Mental health in the times of pandemic

Mental health in the times of pandemic

Human beings have personal resources to protect themselves from adversity and, as an adaptation strategy, they involve thoughts, emotions, and actions to accommodate new situations (pleasant, threatening, unforeseen, etc.). The mind devises amazing ways to explain and evaluate situations.

In general, something that is interpreted as dangerous to life or to psychological stability is perceived as “a threatening event”, in the face of which a feeling of lack of internal resources can be experienced to deal with it successfully.

News that is apparently not important acquires another relevance when it is commented again and expanded; if it is something that does not affect the integrity of the human being or some other aspect of life, it has a tendency not to be important. But if the information continues to be presented, it is permanently established in people’s knowledge, accentuated by involving situations of suffering or adversity.

Some of the strategies that can be used tocope with these times of pandemic are briefly described below:

Mental health

Talk about it

it is common to feel the need to comment on what you think or feel as a result of the pandemic, the economic crisis and the social repercussions. Concerns are exposed, positive and negative things are discussed. Talking produces a psychological effect called catharsis, which consists in the elaboration of emotional tensions through the verbalization of tragic situations.

Think about what you are thinking about

All people have the ability to think about what they are thinking and thus can control mental processes. This is an innate ability of human beings and is called metacognition. If the person thinks that his grandmother will die in the pandemic, this is a catastrophic, non-adaptive and stress-generating thought, especially if all the recommended measures are being taken so that she does not become infected. This person has the ability to analyze thinking and choose to relate to it but in a different way, opting for alternatives that involve less anxiety and lead to more effective behaviors. You must permanently review what you think, measure its magnitude and give reason; In this way, adversity is prevented from overvaluing distressingly and can be evaluated in its concrete and fair measure.

Identify and accept what you are feeling

Although distressing emotions arise spontaneously in threatening situations, such as those that can be experienced in this pandemic, recognizing them allows them to be regulated. In addition to being able to breathe with awareness (pay attention and describe the breath), use meditation techniques, listen to calming music, talk with friends and family, it is important to try to verify the facts (describe them without the presence of value judgments) to determine if the emotion that is experienced is adjusted to the situation or not. The more the events can be objectively described, the less emotional overflow will be experienced.

September 2021
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