Resilience in the time of the Coronavirus
It is the first time that we have to face a “PANDEMIA” and therefore we have no feedback on what will leave this health emergency , emotionally and psychically.
In the great uncertainty we are going through, we can put in place some useful tips to better face this period.
Each of us has different degrees of RESILIENCE, derived from the personal, social and environmental history in which we lived, this ability, which helps us deal with very stressful events, once the emergency is over, will allow us to return as we were before, if not even reinforced and transformed .
Now we feel vulnerable, we do not know how long the virus’s ability to infect us will continue, but we can concentrate and have confidence in our skills and competences, which generally help us to cope with the difficult situations that arise before us.
We can have knowledge in various areas of knowledge, we can have a prudent attitude in general, we can be tenacious and determined people , but the most important one, in this period, is flexibility and the ability to adapt to the needs that the moment requires .
Concentrate on the here and now, live the day, enjoy the little things, let yourself go to the amazement of the child to discover the world and grasp the secret of everything: a table set, a phone call from a friend, a film, a book. Leave long-term projects for a while, which may not have the opportunity to come true, leaving us with a sense of helplessness and frustration.
As far as possible, keep the same routine that we had before the emergency. Get up at the same time, do some exercise, like stretching, running on the spot etc. Study or work in smart working whenever possible. This routine gives structure to our life and helps us feel more competent and less at the mercy of the surrounding events.
The fact that it is an external, unknown, invisible agent that predominantly governs our life, can put a strain on our narcissistic desire to always keep everything under control .
There are people who have already suffered severe stress in the past , on which this experience can reactivate triggers, that is, elements that can emotionally trigger memories related to the past traumatic event and that can make this moment more painful.
The fact that we talk about it a lot and that many people are fighting against the same enemy helps not to feel alone and the fact that it can be shared with an unlimited number of people, makes our weight lighter, can make us think that we will be less subjects to establish a post traumatic stress disorder.
This Pandemic experience has moved the Locus of control from internal to external. The sense of internal control, concerns the sense of competence on the attitudes that we can have to avoid contagion (wash your hands often, avoid too close contact with others …).
Bringing the external locus of control to an internal locus of control refines our sense of control. To defeat realistic fears, self-protective measures are the best “therapy”.
If you experience sadness, fear, anger and pain, do not be ashamed to try them, rather try to find the words to describe them, perhaps even by bringing them on a sheet that you can then throw away, or maybe read it, to someone close.
Unfortunately, there have been many deaths that did not have the religious function and the celebration of the funeral, this may make the elaboration of mourning more difficult .
But also the loss of work following the economic crisis that has arisen with the coronavirus, the distance from relatives and friends are all mourners that we will have to learn to work out.
Do not freeze emotions inside but allow yourself to accept to try them.
Use fear in an adaptive way, which normally protected our species, without being overwhelmed by it, and indeed use it to become stronger and more competent.
This moment of forced pause was however a great opportunity for each of us to look inside and redefine the main values that normally guide our behavior. This in the best case will make us better people in the future.
This forced coexistence may have fortified certain unions, made others more fragile, certainly made manifest who is important to us and who is not.
Trauma can promote positive personal growth and many people, once the emergency is over, can experience a better sense of competence and resilience .
So let’s stay close , with the means we have available, and get ready for a recovery where our sociality will also have to adapt to new ways.
Who knows if the mirror neurons, which reside within each of us and which are one of the main resources to make us feel empathy towards each other, do not become an elective means of making us feel close to each other.