How Can I Protect My Mental Health During This Pandemic
Updated: Jan 15, 2021
Disclaimer: This blog post is proudly sponsored by Mindvalley, but all opinions are my own. Mindvalley is the largest online personal growth platform in the world. Choose from hundreds of personal growth programs and transformative content taught by brilliant minds, with results that stick. Mindvalley's mission is to create personal transformation that raises human consciousness. As a Mindvalley affiliate, we may receive compensation, if you purchase products or services through the links provided, at no extra cost to you. This helps support the running of the blog.
It was in early January that we first began to hear the whispers of what was to come, the first time the word Coronavirus on the news, but few could ever imagine what was to come, and how our entire world would change in a few months.
Despite the warnings and news from China, few could have predicted how we would find ourselves month on; the entire world immersed in a pandemic. Not a single corner of our globe spared, the worst pandemic in for a century. As of mid-March, the state of alarm decreed by the world governments, scrambling to halt the sheer force of this outbreak, trying to save as many lives as possible, has forced us to remain confined to our homes, indefinitely.
How Has The Quarantine Affected Us Psychologically?
Without a doubt, the current health crisis and the subsequent economic crisis that have followed have been touted as the most important issues in this pandemic.
However, the psychological impact on people who have been confined to their homes every day must not be forgotten.
There are certain emotions that we've all felt at one time or another in this pandemic: fear, uncertainty, helplessness, sadness, boredom, laziness, nervousness or frustration. All of them, completely normal and expected reactions at this crazy and unprecedented time. So don't beat yourself up if you've felt some, or all of these at any one time. Things will get better, I promise.
People infected by the coronavirus, with mild symptoms, who must remain isolated from their loved ones, family, partners and friends, experience, in addition to physical discomfort, other additional emotions. Loneliness becomes an additional burden to the infected. But you don't have to go through it all alone, although not the same, you can use technology to bridge the loneliness, video call your family and friends, have online dates with your partner, keep engaged by learning a new skill, start that business you've always wanted to, or write that book you've been promising yourself you would but could never find the time. This virus with all its death and destruction and desolation has at the very least brought a tiny silver lining, and that is freeing up our time like never before - so let's use it!
The Pandemic Of Depression
For some of us, the quarantine can lead to the worsening of states of our mental health: depression, anxiety, insomnia, lack of motivation, obsessions, fears or eating problems, all seem to be harder to deal with since we don't have the comfort and sometimes even distraction of routine, of normality. But just because you can't 'go' to get help, you can still get help, reach out to your doctor, or therapist if you have one.
Also, don't get your news about the pandemic from unreliable sources, they will fill you with fear and speculation and fuel anxiety, depression and worsen your mental health state. Get your news from reliable sources that will give you a sense of control. Finally, do the things yoy enjoy, when you feel low, sad, or anxious, you may feel like doing nothing, but if at that time you muster the energy and focus on a hobby, learning something new, or simply doing something relaxing like running a hot bath, you will feel all the better for it.
How To Manage Stress During A Pandemic?
The book The Psychology of Pandemics by Steven Taylor (2019) includes the international recommendations given by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), as well as some practical advice to help better manage stress levels, never has this been as relevant as today. Here are a few tips:
Learn how to stay safe. Get information from reliable sources and follow the instructions. We are constantly being bombarded with information through news and social media. This continuous flow of information is a mix of the most absurd hoaxes and rumors, and ludicrous wonder treatments (looking at you Trump), to information that is true and reliable. This amalgamation of truth and falsehood. All of this contributes to the feeling of constant fear and confusion of what's real and what's not. It is important to select reliable information from sources with extensive knowledge on the subject.
Maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Establish an adequate rhythm of life, with a healthy diet, hygiene, exercise and good sleep habits. Avoid alcohol, excess caffeinated beverages, and drug use. Establish a routine. Organize the activities that you have in mind to carry out throughout the day and set a schedule to carry them out, from working at home to cooking, reading, playing sports as much as possible and getting in touch with the people you want.
Stay connected. Use social media to speak to your family and friends, although set your limits on your use of the internet and social networks, as too much can mess with our mental health. Fortunately, we have thousands of options to continue talking to our loved ones, so we're never really alone.
We Are In This Together!
Finally, remember we are in this together, never before has the entire world faces something like this, all going through the same thing that you are, the highs and lows, shared across all continents, all races, all religions and all ages, and although incredibly scary, this feeling of togetherness gives me great strength and hope when I am at my lowest.
This blog post is proudly sponsored by Mindvalley, but all opinions are my own. Mindvalley is the largest online personal growth platform in the world. Choose from hundreds of personal growth programs and transformative content taught by brilliant minds, with results that stick. Mindvalley's mission is to create personal transformation that raises human consciousness. As a Mindvalley affiliate, we may receive compensation, if you purchase products or services through the links provided, at no extra cost to you. This helps support the running of the blog.