No panic or stress!
The Ministry of Education and Science posted individual psychological recommendations in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic on its website.
Brief recommendations for coping with panic due to the uncertainty of the future:
- Create everyday rituals, simple repetitive actions that structure the day (charging, eating, washing hands on a schedule, reading books at specific times, etc.). Make your daily routine. Follow him. If you succeeded, reward yourself with something pleasant – watching your favorite movie or TV series, playing, walking, talking on the phone with a girlfriend or friend, etc.
- Make plans and create lists: for one day, for a week. Follow your usual daily routine, even if you work from home. In plans and lists, try to change something a little, for example, to increase the physical load on charging. Create goals for yourself and go towards them gradually, guided by the principle that “an elephant cannot be eaten right away, it can only be eaten in pieces.”
- Make a list of your personal measures against the threat of an epidemic: washing your hands, ventilating the room, disinfecting surfaces (such as door handles). Check off what was done. This will return a sense of control over your life and an objective impact on the situation within your area of responsibility. You do what you can and what you must do.
- Stock up on food for a short time (about 10-14 days), more is hardly necessary! Products will definitely be available further if everyone behaves wisely and responsibly. Even with serious quarantines, shopping trips, subject to personal safety precautions (a mask, gloves, minimizing hands touching the face, etc.) are not prohibited. Keep in mind that people will no longer consume food, and governments have already learned how to control basic deficits.
- Reduce the consumption of information materials that escalate the panic – from social networks, newspapers, TV. Do not watch emotionally charged materials. They are focused on manipulating your attention and stimulating vivid and most often negative experiences. Most often, they do not correspond to reality and are materials of the “yellow” press, which wants one thing – to capture your attention for the sale of advertising. To attract attention, they have a whole arsenal of manipulation tools. For example, headlines like these: “For a long time they concealed from us a universal remedy for treating serious illnesses. And who has been doing this all these years … “
- Evaluate the resources that you have: money, skills, property, support from relatives and friends. Make a list of “assets”, plan A and plan B in case the pandemic drags on. Write down what you know, who can help you, at least temporarily, because of what exactly you feel in danger and how you can be safe in advance.
- Estimate how your life may look in a year. In two or three. Dream. Make plans. It is important for maintaining well-being and control over life. Anyway, we will live. How exactly is our own choice.
Recommendations for coping with negative feelings due to social isolation:
Keep in touch with your friends and family online. Prepare to spend time at home, think about what you will do with yourself and, if necessary, children:
- Ask your teachers for a self-study homework plan. Ask the teacher to suggest how best to master this or that topic, to complete the task.
- Stock up on paper or e-books. Reading is a great thing that will help you know the world better, escape from the hustle and bustle.
- Pay in advance to watch your favorite movies. Make a list of what you wanted, but did not have time to see.
- Think of a new hobby (for example, master board games). Many of them do not require any special resources.
- Organize groups online to discuss interesting topics, watch movies together and support each other.
- Be sure to maintain physical activity, you can enable online communication with friends and do exercises together.
- Find new friends who are passionate about what you want to learn: sports, cooking, editing photos and videos, and more. In general, maybe this is the time to master what you still put off.
Recommendations for the prevention of problems with physical well-being due to social exclusion:
- Lead a healthy lifestyle: regular adequate sleep, a variety of activities, refusal to drink alcohol, smoking, psychoactive substances.
- Move around. If you have the opportunity to go into a deserted space and walk alone (or with a dog) – do it. If you can’t get out – fitness lessons, yoga and regular physical education – all will help. Do you work sitting? Start the timer and get out of the chair every 40 minutes, crouch or jump. Use every opportunity for regular movement.
- If you doubt that in the mode of self-isolation you can provide yourself a balanced diet, drink vitamins.
Recommendations for the prevention of problems with psychological well-being due to social exclusion:
- Use any relaxation practices to reduce stress and anxiety (meditation, mindfulness practices, breathing and body exercises). Use available applications and gadgets for this if you want.
- Apply techniques to work with irrational and fatalist thinking using humor and rational arguments.
- Learn, learn new things. If you have long wanted to take an online course, but there was no time, now it has come. Think of your hobbies – draw, dance, write stories about how you survive a pandemic. Creativity and learning is a great way to regain control of life.
- Restore order – at home, in documents, family photo archives – something that always does not have enough time.
- Organize your personal space and time. Even if you live more than one (one), agree with loved ones that everyone should have at least 15-20 minutes a day, which he (a) can spend alone with himself, over a cup of coffee, a book or a TV series.
- Use the techniques of coping with anxiety and panic: breathe, observe yourself and what is happening in the body as if from the side, wait until the state weakens and completely disappears.
- Recognize the right to fear and worry. In extreme situations, this is normal. Write out your fears. Rate them for objectivity. Separate those that can be dealt with by real actions (deterioration of the economic situation in the family, deterioration of health, etc.) from subjective ones (“quarantine will last forever”, “life will never be the same”, etc.). If you like to draw, draw your irrational fears, write stories about them, keep a diary.
- Organize a support group of friends with whom you can share your concerns. Shared emotion weakens.
- Celebrate the good in every day, even the least. A conversation with a friend / girlfriend, reading an interesting book, exercising, playing with children, a beautiful sunset from the window, the scent of a scented candle – everything is suitable for such a list at the end of the day.
- Take care of the weaker ones, if they are near you: lonely old people who can bring food so that they don’t go out, single mothers. Support funds that help survive the pandemic. This is the little thing you can do to make the whole society a little more stable.
- Cover up with an optimistic “busy bee” – wash your hands more often, wash and iron clothes, try to become completely clean, even germproof, push others to it.
Full text available here (in Russian)