"Infuriated by the Infection" - Anger & COVID-19
We have all ridden the rollercoaster of different emotions related to the Global Pandemic of Corona Virus COVID-19 and the impact it has had on our lives. It has affected each and every one of us in different ways and what initially for many, instilled in us a real sense of fear, seems to have shifted to residual feelings of anger.
We have all seen the ugly side of the anger associated with this virus. The fights in supermarkets over toilet paper, the racism shown towards people, and the hateful messages and sentiment shared on social media.
So where has the anger come from?
Why do I feel angry?
The main reason people are feeling angry and frustrated is the lack of control. None of us asked for this virus but here it is on our doorsteps affecting our way of life.
We also in these situations tend to look for someone or something to blame.
Some other reasons people may be feeling angry about COVID-19 could include:
- Job loss or changes to income and work conditions
- Disagreement with Government responses to the Pandemic
- Frustrations related to isolation and lockdowns
- Changes to school routines for their children
- The impact on important celebrations or events such as weddings, funerals, etc
- Inability to travel, or enjoy things we normally would
Is it normal to feel angry about this?
In a word YES.
This virus has come into our lives without warning and without us having any real control over it. It has killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and made many more very unwell. It has impacted on our freedoms and changed our way of life. We are no longer able to travel overseas or even within our own country, and depending on where we live, we are in various stages of lockdown only being able to go out for essential purposes wearing a mask. We fear for our elderly friends and relatives and those with compromised immune systems. And more than anything we fear the uncertainty and unpredictability it brings with it. And all of this makes us angry.
What can I do about my anger?
The first thing you can do is notice your anger and monitor triggers.
We are constantly bombarded with information about COVID-19 through media, social media and even discussions in our day-to-day life. If you find this overwhelming reduce the amount of time you spend watching news and on social media. Also feel free to excuse yourself or take a time out from any discussions you find are making you angry or frustrated.
Find ways to manage your anger through mindfulness, relaxing activities, exercise, or distraction. Think about how you deal with anger related to other things and use some of these same techniques to manage your anger related to COVID-19.
Remember to put things in perspective. We are all facing this scary unknown situation together and being angry at each other, and at the people trying to manage the situation does not really achieve anything. Instead try to channel this anger into thinking about what you can do to help. Whether it is checking in with elderly neighbours to see if they need some help with grocery shopping, or simply being considerate of others feelings.
We can’t control the Pandemic, but we can control how we behave towards others and how we look after ourselves. When this is all over, we want to be able to look back and think despite how hard things were, we all came together to get through it.
Take home message
Know that its ok to feel angry about COVID-19 but be conscious of managing that anger and choosing compassion. Compassion towards ourselves and towards others is so important in the fight against the Psychological impact of this virus.
If you feel like you need additional support with any of the things mentioned, please do not hesitate to visit our website www.whws.org.au or give us a call on 9490 2258.