“Quarantine” mode. 5 tips how not to go mad

How to cope with the crisis? Is there anything positive and how do can we define it? How does one get rid of the constant feelings of anxiety, exhaustion and uncertainty?

In our third article in the series “Quarantine mode” our alumna Ainur Yesbossynova gave answers to these questions and shared her tips on how not to go mad during this hard time. Ainur gaduated from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (since 2019, School of Sciences and Humanities) in 2015, she is a co-founder of TransforNation innovative laboratory in the CREATA Ventures company.

 April 16th was exactly one month since the country declared a state of emergency, and the 19th was exactly one month since the capital was quarantined. Amidst this uncertainty psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, coaches and counselors noted an increase in the number of people seeking support and assistance.

In the first week people tried to find coping mechanisms for the quarantine like distracting themselves with various entertainment, courses and so on, but after   about a week and a half the continued uncertainty led to an increasing sense  of anger and negativity. 

It seems that citizens are primarily concerned about their financial situation. Many do not know whether they will have enough money, will stay in their current jobs or how long their unpaid leave will last.  People, now, seem to be moving into the third stage of uncertainty: acceptance, characterized by apathy, fatigue and inertia. 

 Thus, there are now four questions:

  • How do we not experience “masterclass overload”, and focus our energy where it will best serve us?
  • How do we not to turn into aggressive and angry people?
  • How do we learn to let go of negativity and not bottle up harmful emotions?
  • How can we not only survive this time, but practice mindfulness and peace?

So, what to do?

Tip 1. Breathe out and learn to breathe normally. 

What for?

Your Brain and Body are connected.  Relaxation is a learned skill.  It takes training and practice.  At first it is not easy, but if you keep practicing breathing eventually you will begin calm down and feel better.


If you notice that something affects you negatively or sets you off, try avoiding it and do not seek it out.    

Example. During the first two weeks of quarantine I noticed that I seemed to be breathing too shallowly, and paid too much attention to the movement of my chest, this feeling seemed to happen repeatedly when I worked on my computer. Like others, I felt the need to constantly watch the news and monitor the situation.  It was almost like a “news attack”, and it really affected my feeling of well-being.  What the news was, didn’t really matter all that much, but constantly reading it, and how I experienced such updates, caused stress.  Once I understood that I reacted that way I muted all the news channels, limiting my reading to 5-minutes looking through headlines without going deep, choosing the middle of the day for this, neither morning nor evening. At the same time I included daily pranayamas (breathing exercises from yoga practice) and meditations. If you are a beginner, just “google” pranayama and meditation. Follow the links. Next, online marketing will do everything for you and you will receive ads about the online masterclasses on these topics available now for the first time under the guidance of an instructor. 

Tip 2. Focus.

According to the laws of energy exchange: Energy moves after attention. This can also be explained by the simple law of physics: The observer changes the object of observation.

Now take a breath, clear your mind and think back:
How did you live before quarantine? Were you okay with that? Seems that there was something that you did not like. What was that exactly? Why? Do you even need this in your life?
– If you need it, what can you do to change your attitude?
– If you do not need, what can you do to change the situation?
The only way in the life practice is like this: We either change our attitude to the situation, or the situation itself.

What for?

This helps us to keep things in perspective. What is quarantine for you:

temporary inconvenience to survive, or an opportunity?

Example. In mid-January, along with my main employment, I was also working as a consultant.  There many things that were interesting, but I didn’t have the time to be distracted, so I put them in my mental “box” for later.   You tell yourself you need to make money, and interests don’t always bring money.  My number of consultations increased, and with quarantine, the work went on “unpaid leave” mode. Of course, I could have started crying and sobbing: “What  do I do now?” but time is precious. Therefore, I made up my mind to open the “box” and learn its content. 

Tip 3. Define your competitive advantage. 

 Due to the current situation everyone expects significant changes in the market and economy.. What can be done? Stop crying and get into the flow.

  1. Start monitoring the news and information of how the field of your expertise is going to change.
  2. Try to adapt to these new needs, learn new skills to stay marketable.
  3. Search for opportunities of growth, especially those that you need with the focus on your competitive advantage.
  4. If you face financial troubles, remember that there are free online masterclasses  and installment payment option Moreover, maybe our society will finally begin to appreciate knowledge rather than diplomas?

What for?

Even monitoring and small steps in this direction will give you a feeling of safety and confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Example. During the first two weeks I started monitoring the market: I watched the courses, put likes, comments and googled the areas I was interested in. As I mentioned earlier, “A Big Brother” did not keep me waiting long. I started to catch up with the offers I was interested in. I signed up for introductory webinars, listened and decided: what is suitable, interesting and whether it will be necessary for me or not. The main thing here is to remember about marketing and easily throw out the things that will not serve your competitive advantage. 

Tip 4. Set specific and achievable goals.

After a period when you have allowed internet marketing to seduce you in every way, it is time to go back to Tip 2 – remember about focus and Tip 3 in terms of competitive advantage. 

If you have enough money, and everything suits you: the program, the coach, and feedback, then take the training. If your finances are tight, try not worry, and look to see if you can find it for free.  Here the main thing to remember that when you get something for free, it must be shared. 

What for?

So we don’t end up like a masterclass participant always racing to the finish or a nihilist living in his reality.

Example. Having started with 10 sources of introductory webinars in the first and second weeks, I have completed 5 online masterclasses during the second and third weeks, and now, in the fourth week of quarantine, I continue my training on three courses selected at the intersection point “Focus – Market – Competitive Advantage”.

Tip 5. Do, analyze, work on mistakes, then do again.

The most important tip. “A rolling stone gathers no moss” I think it is clear.

What for?

Unapplied knowledge is destructive. At the end of the day, it is the application of your knowledge that will feed you, not the knowledge itself.

Example. When choosing training, I look at how focused and inclusive the practice is, and how demanding the trainer is in this regard. If the course includes only theory, there are no deadlines or homework, give it up, because otherwise it will remain unsuccessful. 

By the way, if you haven’t done anything during the online masterclass, it’s most likely a problem with the definition of focus and you just chose what everyone chooses. 

In conclusion, I would like to remind you of the main thing in times of crisis and uncertainty:
Don’t run away. 
Do not run away from reality in life or work.
Do not run away to the past, no matter how cozy it was, and don’t run away to the future, hoping it is going to be better. 
Today and now is the consequence of yesterday, and the reason for tomorrow.

written by Ainur Yesbossynova