Since the beginning of 2020, our life, our way of working, living and being together has radically changed. The brutality with which the coronavirus hits our day to day and the uncertainty it generates is not easy for anyone. Therefore, we must not stop taking care of our mental health and resort to everything that can help us cope with this situation.
In the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions adopted to stop it are our daily reality until further notice. Although with the aim of protecting ourselves and others, these measures worsen anxiety disorders, sleep disorders and depressive states in part of the population.
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Sudden isolation, physical and social distancing, daily uncertainty, fear of the virus and the continuous flow of disturbing information represent a difficult cocktail for our mental health to absorb.
How can you take care of your mental health during the pandemic?
This situation we live in is as unprecedented as it is overwhelming. It is normal to feel stressed, lonely, sad, or anxious. Are you feeling discouraged? In anger? Overwhelmed? Cry watching the news? Yes, it can happen. We have the right to react irrationally or emotionally at times and should not be blamed or stigmatized for doing so.
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In the midst of this emotional and media hurricane that we are experiencing, it is more essential than ever to think about your mental health. Here are some tips that can help you cope with this situation.
Stay informed without feeling overwhelmed
- Look for reliable information from official sources. Focus on facts and prevention information that can help you reduce your fears.
- But don’t get overwhelmed for the news: check the news once or twice a day (the news for example), and avoid continuous sources of information. It also limits social media or WhatsApp groups full of fake news that fuel anxiety.
Keep a routine, get moving, have fun
- Keep a routine: Maintain a stable rhythm of life, get up and go to bed at set times to ensure sufficient sleep, eat 3 healthy meals a day, separate work and family time as much as possible, etc.
- Get some fresh air: a balcony, a garden, an interior patio, a tour of the neighborhood (respecting distances), or even, if you still can, a walk through the countryside or through the forest. Nature is an important factor in mental well-being.
- Move: our physical and mental health are closely linked and physical exercise is one of the keys to mental well-being. If you can, go out and take a few steps, but if not, put on some music and dance!
- Off-screen entertainment: listening to music, reading a novel, keeping a journal, listening to podcasts, sewing, baking, drawing… All those things that we don’t usually have time for due to our busy lives.
Keep in touch
- stay in contactAlthough we are forced to limit our contacts, it is about staying connected with our loved ones. It is not necessary that you talk only about the health crisis, you can talk about everything, exchange reading tips, series, talk about children …
- But here too, moderate : 15 phone calls a day, 200 messages, it can be overwhelming. Or depressing when all of a sudden your notifications go dry. Limit the conversations that distress us and focus on the task we had started, it allows us to get back on track in life a little.
Express your emotions, talk about them, and trust yourself
- Speak up if you are not feeling well : seek support, show emotions so as not to ruminate alone on everything. If you can’t find anyone to trust, the health tarot can help you.
- Try to lock yourself in pessimismWhen we are isolated, we have a lot of time to think, which can sometimes lead to a negative self-esteem spiral.
- Try to be positiveRemember that epidemics, like everything else, have an end, that many, many people have already recovered and that thousands more, including us, will also move forward. Let us think of the health workers and all the professionals with gratitude and admiration, thanking their work and the means made available to us.
- Listen and trust each other– In times of stress, pay attention to our own needs and feelings. Know what makes us good and do it.
- Show solidarity: Supporting other people in difficulty can be beneficial for both the person receiving help and the person providing it. Taking news from our close neighbors, learning about solidarity initiatives in our neighborhood, you are busy and you feel good.