Description: There has been much media discussion and a lot of individual reflection on how to endure the restrictions and losses of access, social contact, and even employment associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Of course, we need to process our new current reality. On the other hand, many people are saying they are trying to limit their exposure to or are outright ignoring the mainstream media as part of their efforts to reduce stress and lower their anxiety levels. As I have written about in recent posts to this site (search Covid-19) Psychology has a lot to offer in the way of understanding, perspectives, and coping strategies as we adapt to and endure current realties. Though much less is said of this, our current circumstances can also provide us with opportunities for personal reflections, for focusing on wellbeing, and even for considering and starting to work towards new personal futures. What can you work on right now? You could spend some time thinking about and exploring your personal curiosities and interests, much of which can be done online. One of the most significant challenges to the development and implementation of a positive sense of personal identity, particularly for emerging adults today, are the levels of uncertainly and precarity in the world’s immediate and longer-term futures. Solutions to these challenges – positive pathways into the future — are not going to emerge out in the world and especially not in the world around us today. Where they ARE going to emerge is within individuals who are contemplating their futures. Seeking, nurturing, and building on your curiosities and interests will feed development of the sorts of inner purpose or compass necessary to help you find ways forward. Our current social circumstances can be seen to be making this longer term personal developmental reality clearer at the same time that it has provided us with an opportunity to start to work on it. How to do that? Well search Identity on this site for some suggestions. As well, if you are having difficulty thinking clearly due to anxiety then Psychology can help with that too. The link below will take you to the Coursera website and show you a course being offered for free by Steve Joordens a University of Toronto professor that, in just 10 hours, will provide you with some perspective on what drives our (VERY) basic and sometimes adaptive anxiety response. He then talks about how you can manage stressors and develop positive coping strategies for dealing with anxiety and avoiding depression. And, once you have all that mastered you can start working on the development of your identity and on building the sense of inner purpose that can serve as a life compass for before and after we get to go back out into the world.
Source: Mind Control: Managing Your Mental Health During Covid-19, Steve Joordens, Coursera, and the University of Toronto.
Date: April 4, 2020
Article Link: https://www.coursera.org/learn/manage-health-covid-19
I am going to leave the afterword on this post up to you. Psychology has a lot to offer you in the way of understanding and insights into your current reality but, taking advantage of these things is up to you. Stepping back from you understandably activated vigilance and anxiety can be difficult but doing so can put you into a place with a new perspective on the current world and on your future with it. Take a few purposeful steps towards planning and living your future with purpose.
Questions for Discussion:
- What are some of the things you notice about your current thoughts and feelings that may be linked to your general levels of stress and anxiety?
- Much of anxiety involves rumination or thinking in circles about unknowns, uncertainties, and possible noxious futures. Are you doing any of that and if you are what can you do about it (rather than worry)?
- What sorts of things are you curious about or interested in (and DO NOT say Corvid-19)? What could you do to explore those curiosities and interests right now and over the coming weeks?
References (Read Further):
Canadian Psychological Association Covid-19 resource site:
American Psychological Association Covid-19 resource site: https://www.apa.org/practice/programs/dmhi/research-information/pandemics
Life Design Suggestions (Mike Boyes – this