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Corona virus: How to make the most of the situation

Corona virus: How to make the most of the situation


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Stay calm despite the corona pandemic - how is that supposed to work?

The corona pandemic is turning our everyday lives upside down. People fall ill or have to be put in quarantine as a precaution. Everyone who is not yet directly affected should stay at home if possible and reduce their social contacts to a minimum. Even though many of us have wished for “more time for ourselves” in the past few years, we certainly did not imagine that.

Man is a social being. Studies have shown that it is above all the interpersonal exchange that keeps us healthy and positive. But thanks to Corona, meetings with family members who do not live with us under one roof and with friends are no longer compatible with the protection of the common good.

Even active leisure activities such as visits to the cinema or theater, fitness center, swimming pool or sauna, playing music in a group or engaging in charitable organizations are no longer possible. Social contacts at work are also no longer available for most of them.

People who live alone are particularly hard hit. This article is therefore aimed primarily at those people who currently have a lot of time due to quarantine, other restrictions or voluntary renunciation of contacts and who mostly have to deal with the new situation at home alone.

Make sure you are doing the right thing

The most important thing in advance: Experts keep pointing out that at the moment it is an absolute priority to keep the spread of the virus flat (in English: "flatten the curve"), ie to spread the number of diseases over as long a period as possible so that the health system doesn't collapse. For this, containment of the contacts is essential.

By largely avoiding direct contact and staying at home as much as possible, you protect the weaker members of our community. Even if you may be feeling alone and isolated at the moment: You are part of society and by doing without you make an important contribution to the well-being of everyone.

What to do about fears

The new situation can cause fear. These can take different forms, appear individually or in combination. Some people are most afraid of contracting the corona virus, getting sick, and possibly even dying. Others worry primarily about relatives. For some, being alone is the greatest fear. Economic worries, fear of supply shortages or a kind of claustrophobia due to quarantine or possible curfews can also occur.

All of these fears, concerns or concerns are perfectly normal. Pretty much all of us are currently suffering from it. It helps to make this clear, not to “demonize” the fear and, if possible, to share it with others.

That's what the stands for Telephone counseling available at 0800-111 0 111 or 0800-111 0 222 or 116 123. Don't be afraid to take advantage of this opportunity.

Relaxation methods can also be a great way to reduce anxiety. You can find more tips against the fear of being alone and for dealing with fear in general in our article "Anxiety (Anxiety Disorder)".

Structure your day

Structuring the daily routine and establishing new routines can help to create a feeling of stability and security in the face of the new situation. The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief recommends in this handout "Tips for domestic quarantine":

“You will probably suddenly have an unusually large amount of time, since you cannot go to work or do your usual leisure activities. Create a daily structure and set goals. The goals should be realistic under the circumstances. Think about how you can fill the time. Try different things like read, write a diary, etc. ".

Keep in touch

It is particularly important for people who are significantly more likely to be alone than usual because of the Corona crisis that it is important to maintain regular contact with relatives and friends. This can help with feelings of fear and loneliness or help prevent them from occurring or at least not being rampant.

Try to encourage each other through conversations and exchanges. Talk about your worries. If possible, stay positive and keep your sense of humor even in this difficult situation. Laughter strengthens the immune system and can help you to get some distance from problems.

The toilet paper shortage that occurs in many places due to hamster purchases is annoying and a sad sign of anti-social behavior. But she has also produced many funny reactions, which are currently circulating on the Internet and cause great amusement.

In this crisis, social networks can help us to stay close to each other despite physical distance: talking on the phone, chatting, exchanging messages and photos and and and - it has never been easier to keep in touch. Do not wait for the others to contact you, but actively ask how family and friends are doing.

Limit your "news time"

The Internet makes it very easy for us to keep getting the latest news from around the world. On the one hand, of course, that's a good thing. On the other hand, the constant confrontation with the Corona virus and its effects can also lead to fears. There is also a lot of fake news. It can therefore be helpful to restrict reading news on this topic.

The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief recommends in this handout "Tips for domestic quarantine": "Try to make media consumption consciously related to this topic. For example, sit down fixed times when you research new news and information. "

A question of perspective: crisis or opportunity?

Crises are often also opportunities. It often helps if you look at the situation from a different perspective. Certainly, the corona virus and its direct effects are not a good thing. But some side effects can be viewed positively. There are many articles on the Internet about how parts of nature regenerate through the decline in tourism.

People who are currently unable to do their job due to the virus but are forced to stay at home can use this “forced break” to learn new things, relax, think about their lives and, if necessary, make changes.

For example, anyone who is involuntarily single, but has so often postponed registration at an online dating service “due to lack of time” could take action now.

You can even “save the world from the sofa”, for example by informing yourself about topics such as climate change, factory farming or feminism and by signing online petitions.

If you have long wanted to try yoga, you can start using online videos. If you have had a lot of stress lately, the involuntary break can be a chance to regenerate, laze around, sleep in and finally “let all five be straight” - without a guilty conscience.

Get active for others

The corona pandemic threat has led people to start new initiatives to help each other. For example, there are various groups on Facebook in which you can express your needs or offer your help according to the "search" / "offer" principle.

There you can register by zip code and find each other. In this way, people in quarantine or people from a risk group can connect with people from the surrounding area who do shopping for them, take the dog for a walk, pick up prescriptions from the doctor and get medication. These days, many families also need childcare support.

If you have the opportunity to offer your help, take action. However, be sure to observe the hygiene regulations displayed. In addition, it can make sense to limit the aid to a few people in order not to endanger the measures to contain the pandemic (especially reduction of personal contacts).

You also benefit from helping others, because good deeds lead to so-called “reward substances” being released in the brain. This increases our mood. We also feel less lonely and helpless when we actively do something to improve the situation. This is how we shift our focus from ourselves to others. Fear, fainting and loneliness have no chance, but transform into the good feeling of doing something meaningful for the community and being there for others.

How to use your time at home positively

For example, if you have to spend more or less involuntarily a lot of time alone at home, you could use it sensibly, for example, to do a spring cleaning, to complete the tax return or to clean up your wardrobe.

The Internet also offers countless opportunities: You can continue your professional training online, read blogs and tips on personal development, learn meditation or yoga using YouTube or apps, watch films and series and so on.

Being alone at home can be a lot of fun! Reading a good book, listening to music, taking a long bath, painting, drawing, puzzling, trying out new cooking recipes - you can certainly think of many things that you have been doing for a long time or have always wanted to try out. When, if not now?!

Anyone who has difficulty with being alone can find psychologist Dr. Katharina Tempel alias "happiness detective" tips and tricks to be happy alone.

Take good care of yourself

Whatever else applies is particularly important in times of crisis to stay healthy and positive: take good care of yourself. Above all, this means eating balanced, healthy and regular, drinking a lot, making sure you have enough sleep, relaxation, fun and exercise.

Movement such as walking, jogging, cycling is currently allowed outside alone. This has the additional positive effect that daylight improves mood and vitamin D can be formed through the skin. In the apartment, for example, yoga, gymnastics, jumping rope or jumping on a mini trampoline can provide the necessary movement.

Focusing on gratitude can also be helpful in difficult life phases. To do this, look for at least three things at the moment that you can be thankful for. These can be little things, for example a cup of coffee in the sun on the balcony, your current favorite song or a good book. Are you (still) healthy? This is probably the biggest reason for gratitude at the moment!

If you can't think of anything: On the website of the "happiness detective" you will also find 20 tips that will make your everyday life more beautiful. " Most of them also work under the currently difficult conditions. The site also provides a lot of information that can help us to get through the crisis mentally well. Many articles are available as videos on YouTube.

Especially in the corona crisis, it can make sense to specifically strengthen the immune system. Since stress weakens the immune system, stress reduction is a good and important measure: Deceleration, exercise, mindfulness and regular practice of relaxation methods such as yoga, autogenic training or meditation can help you to actively strengthen your immune system and reduce anxiety.

You can find many more practical tips for strengthening the immune system in our article "Strengthening the immune system - the best tips for a strong immune system". (kh)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Magistra Artium (M.A.) Katja Helbig

Swell:

  • Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief: Tips for home quarantine (handout); (Accessed on March 18, 2020), Federal Ministry of Health
  • Happiness Detective: Live Better! 20 tips that make your everyday life more beautiful; (Accessed on March 18, 2020), Detective of Happiness
  • Happiness detective: be happy alone: ​​how it works; (Accessed on March 18, 2020), Detective of Happiness


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