On flattening your emotional curve
Updated: Oct 23, 2021
Navigating the events surrounding Covid without upset would be tough under normal social conditions.
Expecting to do so in isolation is an unfair thing to ask of yourself and risky strategy from an emotional perspective.
The psychological life-hack I see used most regularly at the moment is to avoid admitting how we feel on the basis that someone else is having a more difficult time. While I concede that many are navigating abysmal situations due to the loss of jobs or loved ones - please be careful to ignore your natural (and healthy) capacity to have an emotional response to what are incredibly difficult and unforeseen losses and change for all.
The truth is - we're hard-wired to feel, and the scale of generic loss / uncertainty affecting us all means that feeling anxious or frustrated or sad or embarrassed or disappointed or angry at the moment is natural, healthy and not to be ignored. Denying that reality too much is effectively lying to yourself, and risks plunging you into a deeper emotional curve at a later date.
In addition to the above the 3 techniques below should help strengthen your emotional immunity as we approach the end of such an extraordinary year;
A: A 20-minute expectation-free walk to start and end your day. No phone. No headphones. Just fresh air and time to get back to your 'self' - with zero expectations.
B: Ration your news intake. Modern media is a conflict zone of clickbait designed to trigger your fearful parts and we're simply not designed to process the world's problems in real-time. Limit your consumption to an amount that doesn't leave you feeling jaded.
C: End your day with something light/funny. Sleep is an early casualty of overwhelm - if the last thing you consume before bed makes you smile, it releases melatonin which regulates healthy sleep and increases your chance of getting some restorative zzzz's.
The top-line is that parts of all our lives are out of our control.
The capacity to be kind and honest with yourself isn't one of them.
Try not to give it up too easily.