04:35 GMT27 October 2020
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    The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an ambiguous psychological reaction in people: some are calm or careless, excited or worried, while others are panicking. Psychologists believe that the correct perception of the situation can significantly reduce risks to health.

    Psychologists from Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE) share their recommendations.

    What Doesn’t Kill Us…

    It’s not worth being nervous because strong psychological stress usually entails physiological consequences. This can lead to various psychosomatic diseases that are completely unrelated to the infection.

    Experts advise assessing the situation differently, and changing the tone, not just turning away from the problem. Science knows such a phenomenon as “eustress,” or positive stress; it gives strength to overcome obstacles and promotes motivation for change, although it can affect the physiological level just the same as negative stress (“distress”).

    "Crisis situations make us take a more mature position, where uncertainty and constant life problems are naturally taken for granted,” said Marina Rosenova, a professor at MSUPE.

    Experts believe that those taking such a psychological position we will be inclined to perceive any unpleasant turns and excesses not in an automatically-alarming mode, but soberly, based on a thorough analysis, which will significantly increase their chances of avoiding failure.

    Together Again

    Forced school holidays and remote work can be not only a wonderful addition to family vacations but also a difficult challenge for everyone.

    Psychologists believe that the main thing in family quarantine is for parents to remain the way children know them in everyday life. Responsibility and care is not a burden, but an energy resource as well as one of the most effective means against fear.

    "If children are at home on their own, it’s best to plan the day together with them, alternating between study and entertainment. Try to be in touch with them so that they are not lonely or anxious with all this information from the Internet,” said Nina Chuprakova, a mental health professional and senior teacher at the MSUPE.

    If you feel “locked up” at home, experts advise you to look at this as an opportunity to do something that you have put off for a long time: rearrange your furniture, read a book, organize a family chess tournament, look at old family photos and videos, try painting or poetry, or create a culinary masterpiece.

    Home Office

    Psychologists believe that the period of adaptation of the workforce to new conditions can take from one and a half to three months. A correct psychological assessment of the situation will allow you to avoid anxiety and guilt, which can damage professional and personal self-esteem, rapidly increasing the level of stress. According to experts, a leader should first of all show restraint and a calm business spirit. It’s important to avoid unnecessary emotions; such an approach will quickly result in burnouts and employees losing their work rhythm.

    It is also worth considering the specifics of new forms of working interaction. According to psychologists, any indirect contacts during the working day – enhanced correspondence, audio or video communication – require neuropsychic efforts exceeding normal communication in the office, and, therefore, lead to faster fatigue and the formation of negative motivation.
    Experts believe that if the managerial actions are psychologically accurate, work process reformatting can not only proceed with minimal losses but also bring new creative ideas.

    Hygiene of Spirit

    Amid the pandemic, reliable information is necessary, especially for those who need to keep everything under control. Access to information should be rationed in people prone to anxiety and fear.

    As experts explain, due to certain personality traits, some people need a constant level of anxiety, often maintained through negative thoughts and predictions. If such a condition has affected any of your relatives, try to switch their attention to constructive activities, show them some activity where they will feel their worth outside of an alarming context.

    “As you know, calm and good mood have a serious preventive effect. Positive emotions can protect the body from diseases, while negative emotions can weaken it. It’s worth looking forward with optimism and be armed with proven techniques for stress control and self-hypnosis,” said Alexander Sechko, associate professor at MSUPE.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE), psychology, stress, pandemic, COVID-19
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