Individuals respond to trauma differently suggesting a variety of coping techniques. Coping activities can increase the ability to bounce back from negative events and free up mental resources to deal with ongoing stressors and changing situations.
The coping activities suggested here are focused on the three Cs: control, coherence and connectedness.
You can gain a sense of control by planning daily activities, checking in on friends and loved ones, adjusting commercial news intake, keeping a journal or preparing for your post-pandemic future.
Connection fulfills the need for human contact and support. This can be achieved even in times of social distancing through telephone calls, videoconferencing and social media, or even the more internal practice of loving-kindness meditation. Meditation techniques can direct positive emotions toward the self, loved ones, all humans and eventually all sentient beings.
Coherence is founded in the deeply human desire to make sense and meaning of the world. One starting point is “acceptance-based coping,” observing our fears, anxieties and emotional responses without judgment, a practice commonly known as mindfulness. Mindfulness can be practiced not only through meditation and focusing on the breath, but also by giving an activity such as eating or walking your full and unhurried attention.
Tips for talking to kids about coronavirus include:
Remain calm and reassuring.
Make yourself available to listen and to talk.
Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s race or ethnicity.
Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio or online.
Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19 and provide information that is honest and accurate.
Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the internet and social media may be based on rumours and inaccurate information.
Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.