How people are responding to COVID-19
One thing I’ve noticed this week as I’ve made the shift to phone consult is that there is one recommendation of how to respond globally to this crisis and yet each and every person is responding to this differently in their own individual way.
One client asked me ‘How are you coping with all the paranoia?’
I replied, ‘It’s not paranoia if the threat is real.’
I have the privilege of being able to speak to people personally about their deepest thoughts on a daily basis, and so in these conversations I have been able to pattern and notice one thing that runs throughout them all.
People respond to Coronavirus in the way they respond to their own fear. Their own relationship with fear within themselves becomes the way in which they respond externally to the ongoing threat globally and locally.
Let me give you some examples.
Client A heard about COVID-19 in January. They didn’t think about the threat because after all we have had many outbreaks in recent years. As the threat escalated they got more informed and began to make a plan for when this kicks off. Bought a little extra in their shopping each time they went, and made sure that there was antibacterial products in the workplace.
Client B is not thinking about it. They are fearful when they do and so they are not able to plan because they keep pushing the thought away. Each time they hear about it on the news their sense of powerlessness increases. They hold on to the expectation that this is just going to go away if they don’t think about it.
Client C is panicking. They have bought their families bodyweight in toilet roll and are wondering how they are going to get through quarantine with half the space in their home now that they are storing it all. They are finding that even with all the supplies (I wonder how toilet roll tastes?) They are still panicking and they have no idea what to do with all the adrenaline that is running through their body.
So you can see these are very different responses and for clarity these are composites of clients not clients themselves. Client A is asking ‘what can be done about this?’, and then responding practically to the threat. Client B is not looking at it at all and therefore it becomes more scary and Client C is looking at is but is distorting the situation and finding no amount of preparation soothes their fear.
Now I know some of you have seen this before but the Chinese symbol for ‘Crisis’ is a composite of two other symbols - ‘Danger’ and ‘Opportunity’. What if in this pandemic one of the many opportunities is for us to learn how to communicate with our fear?
One way we can do this is to become mindful in our day. I’ve shared the following on my fb page as it is a clear flowchart of what we can think that will be helpful. I know that fear is in the body and so once you have decided whether to take action or to postpone worry, you may need some help with coming into the present moment.
These are just three quick ways to soothe yourself but always begin with checking whether you need to take action. This includes isolating yourself or contacting the doctor via phone should you need to. Remember, it’s not paranoia if the threat is real. During these difficult times it is important to both feel and be safe.
Here are just a few quick and simple ways to do that:
Feel free to share these with your friends or share in the comments section how you have been soothing yourself in these difficult times. Stay safe everyone.