C O V I D - 1 9: A C T I V I T I E S
Online COVID-19 Services
NIP Policy for COVID-19
Building Emotional Stability: Boost up Your Mental Health to Deal Stressors Related to Pandemic
Resource Person: Prof. Dr. Rubina Hanif
On 2nd June, 2020
National Institute of Psychology, Centre of Excellence, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, is organizing a series of webinars for psychological help of community during COVID-19. The 1st webinar titled “Building Emotional Stability: Boost up Your Mental Health to Deal Stressors Related to Pandemic” was held on 2nd June, 2020. Resource Person of the Webinar was Dr. Rubina Hanif, Tenured Associate Professor.
The key points discussed during the webinar were, Current scenario of covid-19 and its psychological effects, the pathways to the mental crises, and the emotional reactions of individuals. She discussed few techniques to boost emotional stability in this pandemic. She emphasized the need to get aware of emotional states of ourselves and others and to get aware of our limits and strengths for dealing emotional problems. The major techniques discussed were:
i. Changing one’s life style as per situation.
ii. Changing our thought patterns through reframing and adapting positive thinking.
iii. Practicing positive behaviors in our daily routine.
Finally, she highlighted the need to get prepare for “returning to work after lockdown”. This webinar seems to be effective for general population from all segments of life.
Practices and Ethics of Telecommuting Amidst COVID 19
Resource Person: Dr. Aisha Zubair
On 4th June, 2020
National Institute of Psychology (NIP) has arranged a series of webinars focusing on different psychosocial aspects of COVID-19 that masses are experiencing while staying at home. In this regard 2nd webinar was held on 4th June, 2020 on “Practices and Ethics of Telecommuting Amidst COVID-19”. Resource person of the webinar was Dr. Aisha Zubair, Assistant Professor, NIP. Participants join the webinar belonged to diverse backgrounds including university faculty, speech therapists, bank employees, administrative managers, and students. The speaker deliberated on the basic principles and practices that must be catered while working from home. Major thrust of the webinar was on developing fundamental skills and dexterity in rendering official responsibilities, obligations, and designing the existing jobs that can be fulfilled from home or any distant locations. In addition, elementary functioning of Telework, transit work scenarios, its key requisites, and minimizing the process loss during flexible work schedules was thoroughly explained. The speaker also elaborated basic ethical and moral guidelines which should be exercised while delivering administrative tasks and collaborating with colleagues in quarantine situations. It was further highlighted in the webinar that particular psychological and social cataclysms are faced by employees during Telework. Hence, relevant yet pragmatic solutions were also suggested that could assist in overcoming these emotional and cognitive hurdles. In the end, the resource person meticulously replies to all the queries put up by the participants.
Bringing Change to Approach in Life for Managing Stress
Resource Person: Dr. Humaira Jami
9th June, 2020
The 3rd webinar titled “Bringing Change to Approach in Life for Managing Stress” was held on 9th June, 2020. Resource Person of the Webinar was Dr. Humaira Jami, Assistant Professor, NIP. She discussed that experiencing stress is part of everyday life. Optimal level of stress is important for keep life going that acts as a drive to perform well; contrarily, experiencing extreme level of stress or no stress in face of adversities as COVD-19 pandemic, effect life negatively. In this context, an individual feel either helpless or overly confident, respectively, to handle the situation. Dr. Humaira Jami, in this webinar talked about different approaches like stress coping styles, rigidity/flexibility, intolerance of uncertainty, suggestibility, humour, assertiveness, and unhelpful thought patterns that are currently not helping masses in managing stress in context of COVD-19 specifically and life in general too. She reflected upon the ways and strategies to change these approaches in life to manage stress appropriately. Firstly, she tried to psycho-educate people about how stress is related to our health and how prolonged exposure to stress lead to health related problems. Then she suggests some breathing and muscle relaxation techniques to reduce immediate effect of increased level of stress. She shared different coping strategies to manage stress as suggested by psychologists and discussed the commonly held coping strategies of Pakistani population i.e., reactive and suggested to change it to proactive, anticipatory, and preventive approach. In the light of existing knowledge in Psychology, she tried to explain how people who are impulsive, suggestible, or use negative style of humour i.e., making fun of others to demean through social media are source of increasing stress not only for themselves but also to others. That is why either they are not following SOPs to manage COVID-19 or may become part of conspiracy to increase hatred towards some group of people in context of COVID-19. Finally, she suggested to structure daily routine, prioritizing daily activities, and bringing healthy change in life to manage stress.
Managing your Anger During COVID-19
Resource Person: Dr. Irum Naqvi
11th June, 2020
The 4th webinar titled “Managing Your Anger during COVID-19” was held on 11th June, 2020. Resource Person of the Webinar was Dr. Irum Naqvi, Assistant Professor at National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. She discussed that Impacts of COVID-19 are broad and general but media has played its role at its best to create awareness and educate the masses about disease and its prevention. Simultaneously media has scared us as well by showing daily the rising figures of diagnosed cases and deaths. It has developed the uncertainty and fears among all of us about the health of our loved ones and created general feeling of anger on being helpless to deal with pandemic effectively. This anger has influenced us and our relations so it is the need of time to deal with this anger effectively. Anger is normal when negative or unpleasant things happen in surroundings and leads to aggressive behavior. As it influence our interaction with other people and individual is prone to be left alone so we need to focus on anger management. Here are some tips to manage your anger:
Tip 1: based on exploring what’s really behind your anger. Out-of-control anger behavior can stem from what you’ve learned as a child. Family members, who scream, hit or throw things, role model for a child that anger is expressed in this manner. Traumatic events and high levels of stress can make one more susceptible to anger as well. Identify aggressive acts as it includes Throw something, Kick someone or something, Get in someone’s face, Shoving, grabbing, hitting, Break something, Call someone names, Give someone a dirty look, Silent treatment, Spread rumors and etc.
Tip 2: based on the awareness of your anger warnings included knots in your stomach , clenching your hands or jaw, feeling clammy or flushed, breathing faster, headaches, pacing or needing to walk around, “Seeing red”, Having trouble concentrating, pounding heart, tensing your shoulders. Identify automatic negative thoughts trigger anger like you overgeneralize the situation as I read a story of someone who died of Covid-19, therefore I will die of Covid-19.” “I saw a hospital that ran out of resources, therefore our hospital will run out of resources.” You take responsibility of everything which is beyond your control. I may be not taking much care of hygiene so my child may get affected by covid-19.
Tip 3: Avoid people, places, and situations that bring out your worst. Stressful events don’t excuse anger so identify stressful events that affect you, take control of your environment, avoid unnecessary aggravation, Look at your regular routine and try to identify activities, times of day, people, places, or situations that trigger irritable or angry feelings. You get into a fight every time you discuss family things with your wife while watching news. Hygiene concerns now a days drives you crazy. Consider ways to avoid these triggers or view the situation differently so it doesn’t make your blood boil.
Tip 4: Learn ways to cool down. Once you know how to recognize the warning signs that your temper is rising and anticipate your triggers, you can act quickly to deal with your anger before it spins out of control. Focus on the physical sensations of anger, tune into the way your body feels when you’re angry this can lessen the emotional intensity of your anger. Take some deep breaths. Deep, slow breathing helps counteract increasing tension. Breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible into your lungs. Exercise, walk around the block releases pent-up energy so you can approach the situation with a cooler head. Take advantage of the relaxing power of your sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. Listening to music, visualize a favorite place, learn to express hostile feelings in a polite way, it is encouraged to tell hurt feeling not the aggressive.
In the end she concluded that, Anger is not a solution so identify your effective role; focus on effective communication, healthy thoughts and healthy diet to deal with it effectively.
Effective use of ‘Me’ Time During Pandemic: A Time of Self-Improvement
Resource Person: Miss Arooj Mujeeb
18th June, 2020
The 5th webinar titled “Effective use of ‘Me’ Time During Pandemic: A Time of Self-Improvement” was held on 18th June, 2020. Resource Person of the Webinar was Ms. Arooj Mujeeb, Research Associate cum Lecturer at NIP. Webinar encompassed the ways through which the quarantine time period could be made effective. Webinar highlighted the need of five strategies including acknowledging turbulence, providing right Fuel for body, moving (exercising), organizing sleep pattern, and remaining connected with friends and community. Resource person emphasized the value of following a schedule, adopting any hobby, maintaining journal, as well as entertaining only that information which is received through health experts in order to protect mental health. It was discussed that quarantine is a feasible time period to develop strengths and learning skills and that SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based) goals should be developed to learn skills. Lastly debate was generated on necessity of being efficient and productive during quarantine where it was concluded that remaining physically and mentally healthy should be the goal for everyone and people who cannot thrive under stressful pandemic should be valued and respected equally.
Staying Positive Amidst COVID-19
Resource Person: Dr. Sobia Masood
2nd July, 2020
The 6th webinar titled “Staying Positive Amidst COVID-19” was held on 2nd July, 2020. Resource Person of the Webinar was Dr. Sobia Masood Assistant Professor, NIP. She discussed that experiencing negative thoughts and feelings time to time during the COVID-19 pandemic is normal, however, if constantly recurring; these can badly impact our psychological and physical health. In this one and half hour webinar, Dr. Sobia Masood talked about important steps to stay positive in such uncertain times. The first step, as discussed was on being mindful about our focus and being able to look at the positive sides of this pandemic. Dr. Masood spoke about strategies to control our brain in a way to make it come up with explanations that are positive to make our lives better. The second step, discussed by her, was developing a positive mindset by identifying automatic negative thoughts, challenging them, and reframing these negative thoughts to different possible positive alternative(s). Thirdly, she talked about how practicing an attitude of gratitude can help to remain positive in adversities such as covid-19. Lastly, she focused on the need to show compassion towards self in these hard times. She highlighted the power of self-compassion in reducing anxiety and depression and more satisfying personal relationships, makes us more resilient in the face of challenges, and improves overall wellbeing.
Staying Positive Amidst COVID-19
Resource Person: Dr. Saira Khan
6th July, 2020
The 7th webinar titled “Children’s Emotional Wellbeing during Pandemic” was held on 6th July, 2020. Resource Person of the Webinar was Ms. Saira Khan, Research Associate cum Lecturer at NIP. She focused on typical reactions of children during pandemic and highlighted the importance of parental role in current scenario. She shared that it is important to understand that the way your child is reacting is normal and natural. For parents, it’s important to realize their own emotional reactions, as they way they are feeling and behaving is likely to affect the reaction of the child as well. Similarly, before talking to child it’s important to ask yourself that are you ready to talk about it or not? One of the important point to begin with include asking your child about what he/she is thinking about current situation. During this whole scenario it’s important to: 1. Understand that reactions to the pandemic may vary. 2. Ensure the presence of a sensitive and responsive caregiver. 3. Realize that social distancing should not mean social isolation. Keep your child busy. 4. Provide age-appropriate information. 5. Create a safe physical and emotional environment by practicing the 3 R’s: i.e. Reassurance, Routine and Regulation She concluded that it’s important to emphasize strengths, hope, and positivity in current situation. There is no harm in seeking professional help if children show signs of trauma that do not resolve relatively quickly.
Spiritual Healing in Dealing with Anxiety During COVID-19
Resource Person: Dr. Imran Bukhari
14th July, 2020
On 14th of July, 2020, Dr. Imran Bukhari delivered a webinar for highlighting the spiritual as well as the material dimensions of anxiety and proposed the ways to deal with anxiety during COVID-19. He started his argument by objecting the subject matter of modern psychology. He emphasized that psychologists should also include soul as an essential part of human self. He presented a very strong logical argument that if anxiety can be attributed to the dynamics of human body, it can originate from the soul as well. Then he elaborated the nature of fears related to soul and body. He emphasized that psychologists must explore the true source of anxiety while devising any form of psychotherapy. If anxiety originates from soul, psychologists should look for spiritual ways of healing. Dr. Imran Bukhari proposed that, in dealing with anxiety, we should explore and find true meaning and purpose of life, at first. We should also reduce our material stakes or greed. While reducing our material greed, we should also try to increase our material gains and increase meaningfulness in our life.
Work from home: dealing with challenges during Covid-19
Resource Person: Dr. Seema Pervez
30th December, 2020
National Institute of Psychology, Centre of Excellence, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, has organized a series of webinars for psychological help of community during COVID-19 in year 2020. The last webinar of year 2020 titled “Work from home: dealing with challenges during Covid-19” was held on 30th December, 2020. Resource Person of the Webinar was Dr. Seema Pervez, A renowned Psychologist, research and dynamic professional. The webinar was moderated by Ms. Hafsa Khalil Toor, PhD Scholar. Dr Seema highlighted different strategies that can facilitate to deal with the challenges while working from home during the pandemic. The webinar was interactive and it was a meaning learning experience for the attendees. The key points that were as discussed in the webinar is as follows:
• to stay positive and focused
• to focus on physical health
• to break the vicious cycle of stress
• to maintain healthy sleep habits
• Practice Self-Compassion and Overcome Your Shame
• Cultivate compassion in life to make it a daily practice
• Organize weekly planner To Boost Productivity
• Connect to Strong and Weak Ties in your social networking interactions be the cause both matters
Finally, she highlighted the need to get prepare for “returning to work after lockdown”. The webinar had a large audience. During the interactive session the Dr Seema meticulously replied to all queries and guided them with her expertise.