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Posted 28 July 2021

Part 2 – The Psychology of COVID-19: Surviving and Thriving

RCN Blog

Craig Barr, RCN Cohesion, Sharing and Integration Officer and Therapeutic Counsellor, on an online training event delivered by Dr. Arthur Cassidy, TV Psychologist and Broadcaster


Last week we explored the possibility and importance of maintaining a positive attitude to help you survive and even thrive during lockdown. In this week’s blog we’re going to explore 6 practical coping tips for overcoming lockdown.

  1. Schedule in “me time” every day. Make it part of your routine and be consistent. Stay active and follow the joy in your life. Immerse yourself in anything you really enjoy and takes your full attention. Be productive at meaningful work.
  2. Focus on positives even among the difficulties. For example, keeping your calm and taking the time to really listen with a difficult person or child. Give some time to focusing on the actual difficulties you are experiencing during lockdown and exploring them. Come to a place of understanding about them, take whatever action you can to the best of your ability, and then letting the uncontrollable go, can help stop you holding stuff in and ruminating.
  3. Use mindfulness apps such as Headspace or Calm, or the YouTube channel Oxford Mindfulness Centre. Set up a space in your home to be an environment of relaxation. No cluttering allowed. Limit screen time, especially on news and social media sites that create tension and drama. Focus on social support that builds and creates new friendships online. Avoid conspiratorial or emotionally negative forums.
  4. Get expert help with your feelings, your finances, and your future. Therapists, financial advisors, and career advisors are only a Google search away. Many of these services can be accessed free of charge. Investing in yourself is the best investment you’ll ever make. Make an action plan. University research confirms that self-belief, hard work and commitment to achieving success are the magic ingredients to succeeding. Find your purpose, the real meaning of life. As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “If you know the why, you can live any how.”
  5. Take one day at a time. If you’re struggling at something take even the smallest step forward. It will help you keep your momentum, self-belief, and a sense of achievement as you push through. This is called “implementation intention” – creating smaller building blocks which build bigger achievements. Keep an optimistic perspective. Make “I can” statements rather than “I can’t”. Once you overcome self-doubt the world really is your oyster.
  6. Be kind! With yourself and others. You’re doing all you can right now and you’re learning how to think, do and feel better. Lower your expectations of yourself and others. Everything in life is a negotiation. And sometimes with one with yourself is the biggest negotiation of them all.

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in this article and you feel you need further support please check out the following links for organisations that can offer you support.

Covid Wellbeing Northern Ireland (

HSC Public Health Agency (

Relieve The Pressure (