People had ambivalent reactions to the worldwide quarantine. Introverts probably welcomed it, while extroverts hated it… But what they likely have in common is the insecurities, anxiety, depressive thoughts, or other difficulties that the #stayathome brought with it. We talked to clinical psychologist, Head of Corvinus Student Support Office Dr. Marietta Németh about ways to respond to the situation.
The situation is unusual, our daily rhythm has changed, our space has narrowed, and we are bound to spend more time with ourselves and our families than before. How long does it take to adapt to the changes in environment and lifestyle? What effects can the solitary confinement have on our mental state?
We are all different, so we respond differently to the same circumstances. If previously you were not very keen on socializing, now may react to your confinement with some sense of relief. If you had a hard time being witty and sharp during conversations, now you have enough time to think about your words in online communication. In general though, we can state that we are experiencing huge changes and we need to adapt to them. Incidents requiring adaptation cause stress, so it is normal to experience some decline in performance, to get tired sooner, and be more irritable, get more easily worked up than usual. You need to try to be more tolerant with yourself and your family as well as other people around you.
Our home has become our office, so we have nowhere to go home to and unwind after a hard day of work anymore. It is important to create space and time for relaxing, even – without each member of the family having their own rooms – by assigning everybody a time slot for retirement and rest. Those students that left the dorm or their rented apartments and went back home are now living with their parents and siblings again, which might be unusual and sometimes difficult. It may be that they cannot live now with the people they would like to be together with, for example their partners or friends. It is very important to maintain communication with those people. As in online communication we have less metacommunication tools available, it is especially important to express our feelings verbally, and to be a lot more precise with our words than offline.