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Nature or nurture. How are you reacting to Covid?

(25 Posts)
PamelaJ1 Tue 19-Jan-21 15:42:44

I haven’t been thinking about this in any deep and meaningful way but have either of these shaped your reaction and ability to cope do you think?
I’m not talking about your financial situation or whether you live in a lovely area. Those things do, of course make a difference but I mean more in your attitude to adversity.

I come from a family that just ‘got on with it’, no in depth delving into our feelings about anything. Just the belief that one would cope.
We lived in some unusual places too, moved around quite a bit,. Did that give me resilience?
Might just be my cup half full attitude that is in my DNA but I seem to be managing without much stress.

AGAA4 Tue 19-Jan-21 15:51:17

I live on my own and feel that I am coping well, mostly. This may have been because of my husband's job. He worked long hours and often at weekends so I had to get on with life on my own much of the time so I learned to be happily alone.

Also my family too were the kind who just got on with it whatever came along. I learned to be resilient too.

eazybee Tue 19-Jan-21 15:56:51

Likewise. My family, very much 'get on and cope'; a stoic self-resilience and a 'what can't be cured must be endured'.Both parents left school at fourteen, supported their parents during the Depression, survived the war, made a good life for themselves, and didn't complain; I hope I have inherited their attitude.

grandMattie Tue 19-Jan-21 15:57:47

I'm very pragmatic. My family too dealt with whatever came along.
I don't worry about dying of CV19. I am old and old people need to die of something...
I'm stressed because I have absolutly no control over the situation!

Esspee Tue 19-Jan-21 16:02:01

I’ve always been stoical and physically lazy so I expect I’m coping better than others of a different temperament.

SuzannahM Tue 19-Jan-21 16:03:01

My gran had a very hard life, for lots of reasons, but she was usually cheerful. Whenever I was a bit down (boyfriend trouble, ill health, parent trouble, lack of finances, school/work problems) she was good with the hugs but not the sympathy. She would tell me "You can choose to accept life what what it is and get on with things or choose to wallow. You can choose to be happy, or choose to be miserable." It's taken most of my life to work out how to make the choice to be happy and keep the wallowing to a minimum but I think about her a lot these days.

I also think about her when I read some of the posts on GN where people are coping with dreadful problems, but trying to stay cheery, and I think "My gran would like that poster".

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 19-Jan-21 16:04:02

We too are just getting on with it, hoping it will end soon, but as we can’t change it we will get through it, we’re quite stoical I think and know that we are better off than others.
But I don’t underestimate the fact that we don’t live in a tower block being a major factor. Not to be able to open a door and breathe the fresh air is a big plus whether you are financially ok or not.
I wish it was Spring though.....

EllanVannin Tue 19-Jan-21 16:14:12

Admit to being frustrated, who wouldn't, but like everything else that has occurred during my lifetime I'm accepting of these things but worry more for my family, although D is as resilient as myself.
Que Sera Sera.

JenniferEccles Tue 19-Jan-21 16:22:15

When you think about it, most of us were brought up by mothers who had lived through the war, with their menfolk away fighting and with no way of knowing from one day to the next if they were alive or not.

Then of course a lot of them were living in cities which had been heavily bombed, along with many other deprivations endured during that time.

Experiences like that are bound to build resilience aren’t they, and that was reflected in our upbringing.

NotSpaghetti Tue 19-Jan-21 16:31:35

Don't you think that maybe all of us came from families that just "got on with it"?

I can't even think of a family that didn't do this in my young days.

Even now, I don't know anyone who isn't just doing the best they can. I know people who are lonely and who miss having people to work alongside them. It's harder for some than others because of circumstances - I would not like to be locked-in with an abusive partner or in a house too small with a young family- or worse, with no food, and the family, and the abuse... - so I think the difference now is largely circumstances.

When I worked with women escaping abuse I often marveled at how strong they were in terrible complex situations with unbelievable oppression and still carrying the other ordinary pressures of every-day life.
People are coping with stress every day.

Alegrias1 Tue 19-Jan-21 16:32:57

Good point JE. Early on in this my mum said to me, "Well we'll just get through this like we've got through everything else".

She used to tell me stories of running home from school to hide under the kitchen table from the bombs that were falling, so I think resilience is baked in.

MaizieD Tue 19-Jan-21 16:38:17

Well, I'm just getting on with it, too. What else can you do?

Mind you, like others, I don't think I'd have coped so well in a block of flats with no outdoor space.

SueDonim Tue 19-Jan-21 16:41:54

I’m a bit ‘what can’t be cured must be endured’, although I’m hopeful the vaccine will provide a ‘cure’. My mother is pragmatic and stoical and I suppose that’s how I was raised. My husband also worked away a lot and we’ve moved a number of times. I soon learnt that you had to be your own helper, no one is coming to save you so you might as well just get on with it.

All my children seem to have the same attitude, they’re all pretty resilient. That’s not to say none of us doesn’t get frustrated and annoyed at things but we are fortunate enough to have all we need, so we count our blessings at the end of the day.

Greeneyedgirl Tue 19-Jan-21 16:47:05

My mother lived through the war, but she is and always has been, the most anxious and worried person, which had an effect on me as a child, as the eldest particularly.

She is still alive, despite her constant worries, but it has been a struggle for me to learn to deal with things differently, and I believe I have now achieved some understanding, self knowledge and coping mechanisms.

I don’t suppose she chose to be like she was, and it’s shown me that it’s not a moral weakness to cope better than others, but sometimes can be somewhat out of one’s control.

crazyH Tue 19-Jan-21 16:48:43

I haven’t made any life changes - My family have made the changes for me - they don’t visit (except my lovely 18 year old GS , who does my shopping), they don’t ask me over. COVID is their convenient excuse 😂just joking!!! - plenty of lovely videos of the toddlers and their activities and that’s lovely 😍

SueDonim Tue 19-Jan-21 17:11:23

I’m not so sure about that, Notspaghetti, about getting on with it in the past. My best friend at school, for the most part, grew up without her mother because she was repeatedly in and out of a ‘mental hospital’ as it was called then, due to a nervous breakdown. Even when she was discharged, she wasn’t permitted access to her four children. She would occasionally come to the railway station just to get a glimpse of my friend as we came home from school. It was so sad.

Another friend’s mother was hidden away from society, I suspect she was a victim of DV - I was terrified of her dad, he was an intimidating man.

My classmate died in a fire when she was 7yo - her mother was also a DV victim of a drunken, bullying man. The mother often had to leave the children alone while she worked to earn money for food. My friend’s nightie caught fire one day when she was caring for her younger brother and sister.

These women were stoical in some respects, I suppose, but it wasn’t a good way to be. sad

BlueBelle Tue 19-Jan-21 17:12:43

Yes like most on here I m a fairly stoical person and just think everything will pass and I regularly say we ll soon forget this ever happened most of my friends are the same I can only think of one who is quite a nervous wreck all the others are just ploughing on day by day
I m not liking it and I can’t wait for it all to be finished but I m just getting on getting on
My dad was a remarkably even tempered chap my mum a bit more fiery and a bit more fearful of illness but for the most part I take more after Dad I think

Jaxjacky Tue 19-Jan-21 17:13:35

After a health scare abroad three years ago I developed health anxiety, which I’ve had CBT for and developed some coping strategies. I’m very wary of Covid, I don’t think obsessive, but have changed some of my life, with fewer trips to shops and observing all the rules, it doesn’t invade my day and I’m lucky not to live on my own.

SueDonim Tue 19-Jan-21 17:24:38

I do have some younger friends who seem to be irrationally worried about CV. They don’t have any health issues or be at any particular risk and to me they seem to have it all out of proportion. That then makes me worry that I’m the one not taking it seriously! confused

Gagagran Tue 19-Jan-21 17:46:07

Well what an exciting day we have had!

Just eating breakfast when the phone went offering us two vaccination slots for 5pm tomorrow at a hub about 20 minutes drive away. Accepted gratefully even though we would have preferred the church down the road where vaccinations are going on 8am-8pm. Also 5pm is rush hour and it's dark but we decided we would cope!

Then eating lunch at 12.15 and the phone went again. This time offering us two slots at the church down the road if we could go NOW. So we abandoned our lunch and shot off down the road and got our vaccinations. All organised to a T- brilliant. Felt hugely grateful. Had to sit for 20 minutes after the jab to ensure no ill effects (none) then home to resume our lunch. Everyone helping was very cheerful and positive and kind and it was actually an uplifting experience.

Feel very lucky and just left to worry about DSiL who has covid and DD and DGS who have both been for a test today, having got "the cough". We'll know for sure tomorrow but I am pretty sure they will have positive results.

We will get through this I know. My Mum was on her own for 6 years in the war with four children under 11 whilst Dad was away in the army. Now that was hard.

Urmstongran Tue 19-Jan-21 18:13:57


Well, I'm just getting on with it, too. What else can you do?

Mind you, like others, I don't think I'd have coped so well in a block of flats with no outdoor space.

Exactly how we were in Spain last year - 9 weeks of not being allowed out at all, not even for any exercise. The police were on the road outside (main thoroughfare) checking compliance. Nine weeks in a tiny apartment. Looking back I don’t know how we stayed sane. I felt most for families with young children in the same situation. Everyone just has access to their on little balconies.

That was a properly serious lockdown.
(Did it do any good though?)

This time, here in the UK yes it’s called lockdown but exercise once a day is allowed, even encouraged. Coffee shops are open for takeaway drinks ‘on the go’ as we walk. Just had a chippy tea.

To be honest this is a doddle by comparison! It’s not forever. Bit boring at times (usually because of our weather) but we are grateful to be bored occasionally and not poorly with the virus.

PamelaJ1 Tue 19-Jan-21 19:05:08

Notspaghetti I agree that most of us probably had a fairly down to earth background.
Some posts though do indicate that quite a few of us are having a very hard time dealing with the situation at the moment. So maybe it’s just nature?

Cabbie21 Tue 19-Jan-21 19:25:48

I think I am pretty resilient, but as many others have said, it is nowhere near as hard for us as for some people. No immediate financial worries, no risk of losing jobs or trying to work from home with small children around, a warm house, garden, home comforts.
As someone who used have lots going on, I am surprised how I have adjusted to not doing much. Even so, I have created a framework for my week with a bit of routine.
I have also realised I don’t have many close friends, though lots of acquaintances. Nobody rings or texts me regularly, just once in a while. I am looking forward to getting out and about more when the time is right. One positive is having my daughter and family not far away and she texts me regularly and helps with shopping. Nothing to grumble about here.

So whilst I think my nature has something to do with it, and my parents had lots of hardships but just got on with it, So nurturers a feature, I am not sure that our circumstances are too difficult at all.

BBbevan Tue 19-Jan-21 19:37:19

Like many other posters I am very resilient, brought up just after the war. However lately I have been very weepy. Anything sets me off. Very unusual for me. No worries, DD near, DH for company and laughs. No idea why

Smileless2012 Tue 19-Jan-21 19:38:45

I think nature and nurture both play a part plus our life experiences. Not everyone agrees but I honestly think that what doesn't break you makes you stronger, which in our case is just as well.