Riding the emotional rollercoaster of COVID-19

This 30 second trick may well just save a giant headache.

Dr Tobias Fox

Human Psychology, Philosophy and Human Potential.

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This topic is about emotions. Now, I am aware that in our current day society, talking about emotions, isn’t something that we typically like doing. In fact, in the past, it’s been viewed as a sign of weakness if you’re expressive with your emotions. But having said that, things have shifted in more recent years and people are beginning to understand the importance of empathy and with that the importance of engaging with our human emotions, and not letting them become blocked and bottled up. 

As we begin to better understand the complex interplay between our thoughts, emotions and our behaviours, people are becoming more and more open towards the idea of talking about their emotions. But having said, in the grand scheme of things, this is very new in our society, and as a side note, different cultures do this to different degrees. In the west, and particularly in the UK we’re not very good at expressing, as we like to hide our emotions, and this isn’t good because this coronavirus period can take you on a journey of emotions, where you are having to ride this emotional rollercoaster. 

The reason why this is, and I’m sure you can resonate with what I’m about to say, is because you’re at home, you wake up, you make breakfast, you’re in the same room, within the same four walls, and it just gets boring. So that’s the first emotion that I’ve gone through personally. From staying at home during the coronavirus period – boredom. Doing the same thing again and again. If you would like me to do a separate blog post on how to actual manage and deal with different types of emotions in a practical way, just let me know and I’ll do a piece on that; for sure!

But yes, boredom has been one of the emotions I’ve certainly experienced. Another one is frustration. There have been things which I have become really interested in and then in my head I will start getting excited and creating all of these plans about how I’m going to build out this cool project and how I’m going to do all this work and how it’s going to be amazing. But then after a few days I’ve found myself getting side-tracked as other little interests have caught my attention, and then I have another idea of something else I could be working on. I have felt from this like I am being pulled in different directions, and I haven’t enjoyed this at all because when I stop a project which I’ve started, I tend to feel like I’m not being integral and like I’m not being true to myself. So, frustration has come out of that; that’s another emotion. 

I'm sure a lot of you can relate to how this gentleman appears to be feeling; this is completely natural and normal.

Another has been loneliness. Loneliness because whenever I’ve felt these emotions in the moment, I haven’t always felt that there was someone that I could go to talk about things through. A lot of the time too, I wasn’t really even aware of how I was feeling and so that’s actually taught me to take a steps back throughout the day, just to be like ‘’How am I feeling right now?’’. Just doing a little check in with myself, so that I can say ‘’Oh, I’m actually feeling frustrated at the moment’’, and that’s what will allow you to just process those emotions. This is what allows you to ride the rollercoaster of those emotions during the coronavirus period. 

Make it a habit. In this present climate, it’s a good time to start as you’ve got lots of time on your hands to incorporate simple, easy habits which will stick with you when the world starts spinning again. Every time you make yourself a drink from now on, just stop and ask yourself ‘’How am I feeling right now?’’. Answer in your head or even out loud if necessary. Then, and here’s the trick, ask yourself ‘’Why?’’. Ask yourself why you feel this way. Do this three times. Your answer will be ‘’I am feeling this way because of x... because of y... because of z...’’, and in doing that and making it habit, you will start understanding your emotions more. You will become aware of how you are feeling in your body, moment to moment; pretty soon you won’t even have to do these check-ins. You will have moved up a level of emotional intelligence and you will start better understanding the logic and the reasoning behind why you feel like you do. 

This simple trick is very similar to what they teach you during cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), where the link between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are closely examined. By doing this simple exercise, you ae incorporating a preventative CBT habit into your life. But this is the least important thing you’re going to get out of doing. Your degree of self-awareness is going to go through the roof, and you’re going to be able to ride the rollercoaster of emotions with ease, no matter which bumps, dips or loops are in front of you.

So, boredom, frustration and loneliness are just three emotions that’s I’ve personally experienced. I could go on for longer, but I’ve probably bored you to death already! I would love to hear what kind of emotions you’ve personally experienced too and if you are struggling with learning how to deal and manage your emotions, please do leave a comment below or even get in touch!

Start putting the above habit into practice. It’s just a small tweak. It takes 30 seconds. Every time you make a drink, do it, starting now!

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