by José Gisbert Jorda, Valora Prevención
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lifestyle, and has brought alteration of our routines, economic uncertainty and social isolation. The concern of being infected, how long the pandemic will last and the excess of information, fake news and fear can influence the mood and emotional state of people. Emotional tranquility is a defense measure for our body.
At Valora Prevención we are conducting initiatives such as training on Covid-19, advising client companies on what are the best measures to be implemented following all legal requirements and performing Covid screening tests.
All organisations and individuals related to the field of mental health (companies, OSH practioners, health departments) assume that organisations are living an extraordinary situation with exceptional measures that will be implemented, adapting to new situations. This is going to have some major repercussions on people’s mental health. Fear and uncertainty are two of the most important emotions that we must learn to manage.
Fear, uncertainty and their consequences
Fear is an emotion that becomes greater than it should due to uncertainty, which appears in moments when we are faced with situations that we do not know. But fear is also a necessary emotion that all human beings have, a necessary tool to be safe and to avoid risky behaviors.
When levels of uncertainty grow (as it is happening to us right now), fear causes situations of blockage in which the necessary tools will not work to face our daily lives on a personal and professional level. Uncertainty in this period is huge, in part because no professional (health, doctor or psychologist) can accurately answer how long this situation will last or what the exact consequences are.
This generates global uncertainty, and in some people a feeling of fear, so we must offer tools to control these situations.
Tips for better dealing with the emotional impact of Covid-19
In order to manage the emotional impact of the pandemic, we must follow some guidelines to promote optimal psychological coping in our daily life, keeping emotions under control and properly managing situations that may cause stress and anxiety.
- Be well informed
- Consult only official or verified information channels;
- Avoid overinformation.
- Recognise your emotions:
- Identify your emotions and try not to feed them in a negative way. Sharing them with close people will reduce tensions;
- Focus on positive emotions. Set goals and plan things that excite you for when the pandemic is over;
- Care especially your mood, what you say and how you say it.
- Create a routine:
- Organize activities daily or weekly;
- Always get up at the same time;
- Continue with your basic hygiene habits: dress, do not stay in pijama;
- If you are working or studying at home, try to establish a routinarie schedule and space;
- Respect different spaces and times, as well as specific needs.
- Take care of yourself:
- Practice physical exercise, adjusted to your physical condition;
- Keep a balanced diet;
- Sleep 6 or 7 hours a day.
- Try to talk about other topics apart from Covid-19.
- Maintain social contact:
- Set a limited time to talk on the phone and socialise “virtually” with your family, friends and workmates, especially with older people;
- Use video calls whenever possible to encourage contact and support peace of mind: using elements such as tone of voice, gestures, expressions and eyes can help us gain closeness and proximity with others.