We're approaching an unprecedented holiday season due to Covid-19, with many feeling emotionally exhausted. Our emotional awareness is more critical now than ever to ensure we find joy.
The holiday season's busyness tends to intensify emotions, which can rob us of joy if we allow it to. It's essential to recognize that our feelings guide all we do. We can stop powerful emotions from stealing our joy over the holidays.
We all feel exhausted and irritable at times, perhaps now more than ever due to Covid -19. One of our most significant challenges, without a doubt, is having the ability to engage our emotions to assist in making rational decisions. Developing these skills will make a tremendous difference in the quality of our life and those around us.
The Holiday Season Can Really Trigger Emotions
Managing our emotions effectively throughout the holidays requires us to be more tolerant of ourselves and others. It's always good practice to pack patience and don't sweat the small stuff. Considerable time and effort are necessary to learn to effectively read our emotions and understand how they affect our decision-making and our ability to empathize with others. Managing them comes next, which requires significant skill. Over time all of these skills will increase our emotional intelligence and advance our awareness. Undoubtedly, there will be times during the holidays when we feel overwhelmed and frustrated. When this happens, these skills will assist in avoiding emotional, hijacking situations.
What is Emotional Hijacking?
An emotional hijacking is usually triggered by a situation that overwhelms our emotions and then takes control of our behaviour. Typically, it happens so quickly that before we know it, an explosion of overpowering and intense feelings/emotions propel us to impulsively react to the situation without taking the time to calm ourselves and respond rationally.
Simple Steps To Control an Emotional Hijacking
You can learn to control emotional hijacking - believe it or not, your ability to breathe can save you from an emotional hijacking, as it only takes 10 seconds or less for your brain to regain control of highly charged emotions.
This holiday season if you feel your emotions getting the better of you, be sure to try the following steps to remain calm:
- Stop and take a deep breath
- Exhale and then start counting: 1, 2, 3…
- Keep counting until you reach 10
- Remember to breathe deeply while counting
Here are some suggestions to reduce stress and help you navigate the holidays during the pandemic:
- Adjust your expectations – even better, change them to align with Covid-19's impact.
- Create new rituals and traditions this year too. Having something new to look forward to is exciting.
- Keep things simple. Remember, less is more, and this will reduce your stress.
- Practise gratitude. Karl Barth states, "Joy is the simplest form of gratitude."
- Finds ways to give back to others; it's a win-win. Giving is good for others, and it makes us happy.
- If you're tired of being alone, find new ways to stay connected while social distancing with friends and family (i.e. play online games, host Zoom events, walk outdoors).
- Send thoughtful, inexpensive surprises to those who need a pick me up (i.e. baked goods, homemade gifts and cards).
Start fresh this holiday season! Don't be hesitant to shake things up, try new things and strengthen your emotional intelligence at the same time.
I hope you find restful and serene moments to take time to reflect and find joy this holiday season. Be sure to check out many more motivational blogs here.
This article was originally published on December 7, 2019, and has been updated (November 2020).
Are you Emotionally Intelligent?
Sign up for Linda’s monthly tips to build your Emotional Intelligence and reduce Emotional Hijacking!