The pandemic has presented many hurdles and it’s been a truly difficult time. We just had to square our shoulders and get on with it – without respite. When we have little choice, it’s common for things that usually wouldn’t faze us to irritate us or get us down. I’ve learned that when my patience is low, I need to find space for myself so I can reflect and realign. Mental clarity about where I am through exploring the specific reasons that I’m being set off help ameliorate tension going forward.
Finding the opportunity to be alone is difficult, but it is important to give yourself solitude to process challenging emotions and events. When I manage to find an hour for myself, this is my method for recapturing tolerance and a more positive mindset:
Note the things that are irritating you or negatively affecting your mood. For each one, spend time thinking about it and ask yourself:
- Is this really what I’m bothered about?
- What is the problem?
- Whose problem is it?
- What boundaries need to be honoured or restored for me to feel less triggered?
One of my favourite mental health campaigners, Karamo Brown, says: ‘If it’s hysterical, it’s historical.’ This means that when superficial things trigger us, there’s usually something deeper involved. Remember, the first step to moving forward is acknowledgement.
Don’t be hard on yourself – any attempt at growth is unlikely to work completely the first time. It’s a process and requires practice. Keep going!