Coronavirus challenge: how to deactivate panic and overcome the tensions of the confinement

None of us escapes that the health emergency situation caused by the coronavirus tests our ability to adaptation. In a matter of days we have gone through fluctuating and varied emotions such as understandable bewilderment, disbelief, sadness and anguish in the face of a novel and exceptional situation that involves handling high doses of uncertainty and implies the adoption of drastic self-protection measures that change our life routines.

It is natural to feel worried or anxious Because we face an unforeseen situation generated by covid-19 and that affects two key aspects related to our self-preservation. On the one hand, the personal health and of our loved ones and on the other, the economic issues that compromise our way of life. To all this is added a frightening economic context and the real limitation of health resources that augurs well for going through difficult times as a society. We feel "Threatened" and this implies a great emotional impact.

It is true that most of us are not subject to absolute stressors that threaten our survival, such as finding a tiger in the middle of the road looking at us with the face of few friends. But it is not less true, that we are subjected to a gigantic flow of factors relative stressorslike the novel situations to which most of us generate a stressful response.

Our body does not have enough time to repair itself. As a consequence, the body begins to emit "light alarm signals"

And, just this, it is what happens to us in the face of the supersonic speed that the adaptation to changes in front of the covid-19 prints that makes stressful responses very frequent. New ways of relating to each other, of organizing work, leisure, sports, coexistence, etc. Our body does not have enough time to repair itself. As a consequence, the body begins to emit "Alarm light signals".

According to the research of Dr. Sara Lupian, one of the greatest experts in stress at the University of Montreal, some of these signs are expressed in the physical sphere:

  1. Our digestions they change and become heavier, slower, etc.
  2. We drink, we eat, we smoke more. This, in particular, is because our brain has made a great effort and asks us to compensate it.
  3. We get sick

I meanOthers appear in the psychic and emotional sphere where stress symptoms such as nervousness, agitation, hyperventilation, tachycardia, sweating, obsess about any physical sensation that we experience and that leads us to think that "the virus is safe", etc. emerge. All together, it can easily make us end up in the ER with an anxiety attack.

How do I strengthen my resilience

We understand that it can be a good occasion to generate emotional spaces of internal elaboration and adopt psychological tools to help us shore up our confidence that we can get ahead and go through this vital experience strengthened.

In short, appeal to our resilience and try to react positively to adverse circumstances. The philosopher and writer Pablo D´ors He expressed this idea in beautiful words:

"Sadness and misfortune are there for our growth, and we know that we have accepted suffering when we have managed to extract good from it."

We must appeal to our resilience and try to react positively to adverse circumstances

We must know that in front of the scenario in which we live we can think what we want. If we face catastrophic scenarios, for example, I can easily imagine: "If I get infected, I die" or "My family is going to die" or "What I feel safe is the virus". Then it is very easy for my level of anguish to skyrocket to the stratosphere and the force of my thoughts can become so terrifying of myself that it causes a panic attack.

But if I confidently think that "it does not have to be this way" or "That which I think is only a thought and is not happening to me" or "What can I do to prevent that from happening?"I will remain calm and regain a sense of control. And, something very important. I will be in an adequate emotional disposition when carrying out the necessary self-care measures to avoid the spread of covid-19 and I will feel less vulnerable.

The key is, as in the example, learning to accompany us well in these difficult times and lovingly understand, embrace our discomfort to lead us to spaces of more interior serenity. We don't try the impossible, calm the storm, but find a quiet space inside of her.

Therefore, the covid-19 confronts us with exciting challenge panic deactivation and we must cut the wires that make it explode.


As the days go by, we are accepting and understanding as a society the importance of the challenge we are under. Improved coherence between the content of government messages on the risks of covid-19 and the measures taken after the decree of the state of alarm, help to clarify the situation and feel less crazy.

Maybe it's not being easy for us tolerate frustration that carry certain restrictions but we understand its importance and we all strive to follow the recommendations of the health authorities so as not to spread the infections.

We live in a privileged western world that offers us a comfortable feeling of comfort and security other than other dramas that we only see on television. But this situation does not exempt us from the fact that in life always we are subjected to unforeseen whether we want it or not. And, our elders, they know it very well. Many of them, these days teach us the youngest with their exemplary serenity despite being one of the groups at risk because they remind us, "they have been through a lot", they are familiar, they know them and they know that this is the life and that "everything comes out".

Day by day we live with our vulnerability and limitations, but we try to get around them and not think too much about them so as not to be distressed. Professor of Psychobiology at UNED Santiago Segovia explains to us that this lack of understanding of how is reality is a source of great frustration and, therefore, of suffering. Not understanding that everything is transitory, we become attached and generate suffering by trying to retain what cannot be retained, because everything is as written in the water.

Day by day we live with our vulnerability and limitations, but we try to get around them and not think too much about them so as not to get anxious

Mario Vargas Llosa He explains to us that what remains hidden behind the terrors of the new plague of COVID-19 is the fear of death that will always accompany us like a shadow. Intrinsic vulnerability to the fragile human condition, the awareness that everything will have an end, nests within us and spurs in us the desire for adventure that pushes us to discover the best possibilities of living.

But for many, vulnerability is an uncomfortable travel companion and they seek to remove consciousness from it and the risk of death. Impossible endeavor because our fragile and limited humanity accompanies us and we have to live with it. And, precisely because "we know it" and not "ignore it", we can adopt healthy measures to self care that avoid unnecessary risks and protect our life.

Facing confinement

So now we have the task of exploring what will be our best way to living with isolation tax and necessary. Faced with this challenge,what can we do to make life easier for us?

This question, posed in this way, underlines the importance of acting within the sphere of what we can do and control. For each of us it will be a very different experience, an unpredictable and exciting adventure that tests us. The beginning of a deep inner journey.

Let us conduct ourselves wisely and fill the saddlebags of the road with wise reflections that, as nutria viands, the philosopher offers us Pablo D’ors to grow:

"If for a moment we consider that all the difficulties that we have to go through at this stage of our life are opportunities that destiny – that friend – offers us to grow, Wouldn't everything look different?"

So now we have the task of exploring what will be our best way to live with the isolation imposed and necessary

The Official College of Psychology of Madrid, to which I am proud to belong, has released a series of guidelines with useful information to help us in psychological management of the quarantine due to the coronavirus and managing the frustration and emotional tensions that living indoors can cause us.

I review some of the most relevant indications:

  1. Understand reality and applying government recommendations will allow us to overcome this situation as soon as possible.

  2. Commitment with our individual and social responsibility. Is about "do the right thingSince it depends largely on ourselves. A shared challenge to which we feel united in its fulfillment with solidarity and generosity.

  3. Plan the new situation. Our lives change and we have to plan new routines. Organize well what you can do, when and how. Determine what time there is for work and what time for rest. Negotiate with your family in a flexible way how to organize your household chores by giving voice to each of its members.

  4. Learn appropriately. Avoid overinformation. Always look for official information channels. Take care of the consumption of social networks riddled with false news and useless information that feeds fear and uneasiness.

  5. Keep in touch with your family, friends, co-workers and especially with the elderly, whether or not they are our relatives.

  6. Seize the moment. Since it is a temporary situation, take the opportunity to discover another rhythm of living and deepen your significant ties, become intimate in communication, etc. It seeks to organize spaces for enjoyment, interactive or online games, read, write, paint … And, get all your creativity going!

  7. Observe the state of health from those around you. Without obsessing. Be vigilant about whether there may be something that concerns you and find out about the protocol followed by the authorities.

  8. Self care. Try to get natural light 20 minutes a day, eat a balanced diet and sleep an adequate number of hours, and above all, don't lose your sense of humor! You are going to need it a lot!

  9. Take special care of your mood, what you say and how you say it especially if you have young children and elderly people in your care at. Do it by yourself so that you can develop all the psychic resources exposed above that keep you functional and decisive.

And, given that the experience is on the trip, I can only wish you from the bottom of my heart:

Good way!