Coronavirus and Psychological Resilience 1
We all feel anxious because of coronavirus. It is normal to feel stress and anxiety if we are unable to control a threat. Anxiety is a natural and functional emotion. Sufficient level of anxiety is needed in order to protect our surroundings as well as ourselves. If we do not worry at all, we fail to benefit from its functional side, which is protection. It would be more dangerous for us and for people who are at more risk, if we do not pay attention to recommendations for hygiene, not staying at crowded places and considering sufficient social distance.
Briefly, just as too much anxiety has a negative effect on our health not having anxiety at all can also have a negative effect. Taking the necessary precautions with a balanced concern will be our best assistant in this process.
We would like to share some suggestions, which helps us to increase our psychological resilience and resistance in this period.
•Excessive exposure to news about the danger of epidemics in television and in social media can trigger anxiety and panic. For this reason, get enough information from the right sources.
•You might feel the need to constantly keep tracking the news throughout the day, instead follow the news in a certain time, from a limited number of reliable resources. Excess news content creates mental and emotional burden.
•Keep your social relationships alive. Even if it is not physical, continued connection/communication with your loved ones will provide a stronger psychological resilience.
•Take an interest in books, sports, music, crafts and various fields of art.
•Keep your daily routines alive as much as possible.
•Pay attention to your nutrition and rest well.
Reference: First four bullets of suggestions are taken from Turkish Psychological Association.
Coronavirus and Psychological Resilience 2
In these extraordinary days, it is completely normal to feel anxiety, as we do not know what could happen in the following days. In our first article, we provided information about the nature of anxiety and suggestions on how we can increase our psychological resilience. In this article, we wanted to detail how you can implement these suggestions. Apart from that, we added information about common thought traps/thought biases that may increase anxiety in this period and tips on how to cope with these thought mistakes.
•Social support is very important. Video chat with your family and friends. Put video conversations in your daily routine by setting a common time interval.
•Take advantage of new technologies which are created by this uncommon situation. You can meet your friends online on platforms like Netflix Party where you can socialize all together at the same time (https://www.netflixparty.com).
•Exercise and get sunlight daily.
•Your mind also needs daily exercise. Avoid spending excessive time on the Internet and watching TV series / movies one after another.
•If you observe that you are in need of eating all the time, check if this is actually to get away from anxiety or boredom. One of the ways to deal with these emotions is to deal with something else. Find yourself alternatives that you can do at home.
•Divide your day into specified time intervals. If you divide the day into certain time intervals such as working time, social time, exercise time, meal time, you will ensure your daily routine.
•If you are together with your family, do activities that you can do all together, such as jigsaw puzzles and cooking. However, everyone should also have their own individual / private time.
•You can start doing things that you have never had time to do, such as reading the books you postpone reading or organizing the drawers that you have never had a chance to organize.
•View your old photos and photo albums.
•Call your friends and relatives that you have not been able to talk to for a long time.
•Take care of your body. Personal care increases psychological resistance and self-esteem. Do not neglect your self-care. Take a shower daily and dress as if you are going out.
•Laughter is a good medicine. Humor nourishes our emotional health. You can watch programs that make you laugh and you can play humuorus box games.
Pay attention to the listed below thought traps/mistakes that may increase your anxiety:
•We tend to overestimate the risk of threats that we do not know. If we exaggerate the risk, our anxiety will increase.
•Psychologists call the exaggerated way of thinking “catastrophizing”. Note that the media generally highlights negative news/ information. Get the right information from reliable sources and pay attention to which information is important. Focus on positive news too. In short, do not catastrophize.
•Do not overgeneralize. “I am so bored at home so far, I will also get bored in the following days. " Avoid generalizing thoughts such as this. One negative experience does not mean that your next experiences will be negative too.
•Do not think too much about the future. Thinking too much about the future elevates our anxiety by increasing uncertainty.
•Getting bored is a healthy state that we all experience. Do not be afraid of getting bored.
•Overthinking and rumination puts us all in a vicious cycle. Try not to think a lot about the same subject and focus on activities that can distract you.
•Do not force yourself to think positively. Observe that negative thoughts come and go like clouds. Instead of forcing to think positively, try to recognize the moments when the mind is more serene and naturally leaves itself to positive thoughts.
•You are psychologically resilient more than you think. Remember how you had coped with past difficulties.
•This period may seem like it will never end, but remember that it is temporary.
•Finally, do not forget that we can all feel unhappy, hopeless, anxious and scared. We are all together in this. People all around the world feel this way. Remind yourself that we can deal with these difficulties by taking the necessary precautions.
We wish you healthy days.