Nie daj się pokonać. Jesteś silniejszy niż myślisz. - CM LUXMED

Don't let yourself be defeated. You are stronger than you think.

A way to survive a coronavirus pandemic

A coronavirus pandemic is a new, unpredictable and difficult situation for everyone, for which we have not been able to prepare. This new, threatening reality shatters our sense of security and creates anxiety. However, nature has equipped us with defence mechanisms that allow us to cope with any problem, even the most difficult ones.

What does coronavirus do to the psyche?

Feeling anxiety in the initial phase is an adaptive reaction to protect us from potential danger - it stimulates us to action, activates alertness. However, prolonged feelings of anxiety do not have a positive impact on our functioning. Little knowledge of the threat makes us more anxious, we don't have coping strategies developed so far and gradually we gather information, get used to the threat and develop such strategies from scratch. Over time, our knowledge of how to minimise the risk of coronavirus infection, how to protect ourselves and our loved ones increases. We know what we can do, what we can influence and gradually we feel safer. This initial stage is now behind most of us and it would be ideal to accept our emotions and the current pandemic situation at least to the extent that we personally have no control over it. This process is difficult for everyone to varying degrees and depends on many factors, personal and external.

An important element is to allow ourselves to show emotions, to accept emotions, both difficult and pleasant in ourselves and those around us.

How to deal with anxiety?

 In order to reduce stress, it is advisable to limit stimuli that could cause us additional anxiety and negative feelings, e.g. limit information about the virus, choose one source of information that we trust, do not watch or read the news in the evening, just before going to bed.

Let's be good to ourselves and others, let's give ourselves small pleasures, let's think about what makes us happy - coffee, a walk, reading a book? Many people have a very active lifestyle and react badly to having to give up what they used to do, so let's not give up everything, but instead of giving up, let's do something else: for example, we can't play football in a group, but we can exercise at home, run or cycle.

Quarantine? Isolation? Don't break the relationship, change the way

We should minimise the consequences of social isolation by using the Internet or telephone to contact our relatives and maintain relations with people from our previous environment - school, work. Nowadays, a large part of social life has moved to the web, we can participate in virtual cultural events, concerts, trainings and others. It is worth using this form in the current situation, it will allow us to maintain, at least to some extent, some of our traditional activities from before the coronavirus pandemic, and will give us a sense of participation in social life and self-development.

Positive attitude the key to success

We need to think about whether there is not something positive in the midst of the huge number of negative consequences of the pandemic: we have more time for ourselves, for our loved ones, time for things we had previously forgotten. Another positive consequence of this difficult situation is the appreciation of things that previously seemed natural to us, but are now exceptional. Many of us miss our work, pupils miss school, we miss going for a walk, meeting a friend, things that previously seemed normal, natural and sometimes even boring and monotonous.

Coronavirus and children

More attention and care should be focused on children and young people who have lost a lot in this situation. Due to their age and experiences they have less background in dealing with an unusual and difficult situation than adults, often not understanding the situation they find themselves in and the decisions they have to make. Younger children can read our emotions and their understanding and adaptation to the situation depends on how the carers present and explain it. Let's talk to children about the difficulties we all face and explain the situation.

The vast majority of us, some better, some worse, will cope in this situation using our own resources. However, attention should be paid to those around us, to those who are less able than we are to cope with a coronavirus pandemic situation associated with social isolation, health risks, loss of financial stability or work. Such people may now need particular care and support from loved ones, the community or professional help. Psychological support is one form of assistance that can help us to get through this difficult situation, minimise the negative consequences, help us to return to normal functioning.

                                                                                                                     Author of the text:

mgr Ilona Styczyńska - psychologist