How to survive social isolation and not panic over a pandemic?

“Smile, breathe, and go slowly” (Guru T.N.Hanh)

The coronavirus pandemic and measures to fight it have significantly affected our lives. While being isolated in such a vicious circle, people are getting tense, confused, alarmed.
How to take care of yourself in today’s realities?

  1. Recognize that feelings are natural and important. You can satisfy your needs in other ways.

We are afraid, upset, and angry when deprived of something important. This is a natural process that leads to the acceptance of reality.

We cannot control events and feel threatened, so we are scared. It is important to recognize that you are afraid, and then identify the constructive ways of taking care of yourself and protecting yourself from what is scary.

Let yourself be sad. Sadness signals what we lack: communication, activity, and impressions.

Anger gives strength and energy to satisfy your needs in new ways.

“It’s difficult for me in the new conditions. I want everything to be as before. But there is no such possibility, but life goes on. I can think of what can be done to feel better right now. ”

  1. Quarantine in Ukraine is a temporary measure. It will end. Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Imagine that quarantine is a contract signed with you for a certain period of time. For independent reasons, the duration of the contract may be extended. But the day when this agreement will be terminated, is sure to come. We are strong, and now we need to be patient.

  1. Positive stress instead of the negative

Chronic stress depletes the body and mind. Constant monitoring of news, negative thoughts, lack of nutrition and physical activity suppress immunity and lead to weight gain. There is a desire to reduce stress in non-adaptive ways (alcohol, smoking, overeating, etc.), which only worsens the general condition.

Instead of this:

  • eat delicious meals, order your favorite food online;
  • protect yourself from reading negative news, read information only in official sources;
  • track negative thoughts and / or write them on a piece of paper;
  • do moderate physical activity: dance, warm up, make a plan for home training or look for ready-made programs on the Internet;
  • take a warm bath or a contrast shower;
  • do the housework, which has been put off for a long time: empty the closet, transplant plants, clean on shelves, throw away unnecessary things;
  • master a new activity: buy a video course on a topic of interest, learn new languages, learn to draw, play a musical instrument, prepare new dishes, “visit” tours and exhibitions online;
  • make a sleep mode: go to bed on the same day that you woke up and sleep at least 8 hours;
  • play games, take time for children, pets and / or communicate with loved ones through video calls.
  1. Allocate personal space for work or leisure.

If you are quarantining with a family or partner, it is important to have personal space. Agree with each other on how and when you can spend time together or separately. Ventilate the room and let sunlight into the apartment. Taking personal boundaries into account is the key to your comfort.

  1. A professional tip:
  • meditate;
  • use progressive muscle relaxation (instructions can be freely found on the Internet);
  • write out negative thoughts on paper and think about what kind of need is behind them and how it can be satisfied in the current conditions;
  • practice the technique of conscious breathing;
  • draw your emotional state on a piece of paper, then destroy it or change it so that the drawing evokes positive feelings;

6.The more you crack jokes the better. As G. Kleiser once said, “Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression…It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens.”

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