Getting Out Of Quarantine: Psychological Strategies

The life that awaits us in the coming months will no longer be what it was before. Preparing for a gradual return to normal will allow us to face difficulties with greater flexibility, open-mindedness and resilience. 
Getting out of the quarantine: psychological strategies

Many European countries are preparing to come out of quarantine. The time has come to think about a gradual return to normal, an awaited moment with equal parts of hope and uncertainty. And with the awareness that reality waiting for us will no longer be what we know.

The Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato said that what has been can never be again; things and people will no longer be what they were yesterday. Maybe so.

Everything leads us to think that our future will be different, but this does not mean that it will necessarily be worse. We are simply facing a change and we must be ready to acquire new skills and ways of approaching it. 

If the quarantine has tested (and continues to) our psychological resistance, gradually entering this new social reality can be just as paralyzing. For this reason, knowing what lies ahead and providing ourselves with resources can be of great help. Let’s see how to do it.

Man at the door of happiness

Getting out of quarantine: what psychological strategies do we need to strengthen?

In these two months, for many of us days of fear, anguish and frustration, it has been hard to think that we weren’t alone in the battle.

This hard experience was global, shared. The idea of ​​not being alone was, in its way, a comfort. Getting out of quarantine is no exception: it is also a collective experience in this case.

We must be ready to leave again. Phase 2 has started in many European countries. These are timid and prudent changes that give us the opportunity to breathe and resume our economic activities in compliance with safety parameters. Countries like the United States or Mexico, on the other hand, are still going through the toughest phase.

In any case, it is important to start working on our psychological resources that will allow us to better deal with phase 2 and 3.

Responsibility as a tool for managing fear

WHO warns us: we are not out of the pandemic yet. This means that we will have to live with the virus for many months until a vaccine is available. Two situations are to be assumed:

  • The first scenario is that the (relative) return to normal makes us forget the risk. There are many who are eagerly awaiting to regain possession of their social life and their habits. This anxiety about normality can dilute the awareness of the existing danger. Exiting the quarantine means, on the other hand, always keeping in mind the risk of contagion.
  • The second is a scenario of fear, the constant fear of being infected and infecting.

In both cases, the strategy to be activated is personal responsibility. The only way to contain the virus is to continue to be cautious and not abandon hygiene and prevention measures.

Head with window

Be mentally flexible and accept changes

Philosophers, sociologists and psychologists all hypothesize a post-Covid-19 world, but at the moment we can only imagine it. In the immediate future, an era of transition awaits us, perhaps the most difficult.

Let’s talk about the transition from phase 2 to the arrival of the vaccine. So, in addition to individual responsibility, we must appeal more than ever to our mental flexibility and openness to change. How? By becoming aware of the following aspects:

  • Acceptance. The reality that awaits us will not be what we want.
  • Ability to accept and manage negative emotions. To prepare for a gradual return to normal, it is essential to know how to manage emotions such as frustration, anger, sadness… They are normal emotions in this context, but they must not take control. In fact, no mental change will be achievable if we remain anchored to our frustrations.
  • Adaptation. After becoming aware of the new reality, it is time to stop fighting against it. You have to adapt.
  • Flexibility. The situations that await us are certainly different, but we must not stop making plans and setting goals. These processes require mental flexibility, creativity, the ability to innovate.

Preparing to come out of quarantine: hope, resilience and a critical spirit

The current pandemic requires a strong critical spirit on our part. The gradual return to normality and the progressive advance towards a new reality asks us to reconsider many things. Socially and globally.

In recent months, many of us have had the opportunity to reflect on different aspects of their lives. We found ourselves in a “mirror” moment, of self-knowledge and testing. All this must be able to generate positive changes, capable of creating a better society.

On the other hand, for these changes to be real, they must rest on an adequate emotional balance. It is certainly legitimate to be afraid, to be uncertain about the future. But we can and must act, despite the fear. And we will do it thanks to hope and a clear resilient mindset. We have a great opportunity ahead of us: we must take it.

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