There are lots of messages to see the positive aspects of this crazy time. And there are many – the opportunity to slow down and spend more time with family, a shift in priorities and mindsets, new ways of friendships, etc.
It is also OK to see the negatives too. Just don’t dwell on them (as best as you can). The well-designed plans that are not going to actualize, unexpected costs, stress, uncertainty. Those are real too. Accept these feelings rather than trying to push them away or escape them. Avoidance of such emotions will only make them stronger and longer lasting.
– Notice the negative emotions, thoughts and physical sensations as they come up. Take a deep breath and then ‘sit with’ the fear, frustration, anxiety. Don’t inhibit it, suppress it, ignore it or try to conquer it.
– Describe your feelings without judgment. “I can accept that I am experiencing intense anxiety right now.” (This is an act of self-compassion and responsiveness to your own distress, and it is so much more effective than punishing yourself for having this feeling.)
– Lean into your feelings with curiosity. What is your feeling telling you? Do you need to reach out for support? Do you need to practice some letting go? Do you need a coffee break? A few minutes to yourself?
– Then let those feelings go.