Tony Lacey’s weekly Tips-
How to take charge of your emotions during these Challenging Times- amidst COVID-19
We are all living in a time of such uncertainty that is widely now known as `unprecedented times’.
We have many worries about the immediate and distant future and how life is going to find out.
On top of this, some people are frightened about vulnerable individuals in society and not able to do what is usual for them.
Most of us struggle with change at the best of times, so if you are worried, irritable, upset during this first week of a `lockdown’, that’s perfectly normal.
Thankfully, there is loads that we can do to help ourselves!
I know each and everyone is trying their best to cope but sometimes new and/or additional skills can strengthen resilience further in a more specific and focused way.
- Mindfulness- `Taking hold of your mind’
It sounds simple, but takes practice-
Mindfulness is…`I am noticing the thought that……
1.Practicing Mindfulness gives you more choices and more control over your behaviour and in turn life.
It helps to slow down and notice emotions, thoughts, urges and so forth.
Basically, it increases self-awareness.
- Reduces emotional suffering and boosts pleasure senses and well-being
- Helps you find balance and make better decisions
- Improves attention (control over mind instead of vice versa)
- Increase self-compassion and compassion for others
- Lessens pain, tension, and stress and in turn improves your health.
The opposite to mindfulness is ………………. mindlessness!
My suggestion is-
- Practice being aware of the present moment (e.g. thoughts, feelings, emotions and physical sensations) without judgement and without trying to change anything.
You could sit in silence for 60 seconds and pay attention to your internal world.
- Practice staying focused on one thing at a time during the day (like eating without watching TV or being on your phone).
- Do these daily as much as you can.
- Self Sooth skills-
Think of your 6 senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and movement)
Do something every day to feel better
Example= read a fantasy novel (sight), listen to your favourite songs (sound), use facial creams (touch), put your favourite fragrance on (smell) and go a walk (movement).
Find at least two methods of self-soothing and practice it in a mindful way
3.Reduce your vulnerability to getting overly emotional by using the `PLEASE’ skill:
We quite often feel `emotional’ due to something related to the previous day. By using the following skill, you can help yourself take more control of your emotions.
PL– physical health- take any medications you are prescribed and treat any illness/sickness you have (if applicable).
E– eat a balance diet rich in healthy foods, trying to eat at regular times.
A-Avoid alcohol and illicit drugs and too much caffeine
S- Sleep at regular times, make sure you have a clean and tidy room. Improve your sleep hygiene
E– exercise daily to release feel good hormones. Exercise is hugely beneficial and improves mood and well-being and can be a great stress relief.
As always, I only make suggestions and I hope these skills will be helpful to you.
Tony Lacey (MSc., BSc)
Specialist Mental Health Practitioner and EMDR/DBT psychotherapist
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