Coronavirus And Mental Health

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, many employees are now working from home. Thus, they need to adapt to this new work reality and deal with social isolation, which can leave many to feel lonely. A 2017 study by Julianne Holt-Lunstad showed that “loneliness and social isolation can be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” Therefore, during such hard times, protecting your mental health during Coronavirus is essential.

Also, we are being overwhelmed on all sides with information and uncertainties about the new disease, COVID-19. Everything combined can make employees feel stressed/anxious, and studies such asthe one conducted by the Chinese Psychology Society during the coronavirus outbreak in China showed that 42.6% of respondents suffered from anxiety related to the disease.

Therefore, protecting your mental health and adopting healthy habits is now more crucial than ever. For instance, limiting the time spent reading about the disease and reading only articles from reliable sources, is a way to make us less anxious. A good source of information about coronavirus is the World Health Organization website.

Having a realistic and growth mindset about the coronavirus outbreak is key. We have to remind ourselves that the situation is temporary and focus on the things we can control rather than the ones we cannot. For example, we can control the behaviours we can adopt to prevent the disease, such as washing our hands, avoiding touching our face, leaving the house only for the essentials, etc. We should adopt a “calm yet cautious” attitude.

Moreover, it is incredibly important that during this time of crisis, people stay connected to their family, friends, work colleagues, bosses. This is an effective way to increase social/human interactions and ways of distraction. We should also take advantage of this time to adopt healthy habits (like healthy sleep habits, healthy diet, etc), as it can be very useful to improve ourselves and adopt healthier lifestyles

Besides this, what can help people fight monotony and maintain good mental health are hobbies.We must try to do different and innovative things every day, to fight monotony. For instance, reading a book, watching movies, learning a new language, discovering new talents like drawing, painting or writing, joining online clubs, having an exercise routine, etc. Google and some museums have even partnered to allow us to see their art pieces online. You can have a look here.

In addition, having a routine can help. Deborah Serani Psychology professor at Adelphi University stated,“Studies in resiliency during traumatic events encourage keeping a routine to your day.”Therefore, we must schedule daily activities and understand how we can manage time properly.

All things considered,companies are also responsible for helping employees cope with their mental health. They should be a helping hand to their workforce and increase awareness of mental health issues, by encouraging conversations about their concerns, doing individual meetings and encouraging teamwork between departments.Promoting a corporate culture that supports and strengthens mental health is fundamental. Having mentally healthy employees in time of crisis can be the key to overcome it. If you want to learn how to effectively manoeuvre through remote work, read this article.

However, if one feels the pressure and stress are too much, seeking professional help can be vital to overcome these difficult times and remain mentally stable. Professionals in the field can still give appointments by videoconference. Some platforms are even allowing people to communicate with professionals through electronic messages.

References:

  • 9 Practices To Help Maintain Mental Health During The Coronavirus Lockdown, March 2020, Forbes
  • How To Protect Your Mental Health During The Coronavirus Pandemic, According To Psychologists, March 2020, Forbes
  • How to Create a Company Culture That Supports Mental Health and Thrives as a Result, January 2020, Inc.
  • Coronavirus: How to protect your mental health, March 2020, BBC