How to deal mindful with COVID19

Being confronted with the spreading of Covid-19 leading the whole world to come to a shrieking halt and as a consequence unimaginable changes in daily life, never before did we apply socializing with potentially life-saving physical distance, staying at home all the time and having extra care and concerns for the elderly and vulnerable in society, while struggling with the unpredictability in time and impact on health and economic situation. The realization that this is happening all around the world, on the one side does make you feel you’re not alone in this, on the other side, makes you realize how much help the whole wide world is needing at the moment and for time to come. I am professionally challenged, working as a psychologist, and switching and adjusting to the online world to make it mine and my clients.

The world is changing from one hour to the next. The confrontation with these changes puts a demand on us adults, but also the influence on our youth is not to be underestimated. And while the world seems to have stopped moving, the world of especially the school-children seems to have sped up to a level that keeps them stuck on their computer 24/7 for learning and socializing purposes, while sports and hobbies are ruled out till further notice. This contradictive movement in slowing down while speeding up at the same time, triggers many questions, of which many without a clear answer in this unprecedented situation.

A reflection on what I have learned the last couple of weeks, involving myself with research results, personal reports and experiences described from around the world, as well as common sense, is used to attempt to formulate answers to the questions. In order to support to the need for balance and the need to guide our young people around us. Which resulted in a short summary of my view on how to go about this.

– Online working time counts double! 

Effectiveness with online working compared to the office or a classroom situation seems to need an adjustment: Log in less hours online in order to balance out the higher level of energy it takes from you compared to working hours in the office or classroom. 

– Building resilience

When being confronted with a crisis, especially one with a worldwide effect as currently experiencing due to the COVID-19 spread, it is important to take time to process this. To be able to process this and deal with all the adjustments and consequences for daily life, you need a level of rest and energy. Give yourself the gift of rest and relaxation, to counterbalance the concerns and worries and will prepare you better to explore the unknown territories the world is confronted with. To have energy, you will have to safe some! Allow yourself ways to charge! Do less, slow down, before you can speed up.

In order to build resilience and prepare better for the changes we are confronted with, while our normal routines are out of the window, pay more attention to:

  • Physical exercise (you can do this inside or around the house)
  • Keep in heart-full contact with your loved ones via the different ways we have these days beside physical closeness.
  • Stay in contact the same digital ways, with your neighbors and people you normally see on a regular basis.
  • Engage in relaxing activities, that are preferably creative: music, painting, clay or handicraft… try something new if you are not used to do this type of action.
  • Take rest, build a routine!  Make sure to sleep sufficient hours and your biological clock will benefit from keeping a routine whereby a balance between tasks that needs to be done and tasks that can be done and allows for FREE time. It seems especially the free time that is the last on the list, while in these stress full times, it should be first on the list. It deserves a special place in your schedule!
  • Support Employers, business leaders, teachers and other group or teamleaders : offer your people to have their attention for those matters described above.
  • Slow down on your expectations and adjust curriculum and workload if you have to. This will pay back in more effective work in less time and more relaxed and flexible people around you that will not run into a burn-out!

For all: This is the time to be supportive to each other and show compassion! We are all in troubled water and what better way to sail these unchartered waters than to work together? Togetherness is what counts, while physically distancing, in our hearts we can keep each other close!

MCA Coach, Alexandra van Luijken