Information for adults
|Think about the community and your personal responsibility||The order of the day is: not to infect yourself or anyone else with the virus. The necessary measures represent a major restriction of our basic rights. So we can meet our psychological needs, e.g. following social ties or autonomy, significantly less than usual. It is therefore all the more important to understand why this is necessary. As soon as you stay at home, keep a distance of 2 meters, refrain from celebrating with family or friends - then you take your social responsibility seriously. Think of all the sick, elderly or socially disadvantaged people whom you are currently helping through your behavior. With your consideration, you actively contribute to a social, fair and honest society.|
|Use media consciously and pay attention to the sources||With the current flood of news and disturbing or annoying false reports, it is not that easy to keep a "cool head". On the other hand, facts and information can help against helplessness and loss of control and thus relieve us. So make a very specific decision about which media you want to use. We recommend scientifically sound sources such as the Robert Koch Institute, the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Federal Ministry of Health. No matter what you use: Please always check the reliability of the source with a healthy suspicion.|
|Make sure you have a structure for the day and keep routines||Structure and familiar processes give us security. Therefore, keep your routines at home: get up as usual, get dressed, keep your times for eating, sleeping and working. If your old processes are no longer possible, create new ones. This will strengthen predictability and your self-efficacy. Plan the day actively and as specifically as possible. What have you always wanted to do in your apartment / house? What would you like to finally do, but can't get around to it? Now is the time for it. The numerous online offers can provide the necessary variety, e.g. from the museum, theater or concert stage, zoos also offer live streams. In addition: Think of a little “highlight” for every day that you are looking forward to.|
|Touch no - contact yes: stay in touch with others||Social contacts are good for us and are currently particularly important (over a distance). Stay in touch with your loved one despite not being physically close. Call, use video telephony (via Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime etc.), send messages and emails or write a letter again.|
|Move||Physical exercise has been proven to be one of the best ways to relieve tension and noticeably increase our well-being. Sport is also possible within your own four walls, e.g. with training videos from the Internet.|
It may happen that you are currently unable to do your usual physical activity due to the restrictions. It can then be challenging to try and maintain new physical activities. Everything you do now is a success!
|Use simple relaxation exercises||Relaxation exercises can reduce anxiety and other negative feelings and give your mind a break. There are various relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, fantasy journeys, autogenic training or mediation. Pick the exercise that appeals to you the most. Some apps offer different instructions and the Techniker Krankenkasse offers a free download with instructions for progressive muscle relaxation for everyone (https://www.tk.de/techniker/magazin/life-balance/aktiv-enthaben/progressive-muskelentspannung-zum- download-2021142).|
|Here are instructions for a 1-minute relaxation exercise as an example||1. Preparation: Find a comfortable sitting position with your feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap. Close your eyes.|
2. Think, feel, sense: Perceive your thoughts. What do you think? Notice how you feel. Are you happy, sad, insecure? Notice your body sensations. Is something hurting right now or is it tense? Feel the seat under your buttocks.
3. Focus on Your Breath: Listen to your breath as it flows in and out. You can put a hand on your stomach and feel it bulge and fall with each breath. You might want to say to yourself, "It's okay. Whatever it is, it's okay." Then just listen to your breath for a while.
4. Coming back: feel how your whole body feels. Turn your attention outward to the sounds in the room.
5. Reflect: "How am I doing now?" When you are ready, open your eyes.
|Limit media consumption||Facts and information can help us. However, an excessive preoccupation with the news can quickly "flip" and instead intensify negative feelings even more. Ideally, determine in advance when and how often you want to get information. If you use messaging apps on your smartphone, deactivate push notifications. A daily news update from a consciously chosen source can be enough to keep you well informed.|
Accept your current situation as it is
|The pandemic crisis affects us all and no one can escape the associated consequences. It is very understandable that this sometimes causes great stress. In the first step, perceive all your feelings and thoughts. What do you feel? What is on your mind? In the second step, try to accept your experience as it is. A so-called change of perspective can also be helpful: Imagine that a good friend is in your position. What would you say to him / her?|
Talk about how you are doing now
|Find a trustworthy person with whom you can talk about your experience. If you have no one for this, call one of the counseling services below (“What you can do if the psychological stress becomes too great”). Some people also get relief when they write down their feelings and thoughts, still others it helps to express themselves artistically, e.g. to paint or to make music.|
|Make yourself aware of your strengths and successes||Use everything that gives you energy. Inner resources can play a big role in this: all positive experiences that you have had in life; Problems that you have overcome and solved; Strengths and talents, skills and inclinations, goals and values, etc. Make yourself aware of what defines you as a person, what you are proud of or what you are grateful for.|
|Limit brooding||Thinking about a problem can be one way of finding a solution. But too much brooding can quickly become a burden. In this case, it makes sense to switch your activity and do something completely different - something that is good for you or that requires concentration (e.g. baking or reading). The best thing to do is to think about what you could do in a "brooding emergency". Another strategy is the "brooding time": Here you specify the duration and time in advance, e.g. daily at 8 a.m. for 15 minutes; during this time you can brood as much as you want. For the rest of the day, perceive troubled thoughts, put off pondering and say to yourself, "I think about this in my pondering time, not now." In this way you practice putting off your worries and can relieve yourself. Don't put your brooding time in the evening or at night.|
|The situation will pass||This crisis can be overcome. In the past our society has overcome crises and has returned to normal. The pandemic will definitely pass too. The freedom-restricting measures will end and you will be able to do your usual and cherished things again. There will be (new) opportunities again to make your life fulfilling. Think about activities that you are looking forward to after surviving the crisis.|
The Bremen family network offers various campaigns and support on the Internet, e.g. regional shopping or neighborhood assistance:
https://familiennetz-bremen.de/ [German language only]
If you feel permanently stressed and can hardly free yourself from negative feelings and thoughts, these telephone offers will help you:
BDP-Corona-Hotline: 0800 777 22 44 (https://www.bdp-verband.de/aktuelles/2020/corona/bdp-corona-hotline.html)
Switched daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and free of charge and anonymously for callers.
The BDP Corona hotline is implemented through the voluntary work of psychologists and the Professional Association of German Psychologists (BDP).
Immediate psychological help: Advice on psychological stress in the corona crisis situation
Free offer daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from HelloBetter (https://www.hellobetter.de/corona-krise/)
0800 000 95 54
Telephone counseling: "An open ear for all concerns"
Free offer 24 hours a day, by phone, email or chat: www.telefonseelsorge.de
0800 1110111 or 0800 1110222
Number against grief for children and young people: 116 111
Parent Hotline: 0800 111 0550
Care phone (for family carers): 030 2017 9131
"Pregnant women in need" helpline: 0800 404 0020
"Violence against women" helpline: 0800 011 6016
Medical on-call service: 116 117
The German Depressionshilfe (www.deutsche-depressionshilfe.de) offers the online tool iFightDepression. This is an internet-based self-management program for adults and adolescents aged 15 and over with depression. Usually, the program is accompanied by doctors or psychological psychotherapists. However, due to the current situation, the program is accessible for 6 weeks without supervision. It is therefore not a complete treatment for depression, but it can still support you.
Further information on iFightDepression can be found at [German language only]:
Berufsverband Österreichischer PsychologInnen BÖP (2020). Informationsblatt "COVID-19: Wie Sie häusliche Isolation und Quarantäne gut überstehen“. Verfügbar unter: https://www.boep.or.at/download/5e71d59d3c15c85df5000028/20200317_COVID-19_Informationsblatt.PDF [26.03.2020].
Jacobi, F. (2020). Wie Sie häusliche Isolation und Quarantäne gut überstehen: Psychologische Hilfen in herausfordernden Zeiten. Verfügbar unter: https://www.psychologische-hochschule.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/jacobi_umgang-mit-quarant%C3%A4ne.pdf [26.03.2020].
Leibniz-Institut für Resilienzforschung Mainz. (2020). Coronavirus-Pandemie: Empfehlungen zur Stärkung der psychischen Gesundheit. Verfügbar unter: https://lir-mainz.de/news/coronavirus-pandemie-empfehlungen-zur-staerkung-der-psychischen-gesundheit [26.03.2020].
Parenting for Lifelong Health: COVID-19 online resources (2020). COVID-19 Parenting 5. Keep Calm and Manage Stress. Verfügbar unter: https://868b1700-4f92-4143-a9e1-4d615770397f.filesusr.com/ugd/d13cc0_7979c25394974452bea5da6419d6a94f.pdf [27.03.2020].
Robert-Koch-Institut (2020). Risikobewertung zu COVID-19. Verfügbar unter: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikobewertung.html?nn=13490888 [26.03.2020].