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blogging, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

A New Year and Dealing with Intense Emotions

Happy New Year 2021 png

Christmas time may be a source of stress or joy. Compounding those yuletide stresses, the Covid pandemic continues to rage, so there was little cause for joy in many parts of the world.

Marlene inspired me to think of the year’s outcomes in terms of ‘gifts,’ some good and of course, some bad. We’d do well to focus on the better aspects for our own well-being. So, what if any, positives can be noted?

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Lessons from the Pandemic

Whether we like the lessons or not:

  • This awful year has taught us patience and more appreciation for things at home.
  • This dreadful year has been a godsend for parts of the environment and animal world.
  • The pandemic afforded us time to develop or re-discover DIY home projects.
  • This deadly virus has potentially increased family tensions but has given extra time with loved ones. I will take as a blessing option, thanks.
  • Rates of family violence and alcohol consumption rose, yet levels of air pollution diminished due to fewer vehicles on the roads. The night sky was/is full of stars hitherto unseen in cities, as air quality improved.
  • Peak hour traffic congestion eased and commuter accidents lessened.
  • Workplaces were forced to become more flexible, benefitting those caring for someone, at home.
  • Money from saved travel and workplace costs, (uniforms, ancillary items, office durables and rentals), could instead be spent on other items that bring joy.
  • Extroverts suffered from social isolation but many introverts thrived.

..some Australian online [alcohol], retailers have reported 50% to 500% increases in sales compared to the same period in 2019.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7300689/#dar13092-bib-0018
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Negative Impacts of the Pandemic

This pandemic has uncovered a festering mal-contentment at the interplay between politics and society and offered diametrically opposed opportunities and grief.

Unemployment rose sharply and many lost businesses, their livelihood, or their lives. In some places, political decisions and divisiveness led to civil unrest. Financial ruin became rampant. Mental health nosedived.

For each one of us, the impacts may be very individual. With no short term end to Covid in sight, the heightened emotions the pandemic brings, remain uncomfortable and difficult for many folks to manage.

How do we deal with those difficult emotions?

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Dealing with Difficult Emotions

Write Down Your Thoughts

Sometimes it can be cathartic to transfer those strong emotions into written words. Blogging can be great therapy.

female writing

Slow Down and See Each Moment

Ironically, the pandemic has made me feel grateful.

Grateful for things I DO have and it ensured I did slow down and appreciate the individual moments that pass by.

Grateful for our country’s relative safety bubble.

We can be grateful for modern science working hard to solve the virus riddle.

Grateful that I have not been touched by financial ruin, separation or Covid itself.

Grateful that even though my workinglife ended prematurely, I now have time to enjoy retirement activities with the Moth.

Grateful that I have daily incidental conversation with the adult children who came home due to financial reasons.

Grateful that I can let unimportant things slide.

Grateful to have the awareness I am so much more than just my emotions/feelings.

Grateful that emotions and feelings change as the world moves and changes. Everything must change for, just like bad weather, nothing ever lasts.

2021 Mantra

In this New Year of 2021:

If I feel sad, I will sit with that feeling of sadness.

If I feel loss, hurt or rejected, I will accept that feeling, not deny or think that I ‘shouldn’t,’ feel that way.

If I feel frustrated or inadequate, I will sit with that until the feeling passes. I won’t feel tormented that these emotions are wrong or bad, but rather let them ‘slide.’

Let it slide.

Not quite the same ‘sliding,’ as the lyrics of the song suggest, but the personal reminder is contained in that catchy melody; the melody that is today’s earworm.

“Let it Slide.

Happy New Year

53 thoughts on “A New Year and Dealing with Intense Emotions”

  1. I couldn’t agree more with this. It’s been a really difficult time and continues to be and the emotional rollercoaster rides on! Sometimes I find it all quite overwhelming, but I have to remind myself it won’t last forever. I like what you say about letting things slide, I need to try to do that more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am sorry to hear that you have had a hard time, mydustyflipflops. (sorry I dont’ know your first name)! It does sound overwhelming, but there is hope for a vaccine over your way, isn’t there? It can’t last forever. I hope you can find a way to divert yourself from time you might spend travelling, and…. let things slide. Soon enough, life will become busy and frantic again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Please feel free to call me Dusty (I’m still blogging anonymously for the moment)! I’ve found the last few weeks quite hard, the cases started soaring again after the discovery of this new variant and then we were sent into semi-lockdown over Christmas. Deciding what to do for Christmas was a bit stressful too. They have started vaccinating here which is great news, but it’s slow progress so far. And now they’ve decided to delay giving people their second dose, so that they can get the first dose to more people. Given our government’s track record with their decision making, I’m not sure how that will pan out! It just feels out of control here at the moment. But I have a great support network around me and I am trying to take each day as it comes. And as you say life will go back to it’s normal frantic way soon enough, so I am trying to enjoy this slower pace of life too.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Good for you, Dusty! I love Dusty as a name, anonymous or not!
          The new Covid variant was, I think, expected to happen. They just didn’t know when or where. Viruses mutant very rapidly. That’s part of the difficulty in combating them. Administering the vaccine sounds a bit chaotic so I hope they get that sorted. It is very important that they do. It is most unsettling having the spectre of infection present as well as restrictions on one’s movement.
          Take the slower pace indeed while you can.

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  2. Amanda, nicely done. There are a lot of poignant and pertinent observations, but I like the subtitle near the end – slow down and see each moment. The word “see” to me means also feel, hear, comprehend…An old friend and social worker had a neat phrase she used, “be present in the conversation.” Relating this to your statement, slow down means be present.

    Happy New Year. Best wishes. Be safe. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year to you and your family.
      It sounds like you are on the same wavelength as me, Keith. When I wrote that we might aim to see each moment, I absolutely did mean to feel, hear, comprehend, really focus on the present moment. Slow down and really listen to others. You will be amazed what you hear. Some of the most alluring charismatic folks have discovered this skill. Further to this thought, I do think it is also possible to have an incredibly rich life in the mind, even if our physical circumstances are confined or restricted. Pilates the exercise guru is made the most of living in confined circumstances, using exercise to release tension and agitation, and achieve a greater sense of wellbeing, whilst being interred in a prison during WWI. There is always something we can do in lockdown, we have only ourselves that can look, see and find it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amanda, well said. I like your addition of the Pilates exercises. This will sound funny at first, but after I shower each morning, I have a three fifteen minute exercise routines I vary each day that I do in my carpeted closet.. They are combinations of Pilates, Yoga, Isometrics and light weight lifting w/ 20 pound dumbbells. The space is confining and the routines do not cause a sweat, but they limber this old body up. Plus, the focus on slow, breathing helps relieve tensions and be present. Keith

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  3. Things will get closer to “normal” apparently until midyear. We still have months to go with the consequences of this pandemic. Thank you for the advice and of course if we need this year to be “different” we also have to be “different”. Having another attitude and be grateful for all the good we have is a good place to start but also we need to be different regarding our respect for others and not just think about ourselves. Happy 2021 for you too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Your words are true Ana, and if only they were SOP (standard operating procedure) and adopted throughout the world, in equal measure?
      Thinking, ‘differently,’ starts out with gratitude and a pragmatic focus geared towards making the best of any situation. Respect on both sides is a fundamental expectation.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent, excellent points! Along with the bad there has been some good. Also, plenty of illumination, especially here in the U.S., about human nature, denial, and tribalism. Covid-19 might be a harsh teacher, but it has taught us plenty of important lessons. Finally, I LOVE “Let It Slide.” Listening to it right now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is a great song, isn’t it, Laurie. A nice way to start the day, for sure. Tribalism! We can’t quite get away from those primitive knee jerk responses as a species, can we? You summarised it well. The year has been a dreadfully harsh and strict teacher and I do hope we do not forget how grateful we will be for our freedoms when this is over.
      Have a wondeful year.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting post and I agree that last year has its positives as well as its obvious negatives. I’m well aware of my priviledge, my job and livelihood was never in any danger, which is more luxury than a lot of people have. If anything, I wanted last year to count for something, so I looked for and found the silver lining. Time to take a breather, slow down and live more in the moment, which has its challenges to because I love planning trips and having something to look forward to. Yes, introverts initially thrived, but introverts (like me) definitely do need social interaction, and the lack thereof has definitely been weighing heavy on me.
    Nice how you finish you post by allowing yourself to sit with certain thoughts or emotions. I couldn’t agree more!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Sann, It is great to hear that you have, “looked for and found the silver lining. ” You said that you have lived more in the moment – in some ways the pandemic supported us to adapt to a day to day existence. It is great to plan but sometimes we plan ahead far too much, and miss what is in front of our eyes. This leads to much disappointment. How have you handled the lack of social interaction?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed! Though I have to say that I didn’t take things for granted before the pandemic and to count my lucky stars. I’ve handled the lack of social interaction so so. I visit my mom. Most interaction is through apps like Zoom though. Not much face-to-face. Hard to do in this current lockdown anyways.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We are ever so grateful to have life in Australia more or less as normal. A note to those in lockdown though. People forget social distancing very very quickly when the spectre of the pandemic fades.

          Liked by 1 person

              1. Perhaps. People can be obnoxious. We had a ban on fireworks at New Year’s Eve that was massively ignored. Curious how people can’t seem to be willing to adapt when something greater than them is going on. I don’t think I’ll ever understand such an attitude.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. A ban on fireworks? That makes sense. Over here, fireworks are illegal and strictly controlled. They have been since the seventies. Yet just the other night I heard some going off. Apparently you can get them online from China. Why on earth you would risk your eyes, fingers and general health with cheap imports that are not regulated in any way is beyond me.

                Liked by 1 person

              3. In Australia I can definitely understand. The country is so dry and bush fires are a real risk.
                The fireworks ban here was mostly to prevent people from gathering and ignoring social distancing. Often, folks who play with fireworks drink heaps of alcohol which doesn’t help in their judgement either. Same reason why supermarkets aren’t allowed to sell alcohol after 8 pm. Apparently the need to light fireworks is so important to those people that they ignore government rules in order to contain a pandemic. Smh.

                Liked by 1 person

  6. Our home is our paradise always has been. I have a little diary beside my bed that I have started to write down the good things of that day in. I have a separate diary that occasionally I’ll write the negative in, its not very often that I need to as I have wonderful friends with an ear to listen when needed. The pandemic has not had a huge impact on our little town although I do pray for those closely affected by it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like that you have a cheery diary and a not so cheery one. It can be good to separate the two thoughts if our moods are fluctuating. I have several kinds of diaries too. One is factual, for interesting things I want to remember, the other is full of rants when I get tense, and the third more like meditations. I tried keeping a bullet journal once, but it worked more like a planner, keeping me on track. I filled it up with lots of information and I haven’t written too much in the new one. Perhaps I will start again this year. Are you a fan of notebooks, lists and writing down notes for later on? I would have to put up my hand there….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes definitely I have a I call it my book of everything with all bits & pieces of info how to build things, gardening ideas, cleaning tips & ideas for the house & land. I also have an art book that i have drawn each room in the house & each shed & pen in the garden & what I want it to look like & how it will function & I have a note pad that i write down what i need to do for the day. Also my diggers club diary awesome diary of what to plant in what season.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We are of the same ilk, Linda! I can’t resist some of the beautiful stationary, and although an expense, it does keep me organized. Have you seen the lovely things to inspire at Kikki K stores?

          Liked by 1 person

  7. There has indeed been the possibility of a lot of positives that have come from this pandemic, especially in Australia. On a personal level, here in our WA safe bubble, there has been mainly positives I guess, that’s if you can call living life as normal as positive. Being retired, and being a lover of home and garden, and knowing my best friend is also my spouse, quite honestly, almost everything is positive for us. It’s only by reading or watching the news that we’re aware the rest of the world is struggling….. I normally try to ignore the news as much as possible as it brings such negative tidings, but in the case of Covid I think I have a responsibility to the rest of the world to be aware of what they’re going through. How lucky are we Amanda to be living in Australia!
    Happy New Year.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What a lovely soul you are Chris. Some folks inside a bubble could not care less about the rest of the world’s suffering. But like you, I cannot turn a blind eye to the trauma some people are facing. Continual lockdown takes it toll and the long term consequences may be devastating for some. I continually count my lucky stars, although I am just constructing a post which, whilst not all positive, I hope serves as a reminder we still have to be vigilant. Happy New Year to you, Chris in your Busselton idyll!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. We’ve considered ourselves fortunate over the last 12 months to have a comfortable home, income and plenty of pastimes to keep us busy, and to be living in a country where the virus is under control. I think one of the biggest positives is all the medical research that’s been done will be beneficial in other areas of medicine as well. I heard an epidemiologist saying the other day that this work has huge implications for the work being done in cancer research. That’s got to be a good thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was remiss of me not to mention the advancements in science and medicine. They must have been under the pump but it was a real boost for research funding and for health in general.
      Well pointed out, Carol.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for that kind comment, Phyllis. It is preferable to verbalise our emotions in appropriate and articulate ways as this tends to improve understandings between parties and give comfort to our own spirit. Happy New Year to you.

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  9. I like that you’ve pointed out it’s okay to sit with a negative emotion for a time. It’s important to acknowledge our emotions whether positive or negative. And then we can start to look for ways to move beyond that negative space towards peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You have encapsulated it well, Heather. It is so detrimental and distracting to fight those negative emotions or continually analyze them. Always look forward.

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  10. I tried to read and respond yesterday but I was feeling my feelings as well. You are right, it’s important to sit with them. We had one of the worst days in American history yesterday and my anxiety was over the top. I just cried all day. This morning is somewhat better but we still have a long way to go here. I have not been able to write this week. You are also correct to be grateful for what you have and enjoy it. It will not help anyone else if we have nothing. That’s not what goodness is about. Keep taking care of yourself. That’s the best way to help others. This has been a morning of gratitude.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was with deep sadness that I heard of the trouble yesterday in USA but not surprising. I felt this was going to happen at some point, it just sounded like tempers were rising for weeks. Yet, I feel intuitively this was necessary for the blind Trump fans to see what we have already seen, in that horror of a man. There will always be the small extremist minority whose mind you will never change, but they ARE the idiot minority, who think of noone but themselves. It is a tragedy for the family of those who lost their lives and violence of any sort is always regrettable. The Democrats have the upper political hand now and Democracy will survive and thank goodness your country does not have brutal consequences such as might be found in other countries with authoritarian governments. Congress still certified the vote. It triumphed. And the Trump brand has been further damaged, or highlighted for what it is.
      The Universe has got this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I told my son these events would happen when he was here for my birthday. We had a very heated discussion but everything that I said would happen has come to pass. They may invoke the 25th amendment if they can get enough backing. I knew this would all happen 4 years ago. Yes, the Universe has this but it’s so hard to watch. We needed to know this was lurking out there. I’m praying very hard on this one.

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