Recommendations to the public
When a community is struck by an unexpected and challenging event, such as a global pandemic, it can cause extreme anxiety and tension, not only for the individual but also for the whole community. Here are some guidelines from EMDR Europe on how to deal more effectively with anxiety and tension and how to talk to children about the pandemic.
- Choose two moments a day to check the news. A long exposure to the amount of news that you can find on the internet, radio and TV keeps our warning and fear system constantly activated.
- Information is important. Prefer official sources of information: WHO, ECDC, local institutions.
- Follow the best hygiene practices indicated by your country’s institutions and health system.
- You might feel fear or agitation: it is a normal reaction. We know that talking about your emotions can help feeling better.
- When possible, keep following your usual routine, respecting the rules indicated by your community.
- Keep a regular sleeping pattern as much as possible.
- Remember that a positive attitude helps yourself and the community.
- Sometimes, you might experience difficulties in concentrating and making decisions; this is also a normal consequence of stress.
- Get in touch with people that make you feel good: this helps clearing your mind and calming your fear.
TALKING WITH CHILDREN:
- Tell the truth with simple words.
- Use suitable images and information. Dedicate one moment a day to look at information together in order to make its content reassuring and easy to understand.
- Make children feel loved and safe and give them attention.
- Let children keep positive habits like playing.
- Tell children that many prepared experts (doctors, nurses, the police) are constantly working to re-establish a safe environment and to help people that are ill. Highlight the positive aspects of the intervention.