A mental illness is a condition that affects a person's thinking, feeling or mood. Such…
Grief expert David Kessler recently weighed in on our collective grieving during Coronavirus in the Harvard Business Review. He argued that we are experiencing a variety of different types of grief at once; including a general loss of a sense of safety. Grief manifests itself in a variety of emotions.
Lower emotions, such as sadness, boredom, or general fatigue, are ones many people experience day to day. When we experience lower emotions, they take a small presence in our lives, but we have more capability to function while feeling sad or angry. Higher emotions, like rage, anxiety and PTSD can completely saturate our minds and bodies and leave us feeling incapable of getting rid of the looming fear. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of these emotions, and we want you to know that there are strategies you can use to cope, no matter the level of feelings you’re having.
Coping with Emotions
If you are experiencing lower emotions, like sadness or grief, here are some ideas for you.
Contribute to your community
Reach out to those you haven’t spoken to in a while. Offer support by simply having a (virtual) conversation with your loved ones. Order takeout, if you are able to, from a local restaurant you enjoy. If your neighbors are at risk, offer to pick up a few items for them the next time you go grocery shopping, and make sure to wipe the groceries with disinfectant and leave them on their doorstep.
Soothe the senses and take a moment to relax
Make your favorite meal and enjoy the way it smells and tastes. Look at your favorite photographs. Put on a comfortable sweater and enjoy the way it feels. Listen to soothing music or the songs that bring you happiness. Take a warm shower and refresh your mind and senses, taking a moment to relax.
While a high intensity workout is beneficial to our health, you don’t need to do one every moment you feel stressed. A simple 30 minutes of yoga or dancing can lift your spirits and elevate your heart rate. Many local yoga studios are offering free yoga classes during this time.
Take time to laugh
Maybe this comes from your favorite comedian, or that raunchy movie that always makes you giggle. Whatever it is, laughter can bring us back to a positive state of emotion and alleviate our stress levels.
Strategies for Mindfulness
Higher emotions can sometimes be more difficult to grasp. If you are experiencing higher emotions, here are some strategies for mindfulness.
Paced breathing exercises reduce stress levels
Breathe in for 5 seconds, out for 7. Do this for 5-10 minutes. While it may feel uncomfortable at first, we urge you to push past this and allow your body to get used to this technique. Pacing your breathing can help boost your immune system as well, because it lowers stress. Your body will regulate and you will feel the calmness wash over you.
Get out of bed in the morning
It’s easy to lie down and overthink our stressors, but this does more harm than good. Distract yourself by getting up and getting fully ready for the day. Make yourself a nutritious meal. Give your best friend a call and reminisce on fun memories.
Go for a run at a comfortable pace to get warmed up. Do movements like burpees and jumping jacks to increase the intensity. Exercising releases endorphins and can relieve feelings of anxiety.
Change your body temperature
Using cold water, change your temperature slightly to refresh. Dip your face in water for 10 seconds, take a moment to breathe, and dip again. Do this for a minute. Make sure you’re using cold water, or else it will be difficult to successfully complete this exercise.
There are many more ways to cope with emotions that may be exhausting you. At-home activities are a fun way to take up free time and be creative. If you’re interested in learning about fascinating topics, watching educational documentaries can be both entertaining and informational.
We hope that these ideas give you inspiration to fill your time and help you through both high and low emotions. Below is a helpful document containing the above strategies, and more, assembled by experts. This time is difficult, but our community is strong and we will get through it together (even while separate).