Mental health in times of pandemic: how to limit the fallout

For SHA Wellness Clinic
|
Thursday July 28th, 2022
Health & Beauty
Maintaining emotional balance in the midst of a global health crisis can be a real challenge. Here’s how to do it.

It’s been almost two and a half years since the global health crisis caused by the outbreak of Covid-19 and there is still no end in sight, at least not in the short term. The waves of infection continue unabated (we’re now in our seventh) and the lack of a single approach when it comes to adopting the best measures to beat the pandemic has only increased confusion among a large swath of the population. Society has adapted as best it can over these past years to a completely unprecedented scenario for which no one was prepared. But months of living daily with negative emotions like anxiety, fear, uncertainty, stress and sadness have taken their toll on mental health.

As Cinthya Molina, psychologist at SHA Wellness Clinic, explains, “the crisis is dragging on so long that it has caused what’s called pandemic fatigue, which is the tiredness and lack of motivation we feel in response to a prolonged situation which, at first, we didn’t think would last so long. Social isolation, the loss of friends and family, job and economic instability and facing one’s own mortality are having a major impact on people’s state of mind. Adapting to the new reality as quickly as possible is key to limiting the impact the pandemic is having on mental health”. To speed up this process, Cinthya recommends:

 

  1. Limiting the consumption of information about the pandemic.

It is one thing to be informed, which is both necessary and recommended, and quite another to spend all day checking the latest news about the coronavirus. As the World Health Organization has confirmed, the health crisis has created an infodemic, that is, a massive increase in Covid-related information that often sends contradictory messages. Excessively consuming information increases confusion, worry and hopelessness and makes people more gloomy and irritable, which directly affects mental health.

 

  1. Learning to manage negative emotions

Trying to suppress negative emotions is a mistake. Uncertainty, fear, anger, mistrust and Covid itself are part of life and it’s impossible to get rid of them. Which means that it’s better to learn how to accept, manage and deal with these unpleasant experiences than to invest time and energy in fighting them. This is how you keep them from becoming obstacles in your path. Focusing on what you can control, enjoying leisure time with family and friends, helping others and making short-term plans will give you peace of mind.

 

  1. Practicing mindfulness

Since the pandemic began, many have rightly sought emotional balance in disciplines that combine caring for the body with caring for the mind. Meditation, yoga and breathing control techniques help bring your focus to the present moment, making you aware of the here and now, promoting relaxation, improving restful sleep, minimising stress, soothing anxiety and boosting mental clarity.

 

  1. Leading a healthy lifestyle

Everything in the human body is interconnected and interrelated. Therefore, good mental health depends on many other factors beyond managing feelings. A healthy and balanced diet, based mainly on seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and seaweed, regular moderate exercise and good sleep hygiene are essential for keeping the body in optimal physical condition, a strong immune system and a pandemic-proof emotional balance.

 

To learn more about the cognitive sequelae of Covid-19, Click here

SHA MAGAZINE

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