Coping Stategies on COVID-19 for International Students

2020-03-04& 次浏览

A. Adverse Psychological Effects of Excessive Epidemic Information
With the new coronavirus raging, many students even not in Wuhan are anxious. As nothing can be done, they browse WeChat and microblog frequently. The more information they read on the social media, the more frustrated and uncomfortable they become, why?

In fact,  it's an alternative trauma. Alternative psychological trauma usually refers to a variety of psychological abnormalities that occur after witnessing a large number of cruel and destructive scenes because the degree of damage exceeds the limits of psychological and emotional tolerance.
In general, this often happens to people close to a disaster. But because of the continuous development of network technology, people may also have alternative psychological trauma by watching or hearing about disaster events and the experiences of survivors.


The complexity of social media information, with many emotional, personal information that spreads through a variety of channels, creates a considerable psychological burden on those who receive it in the long run, leading to feelings of powerlessness, anxiety and even depression. Too much negative news, consuming the innate empathy, empathy and empathy ability of the population, more likely to appear alternative psychological trauma.
When people are in negative emotions such as panic, anxiety, depression, anger, and so on, cognition becomes narrow, paying attention to only the dangerous and negative information, only to see the problem and the danger, but not to see the solution of the problem, nor to see the possibility of the problem being solved well.


This is a bad sign that your "empathy" is overloaded. Because of empathy, we can understand others, and we will feel sad for the misfortune of others, which is also the basis for mutual understanding and cooperation between people.
Generally speaking, human empathy is limited, so this psychology is generally used to deal with the relationship with relatives. But in the age of information flooding, people are always involuntarily trapped in the situation of strangers. Many people began to choose to turn off their senses to become a "numb" person, this is very normal, psychologically we call it "compassion fatigue ". In other words, your empathy is overloaded and your body is telling you to stop.
This is not to let students do not care about the epidemic
, because the epidemic prevention and control affect the hearts of everyone in the world, but we also need to care about themselves, to understand their emotions and psychological and physical conditions.


You need to retain empathy and not be crushed by fatigue. When you're tired and don't want to sit back and watch the epidemic, do this:
1. Just stick to a few sources you trust.
2. Discuss the feasible plan with the students around you. Put empathy into action and reduce feelings of powerlessness.
3. Use simple ways such as reminding others to wear masks, wash their hands and ventilate frequently.
4. Reading. Spend time reading and thinking rather than updating the news.
5. Do something unrelated to study without feeling guilty.
6. Always remember that only by protecting yourself can we save others.


B. The Psychological Impact of the Contagion and Isolation of Acquaintances.
You may be flustered, overwhelmed, anxious and other bad moods, do not know whether they are also infected, the heart produces uncertainty or even panic. Among them, uncertainty is your biggest psychological characteristic. Uncertainness can make people sensitive, hesitant and paranoid, and all feelings are colored with anxiety. When your health swings between health and infection, it may be unacceptable and eager to get an answer, leading to forced search behavior.
In particular, when you have fever, cough and other related symptoms of discomfort, the catastrophic idea becomes more real:" Will I die? What to do with my family?" Under the control of anxiety and depression, the mentality of looking at things can also be distorted.


These are our normal psychological reactions in the face of danger or stress. What we can do is:
· Firstly, Fully believe in modern science, trust the government and frontline medical staff, strictly follow the requirements of isolation or observation, and be fully prepared for daily life. Understand their own actual situation, and make the corresponding ideological preparation. In fact, stress emotion is the natural response of human in the face of crisis, it can help you to a certain extent to better deal with or avoid crisis events, we do not need to cause depression, anxiety and other stress responses to self-debasement or self-blame, that is the normal performance of human psychological function, we should be rational treatment.
·  Secondly, Keep in touch with others. Those who are quarantined are more anxious in the early stages of isolation, not willing to take the initiative to contact family and friends, worried about becoming their burden. So connect with them, encourage them, listen to them, but don't speculate on their emotional reactions. In addition, actively share with them their recent situation, so that the quarantined rest assured, at ease in the hospital treatment.
·  Thirdly, Spiritual encouragement. Try to collect their favorite movies, books, music, etc., and if conditions permit, comfort them by phone or video before going to bed to keep them calm and sleep.


If you are not in a good mood at this time, you need to focus on your own psychological demands, seek professional psychological assistance, or talk to trusted friends so that you can better support your segregated friends.


C. Psychological Problems During Self-quarantine
Currently, if you are in good health," self-quarantine "is the best way for you to express your love for school, for society and for fighting the epidemic. Staying in the house for a long time, wanting to go out is the normal demand of the society. Admittedly, self-quarantine has a negative effect on our balanced life, resulting in both physical and psychological discomfort.
· May appear panic, anxiety and other emotions, doubt whether they are infected.
· You may feel angry and complain about why you haven't decided on a holiday.
· May also feel depressed and lonely because cannot go out to meet friends and loved ones.
· In behavior, there may be excessive attention to epidemic related information, excessive disinfection and other behavior.


D. Psychological Support Strategies for Students in Epidemic Areas.
For anyone, sudden personal freedom "restrictions" may cause people to produce a variety of emotional fluctuations, at this time a variety of emotions and feelings are likely to produce, the common have panic, confusion, abandonment, anger, loneliness, depression and so on. These are the natural reactions of normal people under abnormal conditions, do not deliberately suppress these emotions, but find the right way to allow themselves to experience and express these complex emotions and feelings.
1. It is important to maintain a daily plan and schedule for yourself, strictly enforce it, and the resulting sense of stability.
2. Pay attention to yourself from two aspects of body and mind, and contact with students and teachers. School as a strong backing for students, will always pay attention to the health of students. It is also possible to focus on valuable, interesting things, find ways to help others, and realize their own ability and strength under the condition of ensuring safety.
3. Replan what you can do at this particular time. For example, you can read books you haven't read in the past, watch movies or TV series you haven't seen all the time, lift your dumbbells at home and get fit at home, or plan your new year's life and get your grip on life. Being able to do something reduces the negative impact of over-focusing on information about the epidemic.
4. Seek help. Keep in mind that you're never alone in the face of an epidemic, and if you try but don't relieve your mood, seek help from professionals in institutions such as psychological centers.


E. Psychological Problems Caused by Long Stay at Home.

Under epidemic pressure, you may have the following changes.
1. Physical changes.You may feel a little pain in your body, but you can't say why; you may have adverse reactions to the digestive system such as abdominal pain and diarrhea; and your diet and sleep may be affected, such as having difficulty sleeping at night or having no appetite.
2. Emotional change.You may be in a high-frequency, long-term mood swing, you may feel very anxious or afraid, please do not worry, we will feel afraid is normal, this is the new virus unknown caused by the insecurity; due to the normal balance of life habits are broken, long time cannot go out, people will appear angry and low mood.
3. Cognitive change.Because you understand the typical symptoms of a new type of coronavirus pneumonia, you focus too much on physical symptoms such as fever, coughing, and breathing difficulties, and even minor changes make you very worried. At such times, people tend to think negatively, exaggerate physical discomfort, and worry about being infected, unable to focus on the present.
4. Behavior change.In order to gain a sense of security and make yourself more comfortable, there may be forced behavior, such as washing hands repeatedly, disinfecting repeatedly, constantly obtaining information about the epidemic, or avoiding behavior, such as not wanting to contact family and friends, just wanting to be alone; or diverting attention by smoking, drinking, overeating and so on. Abnormal behavior, easy to lose control.


How should we adapt to the physical and mental changes caused by house isolation?
1. Be aware of the present. When you feel a change in your body, say stop to yourself, stop, notice what you're doing, where you're changing, and where you're affecting yourself. Slowing down to awareness helps relieve anxiety.
2. Accept change.For anyone, it is inevitable to face some changes in the epidemic, which is actually a sign of physical response to stress. So, please accept your change, which may be the first step in overcoming fear.
3. Keep the energy.Try to live in the original indoor style and rest as much as possible. To ensure a reasonable diet, rich nutrition, take good care of themselves, improve their own immunity. The body has the strength, the immunity is strong, is the health sign.
4. Let it go.Under permitted conditions, properly exercise outdoors, strengthen your body and immunity, listen to music, write a diary, or write down your troubles and anxieties on a piece of paper, then tear the paper off to release negative energy.5. Mutual Support. Share feelings with family and friends through the Internet. Help, encourage, accompany and support each other with roommates. Find the power of mutual support in company.
6. Breathing and relaxing exercise.
In a quiet, comfortable environment, consciously relax the various parts of the body in the order from top to bottom. Take a deep breath plus self-suggestion, inhale the body is full of energy, exhalation implies a lot of trouble, impurities out of the body. Temporary physical relaxation is also conducive to psychological burden reduction.
7. Video and Music Relaxation. To prevent the spread of the epidemic, the school has to let students go out less, and even ask students to stay in the dormitory, which is responsible for everyone and protection. Students in the dormitory in all kinds of anxious circumstances, might as well enjoy meaningful film and television programs, listening to music, or playing some musical instruments, to ease the anxiety of coke oven and tension.



Finally, accept their own negative emotions. Regular life, healthy diet and proper exercise to enhance their own immunity.

Even if you can't go out of the house, you should keep a regular life and rest, stick to a light, healthy and nutritious diet, wear a protective mask, wash your hands frequently, bathe in hot water, do a good job of personal hygiene protection, enhance immunity and reduce the probability of infection.
In such special times, many people are ill, and everyone may be worried about themselves, family and friends, becoming restless and emotional. This is a normal psychological reaction. People try to understand and accept negative emotions, give themselves more patience and care, actively seek debugging methods, and seek professional help when needed.


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