How to manage our emotions and improve our mood during Covid-19Feb 14, 2021
We are experiencing difficult times due to the Covid-19 pandemic and you feel stressed. It is not easy to have limitations such as wearing a mask, or not being able to get together with your friends and family. You do your best because you don't like feeling that way. If you have children at home, you fear that they may notice your stress, even if you do not intend to show it. You try to do your work at home, distract yourself, but things do not change. You are tense, sad, anxious, in fear, and you don't like to feel that way. What can you do?
First of all, you must give yourself permission to feel all the emotions that you feel because you are a human being and no person can be immune to emotional changes due to being overwhelmed about this collective crisis that we are experiencing. Don't feel bad about being scared, feeling upset, being bothered, or being angry. Human beings can feel all of the emotions and there is no bad emotion. All emotions have a purpose.
Obviously no one wants to feel bad and you can take the necessary steps to feel better. First of all, identify the emotions you are feeling, validate them, and give them a name. "I feel sad that I cannot see my parents," "I am overwhelmed with the amount of news I read," "I am afraid of getting sick," or "I feel anxious about not knowing what will happen." Sad, overwhelmed, afraid, anxious. These are normal emotions in the face of this adversity. We can express emotions by sharing them with our family and friends. It is best to communicate in a productive, healthy manner. Sometimes, we become irritable and raise our voice or react by yelling at a loved one. We have to avoid doing it and if we do, we can apologize and try to improve. We can also facilitate children's expression of emotions so that they learn to communicate their emotions instead of exhibiting a behavioral manifestation of how they are feeling. Stressed children can have negative behaviors in response to the difficulty they are going through and we must help them manage their emotions by verbalizing them and managing them.
Something that we can do to avoid being sad and anxious all day, is to change the perspective of how we interpret what we are experiencing. What you can do first of all, is to think that you have a long history of overcoming adversity. Remember that you overcame difficult moments in the past. We have all overcome something and that experience has made us stronger. Second, think that you have a lot to be thankful for because we have a lot that does work in our lives. We cannot go out to see our parents, but we have not lost their love. We cannot go everywhere but we have a home where we live with our family. There are many people who are in a much more difficult situation than we are. Would you trade your life for that of a friend? Having gratitude for what surrounds us helps us change our perspective of what we are going through. And this helps to manage emotions and transform them into positive emotions.
Many people are going through more difficult times and we have to put ourselves in their shoes to understand. It is not easy, but even the most difficult situations can change over time. Let us have faith that this adversity will not last forever. Let us have faith that in the midst of the storm, we will always have many good things that are important, such as the warmth of a loved one who, even at a distance, fills our lives with joy and love. Negative emotions are normal in times of adversity, but a positive mentality ensures that these emotions do not reign in our mind and do not manifest in anxiety and sadness.
Permission to feel emotions, identify and name our emotions, manage and express emotions, and change our emotions through a positive perspective and gratitude can make us feel better, even in the midst of adversity. I invite you to try to change your thinking intentionally and start living happier today.
Dr. Monica Oganes and her team specialize in school psychology and clinical neuropsychology. She provides services to children, adolescents, and adults. To make an appointment, you can contact her in Miami (305) 800-9399 and Orlando (407) 809-5680.