Worrying or thinking too much is common at a time like this. For example, stressful events that happened at work might replay in your mind like pictures, or you may imagine difficult scenarios that could happen in the future. One strategy for coping with worries and anxieties like these is to use “distraction” techniques. Distraction has been recommended by a number of online resources for frontline healthcare staff and for the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So what makes a good distraction? We suggest using specific activities that actively help focus your attention elsewhere to give yourself a mental break e.g. via certain puzzles or computer games. One activity that you can use as a distraction technique is to play the computer game Tetris®. When the Tetris game is played in a particular way (using mental rotation and for sufficient time), it can help to shift your focus away from worries, images and memories in your mind, and instead focus on the visual nature of the game. Tetris is an absorbing game. This can be helpful to give you a mental break after a long or difficult day.
DISTRACTOR helps teach you how to play the game in a useful way and monitors your progress such as improvements in anxiety levels.
P1vital Products is a leading digital health company working with world leading neuroscientists, psychiatrists and psychologists to improve mental health and wellbeing. Its digital solution, I‑spero®, has been developed out of a multi-million-pound research program involving over 900 patients and 50 GPs from around Europe. I‑spero® is currently deployed in primary care in England to diagnose and monitor response to treatment for common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. DISTRACTOR is the latest addition to its capability and is our first contribution to the COVID-19 crisis.