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Strategies to endure Corona

April 25, 2021

Here I give in conversation with Mag. Isabella Bergner tips on how to better organize everyday life in Corona times. This was broadcast on Radio Kärnten on 25.4.2020. Original for listening until 7 days after the broadcast:

...and as mp3 download:

Radio Carinthia: Isabella Bergner interviews Diana Schaffer about satisfaction in Corona times

There is also an article about this on

Here is a copy of the article:


Survive special situations well

Social Distancing will continue to occupy every society as long as there is no treatment for CoV. Many suffer from separations, others from the constant closeness of family. In addition, there is homeschooling and teleworking. Psychologist Diana Schaffer offers tips.Online since 30.4.2020, 7.03 a.m.Share on FacebookShare on TwitterSend by mail

According to Schaffer, many people suffer (not only in CoV times) because contact with others and also physical contact are very important to feel good. For some people, the lack of contact can lead to depression. A fairly new area of research is "lifestyle medicine." The key questions are how strongly are lifestyle and health connected and to what extent do changes have an effect.

Studies show that social factors can also prevent illness or help with healing, Schaffer says: "In that area, a lot of studies show that lonely and isolated people are three to ten times more likely to get sick or even die earlier compared to people who are socially involved." But now, he said, we are in a paradoxical situation: "We know deep down that we want to be close to other people. On the other hand, that very thing becomes a threat to health, something that is scary."

Face fears

Fear is the next thing you have to deal with. On the one hand, fear of contagion, and on the other, the fear that comes from having to deal with job loss or financial problems. "On a physical level, anxiety leads to stress. If that stress goes on too long, it has a negative effect on the immune system."

Fear is always a bad advisor, because you tend to act rashly, you get tunnel vision. You get irritated quickly. But precisely when it comes to finances, you need conscious, deliberate actions to find solutions, says the psychologist.

Life consists of ups and downs

From a distance, some worries no longer seem quite so big and heavy. A look back can help here: "Life has highs and lows, that's quite normal. When you're doing well and you're on a high, it's hard to imagine that one day you'll be doing badly, and vice versa." Looking at life as a whole and recognizing the pattern can help you endure it, he said. You know it's going to get better at some point.

Daily structure helps

To distract yourself in the situation now, Schaffer advises a good daily structure. "If you think about what you want to do the next day the night before, perhaps in writing, the day seems more interesting." The freed-up time could also become a field for experimentation - space for something you've always wanted to do, but never had time for: "Maybe you like to write, or you've always wanted to paint or sew. You can also do fitness exercises." You can also take stock of your life, he says. Question your relationships, job, hobbies.

"If you have children, now you can finally have the opportunity to spend quality time with them. For example, just being there for the child for once, listening, following up on suggestions, playing crazy games. With children, interestingly enough, you can see that when they're very bored, they have particularly creative ideas for games."MORE ON THE TOPICHotlines and links to CoV Carinthia

Do not wear jogging suit all day long

Schaffer has tips for working in a home office. She advises against wearing a jogging suit: "If you spend most of the day indoors, it's easy to fall into careless habits. If you dress nicely at home, too, it boosts your self-esteem. Every day you should do sports or exercise, on a hormonal level that makes you feel more satisfied."

Create places of retreat

When many family members are together in a small space, everyone needs a break, preferably in the form of a retreat. Communication is also more important than ever. If something bothers you, don't swallow it, but address it right away. You often hear the slogan "hang in there." Not a term that psychologist Schaffer likes to hear: "The word persevere suggests that it's a difficult time." It's better to think about what's positive, she says. Perhaps one recognizes new things about oneself.

For some, there is too much closeness, for others too little, keyword grandparents: "It is important to maintain contact. Technology often makes that relatively easy. It can be a chance for grandma and grandpa to become familiar with Whatsapp or Skype after all and talk to their grandchildren normally."

Cake baking with online help

If you're worried that you'll run out of things to talk about, or if children don't want to chat for long, you simply have to get creative: "When the child is older, grandma can tell you a cake recipe, the child can make it, and you can bake a cake together. A heartfelt letter with a drawing can also warm the heart just as much as a hug.

Other elderly people withdraw more at the present time, here relatives must become active : "If someone withdraws, there is a high probability that she will fall into a depressive mood. Then it becomes even more difficult to approach others. It takes a lot of patience and understanding, but you have to reach out to them." Trusting that everything will turn out well can help people feel less anxious, the psychologist said.

Write list in good times

When you're in an energy slump or have dark thoughts and you're not feeling well, it's difficult to have creative ideas. That's why it makes sense to think about what could do you good while you're still in good times. For example, to write a list and implement: "A good music, bath with scented oil, take a walk or call someone who makes you feel good." You'll be surprised to find that doing something nice soon makes you feel better.