It is normal for us and our health to feel angry sometimes for the trivial reasons, or to inflate the size of small problems and enter into depressing psychological states, and after crying and breathing we wonder wonderfully: “Why was my reaction to a small problem exaggerated, is it related to this really silly problem, or is it just a facade ? »
“We are facing the cumulative effect of many large-scale problems simultaneously, whether it be in politics or the lived reality of the pandemic, racial injustice, or violence against blacks, ” says mental health advisor Gore-El Caraballo , for the American magazine Self.
There are no magic tips that will turn your life upside down, but there are small things that can help you control your emotions in the moments when you feel that things are about to get out of control.
Here are these 9 tips provided by Self magazine to take care of your mental and emotional health:
1. Get enough sleep
If you are going to prioritize one of the traditional self-care strategies, please try to get some sleep. It might seem like a simple method, but it has a great effect. Psychologist Andrea Bonior says, « The fewer hours we sleep, the more sensitive we are to the threat. We become more anxious and see things with more negativity. It is an evolutionary response. If we go back to the time of living in caves, we will find that if you are sluggish and tired, you will be eaten unless you are careful, and if not. » You get enough sleep and your body will see everything as a threat to your protection. »
Of course, stress and anxiety can deprive you of sleep, but it is worth the extra effort to make sure you sleep as good as possible, whether that’s by adjusting your appointments, doubling down on relaxation exercises before bed, or talking to your doctor about other steps that can be taken. You can read these tips to get sleep despite epidemic anxiety.
2. Don’t bother thinking about what “should” and “should not” feel
There are many sayings about how to adapt to the « new normal » to live amid the pandemic, and many argue that this only increases feelings of guilt. « It’s like you always have a pebble or a pebble in your shoes, » Andrea says. « You might definitely get used to it, but that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt while you walk. » So try to relax a little if you find yourself thinking, « Why do I still feel bad? Shouldn’t I put things under control now? »
What’s more, if you find yourself reacting to things in an « unnatural » way, remind yourself that things are not normal right now! Your response to certain situations, such as getting into a small argument with your partner or receiving bad comments from your boss, may be different in current circumstances, and hypersensitivity is an understandable consequence of everything that’s happening right now.
Andrea says, « There are many things that we would have been able to deal with well if the current situation was normal. We are now in the position of the aggrieved, because our precautions have been exhausted and we have nothing else to offer, even a little of the bad news that we usually deal with can seem like more. » Worse in light of the crisis. »
3. Don’t think about the worst-case scenario
Therapists usually define catastrophic thinking as ruminating about worst-case scenarios, such as thinking about worrying about your plane crashing, or that the mild symptoms of illness you are experiencing are a sign of an incurable disease, but the truth is that it is during these turbulent times that catastrophic thinking appears, for example in the shadow of the pandemic that We live it, some catastrophic thinking is no longer catastrophic now!
Trying to avoid overthinking, Caraballo recommends, « Look for anything that can occupy your thinking, pay attention when your thoughts start to multiply, and tell yourself: Well, it’s time for me to occupy myself with a game on my cell phone or a conversation with a friend. »
4. Take things slow and calm
Speaking of catastrophic thinking, it may be in your interest to focus on the present more than the future in the present, I know that is easier said than done, but with so much uncertainty about what the future will look like, trying to visualize it increases uncertainty and anxiety.
The same applies to anything you worry about, for example if you find yourself worried about the impact of your dismissal on your career, think about a job that you can apply for today, or improve your current situation for better opportunities. Helping them with their homework, or spending time fostering family bonding.
In the end, dealing with things lightly does not necessarily mean that you do a specific thing, and perhaps all you need to focus on today is accomplishing the best that you can do, and by talking about that, we come to the following advice.
5. Remember that ignoring is sometimes a good tool
Be aware, some days you just need to ignore the news and pretend everything is fine. There is often a feeling of guilt about having ignored many of the horrors of the world, because you may feel that being cut off from the world means complicity, but now is the time to use all the tools of coping, including denial, distraction, bad humor, or other defense mechanisms.
« Denial is a defense mechanism, you just have to be careful not to use it alone without the other tools, » Caraballo says.
As long as you don’t ignore what is happening to the point of illusion or ignorance, and as long as you practice self-care in other ways as well, you can give yourself permission to turn off your mind sometimes, however be sure to turn it on again when necessary.
6. Give yourself space to deal with what is happening
However, completely numbing your emotions will also backfire, and this is where balance is important. “Obviously we want to avoid our negative feelings, but it is important not to let things get out of hand,” Caraballo says. When you ignore something and say (Oh, yes, of course this happened, this is 2020); these feelings are stored internally, and after the accumulation of bad events With time, these feelings will revert back to you, and you will remember all those things that you did not deal with, all at once.
If you don’t know where to start dealing with your emotions without feeling completely overwhelmed, these tips on emotional regulation might be a good place to start, and crying might be a good place to start.
7. See things from a new angle
You may know that there are still bright spots in the world, but that doesn’t make it easy to see them, says Andrea. Something is burning. »
For this reason, it can be helpful to make an active effort to balance all your stressful moments. Start expressing gratitude, do your best to watch funny shows or movies, share happy memories with old friends, and do anything to make sure you don’t spend your time focusing on the negative things that happen.
8. Change your social media usage habits
Social networks are bad news stations, and they are an essential means of communication. In a time of social distancing, it is never easy to delete apps and never come back to them.
However, mental health professionals continue to advocate for modification of your social media habits. It’s common among mental health advice for some reason, if you can’t commit to cutting back on social networks, then Caraballo suggests at least using it differently. Maybe you could spend more time on TikTok instead of Twitter, because it tends to make you laugh more, or maybe you want to create a list or another account, where you only follow memes pages, and maybe you can get in the habit of leaving positive comments on posts by artists you follow or on personal photos. To your friends.
9. Set aside time each day to relax
You may have reached a stage where you feel that something bad is going to happen soon in every moment, and you remain on the watch, watching the news, e-mail or text messages, watching for the personal disappointment to come.
Andrea advises setting aside time to relax daily: « It could be as little as 5 minutes a day. Even if you feel that everything is out of control and going wrong, you can set aside 5 quiet minutes a day, 5 minutes where you don’t look at your phone and you see no disasters, and you will not. » Do nothing but lie on the bed and listen to music you like, play with your pet or your children, try meditation or whatever you want. »
It might sound simple, but while everything negative continues to pile up, brief moments of rest can also build up, and contribute to improving your mental state.