Coping in Quarantine: Feel all the Feels
My friends, Covid-19 is rocking everybody’s boat right now. We are eyeball deep in the middle of school closures, restaurant and gym closures, every event being cancelled, all in the name of social distancing.
We are feeling a lot of emotions. I know because I’ve been spending a little more time reading the news and on social media than I normal would (because of the aforementioned cancellings). There are so many people talking about fear and anxiety and frustration and anger and sadness and overwhelm.
At the same time I see people posting about how grateful they are for this time to slow down. They are enjoying the time that they get to spend with their families without all the outside distractions.
We are all so incredibly grateful for anyone working in the health care system, who are fighting this virus on the front lines. They are being pushed to their limits for our welfare and may heaven bless them abundantly for it.
I have seen myself go through all these emotions and more. I have felt overwhelmed at the idea of trying to homeschool my kids. I have spent time spinning out in confusion about how to help them, how to help my clients and how to help you, my lovely followers.
So many feelings.
Under normal circumstances, we tend to want to avoid feelings but buffering. This can take the form of overeating, overdrinking, excessive social media use, burying ourselves in work, binge watching Netflix, or excessively exercise. These buffers act as a distraction from the real stress, and while they may help you feel temporarily, they do nothing for actually receiving it.
The interesting thing about this quarantine is that many of those options for coping with all the stress have been taken away and we are left with finding new ways to cope.
So I want to write the next few posts giving your some coping strategies for moving forward through this Covid-19 quarantine and beyond.
Here we go.
Coping in Quarantine Strategy #1 – Notice and Allow Yourself to Feel All the Emotions
Rather than turning to new buffers, I want to offer to you that you can process and feel your emotions now. It is way more satisfying long term, and it is a way more efficient use of your time. The pain and discomfort of the emotion, won’t last nearly as long if you can allow yourself to feel it right now.
This process looks different for everyone.
For me, I like to take a minute at the end of the day and decompress. This works best for me through prayer, but find what works for you.
I tell my Heavenly Father about all the emotions that have collected in my brain over the course of the day and ask for His help in understanding them, learning from them and moving past them. It only takes a few minutes and is super helpful.
Some form of meditation can also be very helpful. Allow yourself to just sit with the emotion and let it be present without resisting or pushing against it.
Maybe getting physical through dance or another type of movement helps you feel and express your emotions. If so, awesome! Do it. Get that body moving and let the emotion flow through you.
Talk to a friend. Phones and conferencing apps still work really well. Marco Polo, texting, Zoom, FaceTime and are great ways to connect with a great friend and work through those emotions together.
Write it down. If journalling isn’t your thing, try just making a list of all the emotions you are having. Dump out all your thoughts and feelings out onto paper and then throw the list away. Keep it informal and without any agenda. Just put it all down on paper.
Whatever works for you, find it and practice it often. Especially now.
Here’s the thing, we as humans are generally really afraid to feel our emotions. We tense up and push back and avoid and resist to an absurd level.
But emotions are just a series of neurons firing in our brains that cause a physical sensation in our bodies. That’s it. It comes and then it goes. All emotions have a shelf life. When we are resisting it, we are giving it more fuel and energy and it keeps on kicking. But if we can sit with it and allow it, the shelf life is much shorter.
I am always surprised at how quickly the feeling passes when I can just sit with it. I tend to give it way more power than it actually has. After all it is just a chemical reaction happening in my body. Nothing more, nothing less.
Stay tuned for more Coping Strategies for Quarantine.
As always, I am here to help. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I’m offering more free coaching sessions now than I ever have. I’ve opened up my schedule in order to help as many people as possible. Just click on the button below to schedule your time and we can break it down into easy to manage chunks.
Stay healthy and happy, my friends!