During difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, people can experience a range of uncomfortable emotions. Some common difficult emotions people can experience include fear, anxiety, anger, and depression. This article briefly describes those emotions and also offers some things to think about which may help mitigate some of those emotions.

Let’s check the emotions

Fear

Fear can present during challenging times. For example, during the coronavirus pandemic, people may notice fears related to health, finances, jobs, family, etc., or even the fear of not knowing how long this will last or what long-term effects will be.

Anxiety

Anxiety can be experienced as a sense of unease, worry, or feeling nervous about something. It can be common to feel anxious during challenging times. Feelings of restlessness, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and panic attacks can also accompany a feeling of anxiety.

Anger

Anger can also present in difficult times and in situations which feel out of your control. Anger is often accompanied by a feeling of frustration. Sometimes activities such as exercise, expressing emotions verbally, or other types of expression such as writing or journaling can help mitigate feelings of anger or frustration.

Depression

These days, in the context of COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, a feeling of isolation is also common. Depression can also present during such times. Some symptoms of depression can include loss of interest in usual activities, appetite changes, difficulty with sleep, low energy, and feelings of low self-worth.

Some things to keep in mind which may help ease difficult emotions during challenging times

Remember emotions are often temporary.

  1. Look for the gift and what you can learn from any situation.
  2. Do your best to direct your mind to focus on positive thinking.
  3. Shift from problem-focused to solution-focused thinking.
  4. Be creative with solutions.
  5. Nurture yourself. Eat well, sleep well, and listen to music you love.
  6. Reach out to friends and family and professionals if needed for support.

Coping with emotions such as these can be challenging at times. If you find yourself experiencing anxiety or depression, it is important to seek professional help. Remember that each person’s experience and symptoms are different, so establishing care with a mental health provider or medical professional can help in the creation of individualized treatment plans, which can take into consideration your specific symptoms and situation. For severe symptoms or thoughts of self-harm, immediately call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. For less severe symptoms, if you live in Colorado, you may consider reaching out to a medical professional, therapist, or  psychiatrist in Boulder to inquire about local resources available to you.

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