It’s hard when we’re tired and things affect us more than they usually do. Have you ever had that experience when you blow up over something little? To make things worse, other people’s responses aren’t validating; they’ll say something like...
“Come on, it wasn’t such a big deal” or "Let it go already!"
It’s not about the little thing that went wrong. Often it’s the compounding of different things that made you upset.
So how can we deal when it’s been a long week?
Remind yourself that you’re more sensitive and that things might affect you more. On these kinds of days you might want to take a five-minute walk or allow yourself to be less rushed.
Rate your feelings throughout the day.
Let’s say that we use a five-point scale, where five is the highest level of intensity of an emotion. By pinpointing your emotions, you can take the actions necessary to make sure that intensity doesn’t increase. Now let’s use an example. Let’s say that you’re at a level three, where you’re feeling moderately anxious. To maintain that level, you figure out what you need. Maybe you need a moment to yourself, ten minutes without wifi, or a quick snack...the list continues.
Pinpoint your triggers.
Find out what bothers you. Are there specific environments that amp you up or make you feel anxious? For some people, being in bigger groups of people can be anxiety-provoking. For others, people get irritated when people don't hold the door open when it's pretty convenient.
If you need help coping with anger...
Acknowledge it. Forcing ourselves to suppress our feelings doesn't zap them out of our systems. Instead, we can reframe our feelings as something that helps us. It's an indicator that something inside us is threatened. When we're disrespected, it's infuriating. The urge is for us to fight back and to stand up for ourselves. When we allow ourselves to feel throughout the day, we let it out in spurts rather than through one explosion.
Find an acceptable way to channel it.
Find an empty garage and throw some plates and glass bottles.
Write about it.
Find a boxing class.
Scream at the top of your lungs in the car.
Find people who will validate what you're experiencing.
Tell your friends that you want them to listen. Maybe this means that you’re not looking for them to fix your situation, but just be there for you.