Give yourself permission to feel. Yes, it might sound simple but often to not the most obvious and simple things are what we need in life. Everyone has experienced some sort of discomfort during the pandemic and when we try to push our discomfort aside, we just make things a whole lot worse for ourselves.
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”
Often, individuals who are going through a hard time are told to cheer up or ‘don’t worry about it’. Well, this is not at all helpful and very unrealistic for someone undergoing a tough time. The problem with encouraging people to always look on the brightside is, this is not a healthy coping style to adopt. It is important to feel your feelings as this is how we learn more about ourselves, our needs and wants and most of all how to make changes in your life to enhance it. Being open and authentic about the difficulties you are facing either with someone or yourself can be very powerful. Facing the fact that you are struggling with your emotions during this time is hugely important.
Feel those ‘negative’ feelings
Now, this is easier said than done as one of our greatest fears as humans is to be alone with our thoughts especially when they are negative. Loneliness, helplessness, isolation, and insignificance are just some of the feelings we would ideally like to avoid. Something as simple as labelling your emotions without judgement can help you to regulate your emotions.
Ride the Wave
In essence emotions are like waves, the idea is we ride the wave of emotion instead of trying to stop a giant wave that is coming crashing towards it. You do not need to be an expert in surfing to realise if you try and go against the wave, you are bound to struggle. Yet if you accept the wave and ride it out at some point you will end up at shore.
The idea behind this analogy is to keep in mind that at some point you will end up at shore or at a calmer part of the sea, and in the meanwhile when riding the wave you will become much more balanced to ride the wave, so that when new waves come you will know how to jump right on and ride it out.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Stef Gafa’ is a counsellor with Willingness who has a particular interest in trauma, attachment, domestic violence and the LGBT community.