Feeling irritated, angry or frustrated during such unpredictable times as these is a lot more common than you may believe - so firstly, we are here to say YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It is very understandable to feel how you are feeling. Right now, the world and our immediate environment is vastly different to what we have been used to and sometimes change can be very difficult to adjust to. This can often result in low mood, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed and not to forget what we are focussing on today, anger and frustration.
Many of us respond differently to change, some adapt quite quick and others take longer, whatever the pace - it is ok to be where you are at and if you are feeling like you are struggling in regards to anger and feeling frustrated we are here to help with providing you with some useful tips.
Before we begin looking at tips in regards to management of how you feel, I would firstly like to address and assure you that if you are feeling angry, anger is a perfectly normal emotion that we all feel. Society nowadays can lead us to develop beliefs such as that anger is wrong and we should not feel anger due to bad behaviour usually being associated with the emotion. As a result, it is common to repress or hold back on our feelings which ultimately in the long run can lead to unhealthy ways of dealing with how we feel.
If we can firstly become aware and recognize where we are at, we can then aim to accept how we feel and address it by releasing these feelings using healthy sustainable methods. We often may not realise we are dealing with anger and experience our emotions at an intensity which prohibits us from slowing down and becoming aware of where we are at. Once we learn how to acknowledge and express these feelings, things can get easier.
Be Gentle on yourself – You may have been told this before and may even believe you look after yourself quite well, and you very well might be doing just that. However, if you are becoming easily irritated or frustrated this does suggest that you may need to make an extra effort in taking care of yourself. Take some time out, watch a movie, walk the dog, do something that is entirely for you. Small steps for big changes. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Make sure you get enough sleep/rest – Often we may feel like one thing in particular is the cause of how we feel and while we may be right, it is also possible that we could be overlooking some of the obvious ones. Sleep is vital. Sleep deprivation can lead to increased feelings of irritability and feeling emotional. Getting enough rest can counteract these feelings and soothe your mind and body bringing balance.
Focus on what you can do, not what you cannot do – With so many rules and restrictions in place during COVID-19, it has been inevitably difficult for people to go about their usual routine which can lead to feeling frustrated or even angry at what is going on right now. In response to this we can often focus on all of the things we can’t do rather than what we can do. Try make a list of things that are achievable and see how you get on giving them a go.
Develop a routine – Having a routine is something which for many people promotes wellbeing and when that routine is removed, we can often begin to feel disconnected, unmotivated and many more negative feelings. As a result of these feelings it is common to feel fed up furthering feelings of tension or irritability. While it may be hard, try develop some sort of structure or routine to your day. This will look different for everyone and there is no one size fits all but it can make the world of a difference.
Get some exercise – When feeling anger we can often feel this at a physiological level within our bodies causing the bpm of our heart rate to increase, further making it more difficult to deal with how we feel and ultimately can often lead to emotional hijack determining how we react or behave (often negatively) in response to our feelings in that moment. Getting exercise, anything ranging from a brisk walk to a jog, run or cycle can be very effective and have great benefits in reducing stress - further reducing irritability and anger related frustration.
Assess and reflect if something needs to be changed in your current situation – Maybe you haven’t been eating regularly, maybe you haven’t had time to yourself and need a break from your spouse or kids. Maybe you need to find a new hobby that is possible under the current restrictions. Maybe you need to eliminate a certain stressor from your life by saying no to something which is causing you distress. Whatever it is, try to figure out if something needs to be changed and then how you are going to make that possible. Remember not all things are possible but equally not all things are impossible!
Talk to somebody about how you feel – It really can be underestimated how powerful it is to simply share how you’re feeling. Talking about our feelings and emotions helps us to take them from our heads and put them into words often finding that this can help in stress reduction, feeling alone and generally getting a fresh outlook on your current situation. There are many people you could talk to including friends or family, however - if you would like to speak with a professional, please feel free to get in touch with us at www.evolvementalhealth.ie and we would be more than happy to help!
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to connect with us by reading this article and I really do hope it has brought you some comfort in knowing that how you or someone you love is feeling can be overcome!
God bless you,