Covid-19 has created a real and existential crisis. The situation is changing daily and it becomes increasingly likely that we will face short, medium and even long-term changes in the way we live our lives.
We know from our research into human well-being and resilience that uncertainty can be a major source of anxiety. Luckily there are effective strategies to manage our threat response and ensure we have the mental bandwidth to be creative and see beyond the immediacy of the fear of what Covid-19 will bring.
Our research brings together the best of humanistic, therapeutic and psychological approaches to determine effective strategies to both maintain our well-being and build our resilience. These explore how we use our Mind, Body and the Environment around us to build a solid foundation from which we can thrive through periods of ambiguity.
The following are three strategies that may help navigate the current challenges being brought by Covid-19.
Take a step back – perspective is always useful.
An exercise in negative visualisation allows us to imagine how much worse this situation could be. This can seem counter intuitive, but it gives us room to recognise what we might be thankful for. Our conditioned habit pattern often focusses us on “what we haven’t got”, by concentrating on “what we have” there is much greater room for a positive mindset built on gratitude and humility.
Take control – be proactive.
With a reduction in our normal working patterns there is likely to be time to all those things we are often too busy to do. Finding ourselves with more time on our hands can be a great opportunity for real or metaphorical ‘Spring cleaning’ and getting ready for what comes after the disruption is over. This could be as simple as making time to actively rest and replenish our energy or keeping our mind active by engaging with a hobby or reading those books that we’ve never had time to get to.
Stay connected – isolation doesn’t need to be lonely.
As we live with the reality of social distancing to limit the spread of the virus it is important to play an active role within our communities. This can be a great time to pick up the phone or use video platforms to connect to loved ones and colleagues. Recognising we are not alone provides the opportunity to ask for help or offer support to those less fortunate than ourselves. We can also make time to connect to nature around us, the spring is a great time to be in the garden or local park and see new life emerging after the darkness of the winter.