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A GUIDE TO MANAGING EMOTIONS EFFECTIVELY IN DIFFICULT TIMES

The quick changes brought about to our personal lives by this pandemic have interfered not only with our future plans, but inevitably with our minds too. Birthday celebrations have been cancelled, weddings have been postponed and summer plans do not seem like they will hold as we envisaged. We are collectively spending more time within the four corners of our homes and staring at screens at a higher rate than normal – Zoom, Instagram, Tik Tok – and amidst this level of isolation, it is almost impossible for us not to experience emotional highs and lows.

Fear and anxiety about our health and the health of our loved ones, frustration and anger about cancelled plans and adapting to ‘the new normal’ have taken its toll on many of us. After all, we are human beings and we process life through our thoughts and feelings.

These words have never been truer: As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. So, how do we make sure that we remain steady and radiate positivity, both internally and externally?

Accept the situation at hand

Pretending as if the situation at hand is not real and that we are somehow immune will not solve the problem; in fact, it puts us and our loved ones at greater risk. People have passed away from the virus and it is still very much contactable; it is what it is. The earlier we educate ourselves on how best to act, the more in control of our lives we will feel.

Surround yourself with what makes you happy

The content we allow into our minds through our five senses, especially our eyes (e.g. what we read) and our ears (perhaps what we listen to) will determine what preoccupies our thoughts. Yes, we need to educate ourselves on the world’s current situation but there is such a thing as media overconsumption, which is unhealthy especially when our fears are consistently fed.

It’s time to take control of our environment and the things that feed our minds; time to detox and perhaps shift focus to the things that make us happy – music, food, our children, family, entertainment and maybe even pick up a new hobby.

Don’t fret when plans change

We make plans but ultimately, we have no control over whether they will manifest, and this pandemic reaffirms that. The easy thing to do would be get angry and frustrated, but you may agree with me that that is not the most effective way of managing the situation. What we can do, however, is be flexible; this may mean scaling down or cancelling events, postponing plans or creatively adapting our plans and strategies to the times we are in.

Remember that you are loved

Perfect love casts out fear. Truly, when you know you are loved – by family, friends, God – you feel protected and secure. Remember to spread love everywhere you go too, even if it is only a smile you can muster.

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