Coping With Emotional Triggers During The Pandemic
Humans are notoriously resistant to change. Even when the change is good for us, we find ways of pushing back and moving as little as possible.
The reasons are complex, but summarized, the idea behind it is – we like doing what we’ve done before because it worked, it’s what we’re used to, and changing it is hard work.
But with the ongoing global pandemic, we have been forced to change our daily behaviors—and for longer than many expected. Even if the reality of our situation is now familiar, the ongoing stress of not being able to live how we want, and how we’re used to, is exhausting and emotionally triggering.
Those emotional triggers can be difficult to handle on your own. Sometimes you need support and guidance from people you trust.
TaskHuman coaches are ready to help you process the emotional triggers that can come from Covid-19 and have shared some of their most successful strategies for managing these feelings with you.
1. Be Aware of What Your Triggers Are
The first step might seem like a no-brainer, but being aware of what your emotional triggers are can actually be more complicated that it sounds.
You need to allow yourself to let the emotions happen and work to get to their source. Work to notice your patterns: what sets you off? How do you react when you are becoming emotional? What do you do to make yourself feel better? By keeping track of your responses to these questions, you’ll see where your triggers start.
Listen as Coach Cheri Orndorf explains:
Knowing what situations and thoughts tend to create a strong emotional reaction in you is the first step toward changing how you react. Once you identify your triggers, the next step is being prepared for when they come up again.
Not just being prepared, but being proactive.
Coach Andrea Caprio explains how to do this:
Working to change your behavior may seem like a simple concept, but changing something that has become a pattern isn’t easy. The first step is to see what you are doing with self-acceptance and not self-criticism.
2. Being OK with It
Sometimes we can “white-knuckle” our way through a situation, but that method typically doesn’t work long term. In fact, it can often make our emotions around the situation stronger. Instead, acknowledging how we feel, and most importantly, accepting those feelings can go much further.
Listen to Coach Tara Mazanec explain:
By accepting where you are emotionally and situationally, you give yourself more space to process the emotion in a healthy way – and then you can work on finding your happiness where you can.
One way to do this is to find one positive in having fewer social commitments while you are social distancing. Maybe you were over-scheduled and can now sleep more. Maybe you can practice long-forgotten hobbies. Whatever it is that you are spending your time doing, make sure it is enriching your life.
Listen to Coach Zachary Cooper explain:
Finding the positive isn’t about forcing yourself to be happy when you aren’t (again, practice self-awareness), it’s about reframing the situation to see that you can also make it work for you.
If the lack of social life is starting to wear at you, you need to find ways of fulfilling that social element. Be creative! Maybe it’s a virtual painting class. Maybe it’s a virtual coffee chat. Whatever it is, know that this isn’t how you will be social forever, but it is how it is for now – and you can handle it.
Coach Julia Pontones explains:
It can be easy to think that this “new normal” will be here forever, but it won’t. Things will certainly change, but eventually, we’ll be able to be in close proximity to our loved ones again.
When those feelings of isolation are triggered, it can be helpful to turn to the idea that, while it is difficult now, it won’t be like this forever.
Listen as Coach Tiffany Albury explains:
But even with the strongest of mindsets and practices, we all get overwhelmed sometimes. In those situations, TaskHuman coaches have the same advice…
3. Breathe – Breathe Deeply
When any negative emotion threatens to overtake you, the best thing you can do for your mind and body is to take a few VERY deep breaths.
In addition to activating your parasympathetic system, the system that helps you digest information, it also gives you time to slow down and respond, not instantly react.
Listen to Coach Lacey Pruett explain:
Deep breathing is involved in spiritual and meditative practices, because connecting with your breath also connects you to your mind and body. It helps you see the situation for what it is and can support your process of working through your emotions and toward personal growth.
And while growth and change are challenging, the mental insights and strength we can develop are worth it.
Listen to Coach Joy McGowan describe the process:
No matter how self-aware you become, you’ll always have an emotional trigger – developing better self-awareness and self-control is a process and practice, not a one-time assignment.
If you would like to work on taming your emotional triggers, hop on a 1-on-1 video call with a live TaskHuman pro today.