There are 2 other posts on here about how to deal with change:
How to Handle Change and Stay Positive
Looks like it is time for a new one because we are in a change but also changing with new rules for the COVID pandemic. While the previous posts are great, the addition of COVID changes things a bit.
It is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared, or angry about an emergency. The feelings created by the coronavirus are normal. So, it is very logical, and even healthy, that many people feel fear at some point due to the expansion of the Covid-19 outbreak, which confronts us with an unknown and threatening situation. Another thing is that this fear is installed in the state of mind, distresses us, and ends up becoming a phenomenon that interferes with our ability to manage the situation effectively or, worse still, that it spreads and spreads to suppose an added problem in the already complex health situation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Official College of Psychology of Catalonia have recommendations for the psychological management of the coronavirus alert, both in the case of adults and children. They include the following:
Get well informed
The first recommendation of psychologists is to be well informed. It may seem like a silly, absurd, or trivial recommendation when nothing else is talked about and all day we are receiving information about the coronavirus. But is not. The key is to get information “well”, because a large part of the messages and information shared by social networks and the Internet are false or, at least, not verified.
Therefore, as a precaution, one should resolve their doubts about the coronavirus and find out the latest news about it through official or contrasted channels. A good option to start could be WHO Website or the website created by Google: Google’s Covid19 Website.
Do not “infoxicate”
Getting well informed also means not “infoxication”. That is, do not fall into the over information. Staying connected and aware of information about the coronavirus all day “will not make you better informed or give you more protection against the virus and, instead, will increase the feeling of risk unnecessarily. A clear example is the calls not to kiss or hug, restrictions that experts consider unjustified.
In this sense, to limit the anguish and concern about the epidemic, the WHO recommends limiting the time spent watching or listening to television or radio programs about the coronavirus that causes us discomfort or negativity, that resort to sensationalism or alarmism.
Experts emphasize the need to keep perspective and internalize that the fact that there is great news coverage on this topic does not necessarily mean that it is a threat to us and our family.
And in line with avoiding infoxication, it is worth quarantining the information that circulates through social networks and contrasting it before making any decision related to it or sharing it. Similarly, steps should be taken so that all trivial conversations do not revolve around the same subject.
Inform others well
What is valid for oneself is valid for others. Therefore, it is essential not to speak permanently about the subject and avoid spreading rumors or false information. For this, it is best to share information that is relevant, never hot, and only once verified that it is true.
Children must also be well informed. It is essential to be attentive to their doubts and concerns and to answer their questions as they appear, with clear explanations, without lying to them but without overwhelming them with much information. In this sense, they must be given clear information on how to reduce the risk of becoming infected.
It is important to follow the recommendations and preventive measures determined by the health authorities to protect yourself from possible Covid-19 infection. Taking more precautions than doctors consider justified by scientific evidence will not give us greater protection against the virus and, instead, feeds fear and anguish, both in oneself and in the people around us.
Hence, it is advisable, both for adults and especially for children, to maintain daily routines and agendas as much as possible. Fear is controlled much better through our healthy behaviors than through self-induced reasoning or unnecessary precautions.
Take care of yourself
If you have fever, cough, and shortness of breath, or doubt about the possibility of having been infected, it is important to contact the health authorities and follow their instructions for medical attention.
But taking care of yourself does not mean overprotecting yourself and making superfluous medical consultations to health care services, which are already quite collapsed.
On the other hand, as with any other infectious disease, a good way to protect yourself is to take extreme healthy lifestyle habits to maintain our immune system and our general health as well as possible.
The WHO emphasizes that maintaining these habits is especially important if one has to stay at home because of having been in contact with an infected person. If you must remain secluded at home, you must take care of the diet and the hours of sleep, but also practice exercise and maintain contact by phone or messages with friends and family, because social life is important.
Accept your feelings
Psychologists explain that fear is an adaptive response that helps us stay alert and take the necessary steps to minimize risks, either by avoiding danger or looking for ways to deal with it. So, they urge not to reject or cover it. Acknowledge your feelings and accept them; and if necessary, share them with those closest to you.
Another of the recommendations of psychologists against the coronavirus outbreak is to use a sense of humor. Humor is an emotion that will help you keep fear (which is another emotion) at bay.
In this sense, social networks can be of great help. On Twitter, for example, a lot of memes, parodies, and funny messages circulating on the subject.
You have a hobby
Enjoy the fun hobbies you have. Now is a great time to do that since we’re stuck at home. For years you have probably longed for “time” to do “_______”. Now you have that time.
Learn something new
Along with a new hobby or if you do not have a hobby, now is a good time to learn about something new. For programmer types, this could be a new language. For artists, you can experiment with more mediums. For video game players, try out a new game or master the levels to become an expert.
Along with humor, another useful tool to manage the anguish and uncertainty caused by the expansion of the Covid-19 outbreak is the experience itself. Review the skills that you have already applied in the past to face and manage other adverse circumstances that have come your way in life; Using those skills will help you also control your emotions when faced with this challenge.