Triggers to Tools in 10 Weeks #10 – Negative Emotions

© Kittiphan

We’ve been looking at common holiday triggers and sharing our best tools to help you cope. Click here for previous posts or subscribe to receive them by email.

The trigger: Negative emotions

Negative emotions can swell up at any time of year, but it is definitely common to feel let down after the holiday excitement wears off and reality sets back in.

Whether you were with loved ones for the holidays or on your own, when it’s all over you may feel more alone than ever, especially as people share stories of their holiday adventures and the presents they gave and received. It’s easy to feel like your own experiences don’t measure up, and even jealous of others.

The tool: Focus inside not outside

Today’s social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can flood you with images and stories that can make you feel “less than.” But social media only gives us a two-dimensional portrayal of a person’s holiday, relationships or life. That person can choose what to share and not share. You are probably not seeing their moments of frustration, heartache, and mistakes.

When you find yourself comparing and trying to measure up to these artificial snippets of life, step back and look inside instead. See what YOU are yearning for or missing right now. What needs do you have that are not being met? Talk, journal, draw, paint, sing, or dance about what you discover. Then meet with a counselor or another trusted support person to look at how you can get those needs met.

P.S. Click for more tips about dealing with loneliness and isolation.

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