What happens at the moment of change and how to deal with it?
There is a popular theory of the American psychologist Elizabeth Kubler Ross about the stages of accepting losses and life changes: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Stages can alternate in different ways or live “in the mix”.
Acceptance of changes is primarily the lack of psychological resistance to the situation. The first thought, which apparently occurred to many: “I can’t believe it!” However, the longer you resist reality, the harder it is to adapt and become useful.
Denial and numbness is an adequate protective reaction of the psyche. This condition can be accompanied by forgetfulness and disorganization. You forget where you put your phone, you can’t find your keys.
What to do at this stage:
resume daily routine (food, body care, light physical activity);
talk about your condition with loved ones;
give yourself time to recover and realize the situation.
Anger comes as a result of awareness of change. Irritability and anger, finding the guilty and a sense of injustice are especially acute during this period.
Doctor of psychological sciences advises to help yourself and your loved ones to experience the emotion of anger:
write about your anger and other emotions in a diary;
to say them out loud to oneself or loved ones;
Bargaining is an attempt to postpone making a decision about life in a new reality.
Typical actions for this state:
agreeing with oneself and loved ones on some plan of action;
many doubts about actions, searching for some authorities who will tell you how to act better;
preparation for making a decision (panic checking of documents, buying products, rearranging a travel bag);
attempts to delay the moment of new actions.
How to act in this state:
work with your thoughts (repeating to yourself that thoughts do not equal reality!);
change your inner focus from doubting to looking for actions that can help influence the situation.
Depression or apathy — indifference, a state of depression and sadness, reduced work capacity, lack of energy. Appetite may disappear, gastrointestinal disorders may appear.
What shall I do:
establish a sleeping and eating regime and stick to it, shower and wash daily;
ask loved ones for help and support;
perform simple physical exercises.
This is the moment of realizing that even in this reality you can find your place. One person may not be able to influence the global course of events, but there are small things that she can do.
Volunteering, which you manage to do, will help to develop and consolidate this state. And also, of course, memes and jokes about the events around, which people so generously create.
When you have reached the state of acceptance of the new reality, started to search for or found your place in it, it is much easier for you to help others and protect your life and health.