Talking about resilience
All our lives have been massively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that have been placed upon us all. At the beginning everything that was happening was totally unbelievable and scary. For so many of us, it resulted in us keeping a more than watchful eye on all the media coverage and the government’s daily reports. So many rules, so much guidance, so many statistics, so many theories, so much of the unknown that both immediately, and on a daily basis, changed our lives and the world that we know.
Several of the participants that I have worked with have found the media coverage, the government rules and restrictions not only exhausting but incredibly anxiety provoking. Anxiety that has led them to have little focus and to worry about what is happening in this now different world. During our Peer Support Worker meetings, we have discussed the negative impact of media reports and about not exposing ourselves to a constant barrage of information. Often the information is unnecessary to read and can negatively impact our mental ill health and wellbeing.
Additionally, we have discussed the fabrication of stories that circulate regarding many worldwide issues and we have talked about how these types of stories can affect how we feel and how they can may make us feel angry and resentful towards others.
Successfully together, we have been able to talk about what, as individuals, we need to know from the current pandemic situation. Scheduling in times in our day or week when to watch or listen to the news allows for respite from the constant news reports. Limiting our time on social media again reduces our exposure to often biased opinions of others and the fabrication of other people’s situations. Looking at what provokes or enhances our participants anxieties and working with them to look at a management plan to reduce exposure to unhelpful situations has helped people feel more in control in a difficult time.