Physical pain isn’t the only challenge during this COVID-19 quarantine. More individuals may be dealing with emotional pain and distress at this time. Anxiety, hopelessness, and sadness are some of the trials that many are going through.
If you find that you can relate, here are some ways of managing emotional pain.
Differentiate Things You Can And Cannot Control
First, figure out what things to focus on and what to let go of for now.
There will always be things that are out of our control. These events and circumstances are things we should not have to stress over. Instead, we must learn to manage around it or let it go. Examples of these include how long the quarantine will last and how others act while in isolation. While we can’t help but worry over the length of this crisis, we cannot always carry that around with us.
Meanwhile, you can instead focus on what you can change and do. Put your attention towards following guidelines on social distancing and reading credible information from experts. Find fun things to do at home when you feel bored. Reach out to others who might be feeling lonely. Exert your effort and energy towards something you know you can manage.
Take A Break
During a time of a global pandemic, we must all stay well-informed. However, such does not entail checking the news or searching the internet for updates at every given hour.
Distancing yourself from the disease shouldn’t only be physical. A mental break from it can also benefit you significantly. Staying glued to social media and news outlets can put you into a panic. Stay informed, but keep yourself from becoming too distressed.
Some things you can do are:
- Set a time limit for social media. There are applications you can use that help track time you spend on a specific website or app. Some can even block you out, so you force yourself to stay offline.
- Limit yourself to a few news channels and timeslots. You don’t have to watch or read each article from every news agency. For sure, each one will report on important updates and significant happenings. Don’t worry about missing out.
- Turn the wifi router off. Even when we want to put our phone down, it can be challenging. A single notification can call to us and we and up spending half an hour on our mobile again. If possible, switch off the router to give yourself some downtime. You can keep your phone on if you’re worried about potential emergencies.
Practice Physical And Mental Grounding
A technique you can employ while on quarantine is grounding. You can carry out this practice in two ways. There is physical as well as mental grounding.
The aim of this practice, based on the name itself, is to keep you from spiraling out of anxiety or panic. It “grounds” you in reality and slows things down when you feel overwhelmed.
To practice physical grounding, first, choose an object. Take a good look at what you’ve picked. Observe how it looks and feels. Describe the object’s color, texture, weight, etc. If there’s writing on the item, you can read that as well.
As for mental grounding, there are several activities you can do. One is to name things you can see in your surroundings. However, some may find this a little overwhelming when their environment is chaotic. If you do feel such, stop the activity and try something else. You can try making a mental list of things or words you know that begin with the letter “S.” Or name a country for every letter of the alphabet.
Take note that grounding does not make you avoid your feelings. It merely lets you slow down so you can regain control over your emotions.
Emotional pain can be as taxing and challenging to deal with as physical pain. During a stressful time such as this quarantine, people are more likely to bounce back to normal. “It is possible that those with depression or social anxiety are less capable of releasing opioids during times of social distress, and therefore do not recover as quickly or fully from a negative social experience,” says David T. Hsu, Ph.D.
One of the ways you can deal with emotional pain is by learning what things should get your focus. Attend to something you can control and change and leave those that are out of your hands. Next, you can limit your exposure to news and social media, as those may add to the distress you feel. Lastly, practice emotional and physical grounding.
All these practices put together can help you manage your emotional pain a little easier.