Start of the Unknown
At the end of 2019 we started to hear some news about a new virus abroad. For a lot of people it looked like fictive news. Some folks go straight in conspirasie theories and till now do not believe in this virus with was named – COVID – 19. At the moment, each of us knows more or less about this virus. We know how it spreads, we also know how to diagnose it, but did we know what mark the side effects leave on our psyche?
Coronavirus: a threat not only to our body but also to the psyche
Health experts say quarantine marks will last for a long time. It has to do not only with economics or finance, but also with our emotional health. How does quarantine affect the psychological state?
Quarantine caused by the Covid-19 virus is neither the first nor the last. The researchers analyzed the consequences of previous quarantines and found that even a week spent in solitary confinement significantly crosses the psyche. The break caused by this Coronavirus is much longer. Naturally, the consequences will be greater and the “cleansing” of them will take longer. For example, British researchers have found that psychological effects (depressive episodes, mood swings, emotional instability, sleep disturbances, etc.) can be felt even years after the end of a pandemic.
Who has the hardest time surviving quarantine?
Those who have financial responsibilities and are currently experiencing a financial crisis whose loved ones are sick are experiencing the hardest. And those who find it harder to adapt to change.
Negative effects on psychics due to quarantine
- Strong personal ties are essential for survival;
- Social isolation is a strong factor in predicting the risk of death;
- Inadequate social relationships affect memory, hormone homeostasis, brain white and gray matter health, resistance to physical and mental illness;
- The feeling of loneliness spreads rapidly through social networks, creating a distorted perception of the social situation. Loneliness increases the risk of death and, among older people, dementia.
How to protect your psyche from the negative effects of quarantine
- Don’t raise expectations – let’s say I read all my books through quarantine. No need to do that. It is better to maintain the same or as similar a routine as before quarantine.
- Lots of laughter
- Eat delicious
- Pamper yourself (necessary !!!)
- Read books that didn’t have time
- Spend time with people close to you and loved ones, and if it is not possible to do it realistically – communicate remotely
- It is helpful to practice a gratitude technique
- Change the time you spend watching TV or reading articles about the virus to productive time outdoors, keeping a safe distance from others
- Don’t give in to the negative
- Strengthen your psychological immunity.
Limit the flow of news to one or two checks per day.
If a person notices that it is becoming extremely difficult for them to cope with daily activities due to the stress they are experiencing, the first thing to do is not to deny their feelings and remember that it is perfectly normal to experience emotional reactions due to unexpected, unforeseen and threatening events. Try to stay in touch through virtual channels with loved ones, as social support is one of the main and most helpful protective factors. Create a daily routine and follow it. Limit the flow of news to one or two checks per day. Restrict viewing, reading, or listening to news and stories from information sources that contain both unreliable and unverified information, such as Facebook or other social networks. They can increase unfounded fear and anxiety.
At this point, it is extremely important to monitor your emotional state and turn to professionals if you feel deteriorating. Many psychologists currently provide remote assistance, with some help centers offering free initial counseling, such as Crisis Management Centers. Specialists are currently really trying to make every effort to ensure that people receive accessible and uninterrupted psychological help – it is important to contact them in a timely manner.
Try to maintain a positive outlook on your life no matter how this pandemic has changed it. Obviously, the world will win this war with the virus, so it is likely that you will be able to return to your beloved world very soon.