Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Five tips for mastering the coronavirus measures

Advice from behavioural scientist and AUAS professor Reint Jan Renes

19 Mar 2020 14:56 | Communication

The Dutch are being forced to break their ingrained habits due to the emergency measures taken in the fight against the coronavirus. It’s not easy, as behavioural scientist and AUAS professor Reint-Jan Renes knows. He has some tips to help us get through this.

Tip 1: Don’t be too hard on yourself

This is the first piece of advice AUAS professor Reint Jan Renes wants to give anyone trying to settle into a new routine at home. “People need time to realise that they can’t go back to their old ways. And then you have to slowly reorganise your daily activities, both in your work and in your private life. It’s no surprise that it takes some time to figure out a new routine. So what I would like to say is: take a week or so to establish your new normal.”

Tip 2: Be aware of reverting back to old habits

People can easily be inclined to do things together in groups again. Renes: “Think carefully in advance about how you can organise this while observing the rules of social distancing. Make it feasible in practice. If you don’t, you can easily revert to behaviour that is not sensible right now.”

Tip 3: Social media as an example

“If you can’t figure it out yourself, look for examples on social media. That’s the benefit of living in this day and age: a lot is available digitally.”

Tip 4: Embrace your creative side

The good news is that there is an opportunity for great ingenuity in circumstances like these. “Because we are literally forced out of our comfort zone, we have to change our plans and come up with new solutions,” says Renes.

Tip 5: Learning happens more quickly

Another positive aspect of this crisis: “We’re all in an accelerated learning process. The pace at which we’re prepared to take on new information is unprecedented.” 

So, we can make the best of a bad situation and quickly develop many new capacities that will prove very valuable in the future. In this respect, the AUAS slogan fits perfectly: Creating Tomorrow Together

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