Help! I’m easily triggered at home

Are you becoming easily triggered at home?
Is being cooped up together at home driving you up the wall?

We recently completed a mini series on routines and habits to raise sleep quality. Since the start of circuit breaker, our overarching focus has been on making our work from home experience better. This week, we embark on a new series that explores how to nurture and protect relationships at home and beyond.

As this post goes to press, we are nearly two months into circuit breaker. As we adjust to extended periods at home in close proximity with one another, interpersonal differences and tensions that were simmering may flare up and accusations start to fly. Disagreements are normal, but a potent mixture of multiple stress points brought about by Covid-19 on key areas like job stability and depleting finances and having little personal space to cool off can cause minor disagreements to escalate rapidly.

What are some protective steps that can be taken to release the build up of pressure from disagreements?

1. When you see red, take ten minutes off
It is easy to say something in the heat of the moment that you will later regret. Take a few minutes to cool off by doing deep breathing exercises and collect your thoughts before saying anything.

2. Use ‘I’ statements
One of the fastest way for tension to rise is to criticize or engaging in personal attack. To avoid criticizing or placing blame, use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the dinner table without offering to help me with the dishes” instead of “You never do any housework”.

3. Give yourself a break
Schedule short breaks during the day. This is especially important on stressful days. Periodic breaks help release built up stress and creates mental space to handle disagreements without getting irritated or angry.

4. Know when to seek help
Learning to control anger is challenging. Seek help if your anger appears out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.

(Photo by Matthew Brodeur on Unsplash)