Emotional Regulation During A Pandemic

This blog post is being written on the eve of yet another Governmentally regulated provincial lockdown, this time for at least 28 days. Although the vast majority of us know that these measures are needed to help curb the spread of covid-19 within our communities, Covid fatigue has kicked in and for some reason, this lockdown may feel harder than the first.

The accumulation of stress experienced by most of us these days is astronomical, whether you can feel the effects or not. A major stressor like losing a job or balancing working and schooling from home are more obvious road blocks in the way of our lives, but what about all the little things that can add up? You may not be able to put your finger on what is bothering you, but chances are you’re a little more on edge, quick to anger or close to tears these days and you have no idea why! Emotional Regulation can be tough at times, but especially now. This article will help you identify when you’re having issues with emotional regulation and a few tips on how to slip into a self-regulating routine.

Emotional Regulation – What is It?

Emotional Regulation is defined as: “is the ability to exert control over one’s own emotional state. It may involve behaviors such as rethinking a challenging situation to reduce anger or anxiety, hiding visible signs of sadness or fear, or focusing on reasons to feel happy or calm.” – Psychology Today

Noticing that you’re feeling sad for no reason? Or maybe you’re snapping at your family more often but have no idea why? You could be finding it hard to self-regulate.

 Emotional Regulation – Just for kids?

Emotional regulation is often associated exclusively with children, often confused with behavioural issues. While some children may require work on self-regulation of emotions, it’s not just children. Often, an inability to self-regulate can have worse consequences for adults, as they are expected to adhere closely to societal norms, while children are often given more leeway as they navigate early development.

Emotional Regulation – Why is it so hard during Covid?

Simply put, we’re under extreme amounts of stress right now, which can make it that much more difficult to self-regulate our emotions and avoid the negative consequences that come along with our inability to effectively manage our emotional load.

Emotional Regulation – What Can I Do?

  1. Think first – react second: Ask yourself what about this situation is bothering you? Is it even this exact situation or a build-up of events? Why are you responding so strongly to this? Will this matter tomorrow or next week?

  2. Focus on the physical – Are your basic needs being met? Have you slept well this week? Are you eating well? Are you practising self-care?

  3. Emotional support – Are your emotional needs being met? Is there someone in your life you can speak with, are you feeling lonely (big one right now) or do you need to speak with a professional for some extra care? These are all things that we need to consider before reacting.

Think you need some extra help with emotional regulation? Give us  a call today!

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