The situation is serious, the Chancellor said. Angela Merkel gave a TV speech yesterday evening that appealed to the common sense of every individual: reducing social contacts to a minimum is the Federal Government's motto to get the corona crisis under control.
Many of the measures in this country are still on a voluntary basis. The idea of a curfew causes uneasiness in many people. That's why we talked to a psychotherapist about the corona crisis – she gives us valuable tips for dealing with domestic quarantine and why you don't have to be lonely despite being alone.
The corona virus, the fear of loneliness – and the curfew
What scares us so much about a curfew from a psychological point of view?
"In our lives everything is really about attachment. We have a very original need to be in relation to others. This is taken away from us in the broadest sense when we curfew. The fear of being alone really threatens something fundamental. Then there is the loss of freedom. We are absolutely not used to this. "
I'm already afraid that I won't be able to keep it up. How do I calm down when I am no longer allowed out?
"I think we shouldn't underestimate ourselves right now: We endure much more than we previously thought. For my clients, I always emphasize the importance of the reference to reality, because that grounds and discourages excessive games of thought:
Yes, we may be obliged to stay at home. But we are healthy, have a roof over our heads, a lot of entertainment, the opportunity to get food at all times and, in this age, many contact options via telephone and internet. We now have to control our thoughts positively.
What can I do to distract myself from the fear of being locked up?
"Actually is the right word. Getting into action is always the best way, because it takes away the feeling of powerlessness. It doesn't matter what we do – a small sports program, cleaning the house, picking up an unread book … The change is important because both physical and mental movement should be included. And the network is full of offers, including free: yoga classes, YouTube tutorials, podcasts and so much more.
Incidentally, I warn against the thought of feeling locked up. In reality we are not; we may leave the apartment at any time for certain purposes even in the event of a curfew. It is important to understand that.
What do I do if I live alone – and am afraid of loneliness?
"It will certainly be a special challenge. But even now we are much better off than before. Because what is often a curse now becomes a blessing: Our opportunities to be active online are almost endless and secure us against radical being alone.
Social media allows constant exchange, even at night, and I personally appreciate video calls via zoom. I have been using this program for a long time for online coaching. And should the curfew come, then also for the coffee gossip with my parents and the Prosecco evening with friends.
But what about the older part of our population who don't have these opportunities?
"I see the biggest problem here. Because, as I said, we humans need relationships with others, otherwise depression and also physical illnesses are at risk. There is only one way to call us, at least we should make it more often with those whose numbers we have .
I am currently considering how we can get more old people so that we can offer them contact. Nursing services or church institutions can, for example, pass on our telephone number. Help groups are currently joining forces on Facebook. We have to take action!
And one thing is also clear: if we help others who are worse off, it keeps us going. This is how our psyche ticks. "
Thanks a lot!
Andrea vorm Walde is a therapist, coach and alternative practitioner for psychotherapy. She looks after her clients in a Hamburg practice and online. There are also regular tips from her on her blog