Blog Written By: Rebekah Wallace LCSW
The past month has been strange to say the very least. The normal day-to-day activities that we had grown so accustomed to, like attending school and work, grocery shopping, and meeting friends and loved ones for brunch or dinner has changed in ways we never could have imagined. For those of us who feel the most filled up on days when we have had the chance to hug our friends at the end of a challenging workweek, we’re really starting to feel the effects of social distancing. These times are weird and filled with emotional challenges, y’all, and it’s okay to acknowledge when you’re feeling the feels, whatever they might be. No one is immune to the effects COVID19 has had on our lives. But the good news is, managing emotional distress during this reprieve from normal life is possible.
Take a Moment to be Mindful of Your Emotions
Many of us have gotten so used to the fast-paced nature of our world that the past several weeks have really thrown us for a loop and maybe even caused some of us to ask some pretty tough questions about what our future holds.
Just know that you are not alone, and that healing and connection can still come from asking tough questions like these in a nonjudgmental, supportive environment:
- How will we recover from this?
- When will things go back to “normal”?
- When will I get to have sushi in a restaurant again? (I feel this one in my soul!)
- How do I stay sane during this weird time?
- Is it okay for me to be enjoying this time with my family at home?
We’re Here To Help You Through Emotional Distress & Uncertainty
We don’t have all the answers, but we’re here to sit in the uncertainty with you and bring hope into each one of our sessions. In those moments when you begin to feel like you just hopped onto your own emotional rollercoaster brought on by judgments and catastrophic thoughts, take a moment to pause, acknowledge the emotions you are feeling, and let yourself know that it is okay and makes sense to feel overwhelmed, nervous, restless, uncertain, and even frustrated during this time.
Be Mindful & Present in the Moment
Often what gets us in trouble is our default mode of suppressing, ignoring or avoiding our emotional experiences. This is where mindfulness comes in. In its most basic form, mindfulness is simply noticing what’s happening in the present moment without judgment.
Checking in on your emotional state and asking yourself questions like these is a great start:
- What emotions am I feeling in this very moment? How intensely am I feeling these emotions?
- Where do I feel this stress, tension and emotion in my body?
- What thoughts am I having that might be making me feel this way?
- How do I take care of myself in this moment?
- Who can I talk to if things get too heavy for me?
Face Emotional Distress Head-On, Even When It’s Scary
Here’s the thing. Sometimes it can be scary to face our catastrophic thoughts and intense emotions head-on, and it might feel safer to ignore the way we have been emotionally impacted by the changes that have most recently taken place. What we know, though, is that when we ignore or push down our emotions, they tend to stick around and become more unmanageable as more and more thoughts and emotions are added to the pile of things not dealt with. Until we have identified what we are thinking and feeling, it’s hard to effectively find resolution. Sometimes just naming our emotions and thoughts and giving voice to them helps reduce the distress they cause and can bring us a bit of relief.
“But I Don’t Have Time to Worry About My Emotional Stressors”
Many of us are facing issues right now that we hadn’t prepared for or even considered. We get it. We understand that just because we’re all spending more time at home, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we all have loads of time and energy on our hands to dedicate hours of our day to things like meditation and spiritual practices.
A Little Bit of Mindfulness Goes a Long Way…
The cool thing about mindfulness and meditative practices is that a little bit goes a long way. Taking just 5-10 minutes a day to simply pause, focus on your breathing and complete a check-in with yourself and your people makes all the difference. Whether things have slowed down for you as a result of the current state of our world or you’ve found that you’re busier now more than ever, know that sometimes simply just hitting the pause button for a short moment out of each day to check in with yourself and truly see how you are holding up makes all the difference!
So just to make sure we’re all on the same page:
- Times are particularly weird right now. Taking the time to pause, take a few deep breaths and check-in with yourself and your loved ones is a beautiful first step in opening your heart up to the benefits of mindfulness.
- Be patient with yourself during this time and know that while we don’t have all the answers right now, we do know that things won’t always be this uncertain and challenging.
Last But Not Least, Malaty Therapy Is Here For You
If you notice that you’re experiencing some serious emotional distress and heavy emotions that have become too much to hold on your own, remember that you are not alone, and that we’re here to help! We’re still here Houston, and we are ready to support you and give you the space you need to figure these things out.
Be Well Houston!