Sujay Seshadri, who is a Life Enhancement Mentor at Kamalaya Wellness Spa, explains how to deal with mood swings during isolation.
Even if you try hard, being in a cheerful mood 24/7 is nearly impossible, even under normal circumstances. Throw in a few challenges like being at home in isolation or helping your children with their school work Every! Single! Day! and the mood cycle can get stuck at the bottom – a little like chewing gum on the sole of your flip flops.
What’s important is to be able to swing back to the top. Because, being constantly upset or angry will be harder to overcome the longer you stay in it. We are not talking about a depression which needs a different approach. Rather, we are referring to this nagging feeling of not being centered, or feeling angry or alarmed at sight of the proverbial spider on the wall.
‘Accepting that we are living in circumstances we have no or little control over is the first step of dealing with things,’ says Sujay Seshadri, Life Enhancement Mentor at Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary. ‘But our mind needs certainty and this is exactly what we are lacking right now.’
Sujay’s advice is to draw two circles. In the first circle, write down all the things you have under control. In the other circle, write down the things you don’t. To see how much you actually can control in your life, will give you immediate confidence and elevate your mood.
Being snappy at your partner or children is often misplaced, and has nothing to do with them, but may be a response to missing privacy or feeling constrained. To be living so close with each other can makes us realize how much we all need times of solitude. Allowing each family member ‘alone time’, may include making a schedule or defining rules.
Sailors are in similar situations, living in cramped quarters for months. How do you know when a sailor had finished his shift and called it a day? In the old days the rule was that a sailor enjoyed a glass of rum – which he would receive at the end of his workday in the ship’s mess, when he was not to be addressed by anyone. Install a similar system at home (maybe minus the rum!). Find a way to tell others that you don’t want to be bothered, not even with a short question (Honey, where is …?). No exceptions. A ‘Do Not Disturb badge’ can be a start. An hour a day can make a positive difference.
A bad or sad mood is highly contagious. Especially if we are the ones usually trying to keep the family happy. We easily pick up other people’s emotions and get drawn into their mood by feeling the same. ‘If you are experiencing that, stop what you have been doing and change your location by going into a different room. Acknowledge whatever you’ve been feeling and let yourself know, that it is okay to feel what you are feeling. Learn to relax with that emotion. When you become relaxed enough, you can walk out of that room and leave that negative feeling literally behind you,’ says Sujay Seshadri.
If your mood swings are a constant issue, try to find out what could cause them other than being stressed by the isolation. Sometimes it can be a lack of nutrients and vitamins, and supplements like Vitamin B, Vitamin C and Zinc can help. Mood swings before menopause can also be helped by adding more calcium into your diet. Meditation and stress release exercises are another option to feel better as is mild exercise. These can all release endorphins which provide a lovely mood lift.
Try to do things that are bigger than yourself, simple tasks like making someone feel better or helping someone. Having a higher purpose is important and will take your mind of the small stuff.
If you keep yourself happy and pleasant, you will reduce friction around you which influences your mood directly. Keeping yourself in that space is a gift that you are giving to everyone – including yourself.
Click here to watch one of Sujay’s meditations.