg, Manitoba, reach out to Marlene R. Dyck. I am a certified therapist, counsellor, or mental health professional in Winnipeg, and I am here to assist you with all your concerns about relationships, couples and family issues, individual issues, mental health, grieving, and more. I patiently listen to your emotional challenges, thoughts, and feelings, then devise a strategy to help you overcome your struggles and feel valued, heard, understood, and connected.