Pandemic Mental Health
Stay Healthy – Stay You
We’ve all heard how the pandemic has been affecting mental health; from lockdowns, to isolation, to financial problems, to fear and uncertainty. It’s easy to see how levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (SAD), have all risen sharply. In the long-term, as a society, it’s impossible to suggest these chronic negative feelings have not affected our behaviour and judgements. Psychologists note that, throughout history, when a society is subjected to enough fear, negative information, anxiety and stress, it will descend into mass psychosis. It then becomes overly emotional and irrational, judgements and actions are made that would have previously been unthinkable. Worst of all, when this happens, societies are often unaware they are suffering from this mental illness.
Look after you
- Fortunately, on an individual basis, there is much you can do to keep yourself healthy, and this
- starts by shielding yourself from the stress, anxiety and depression caused by the pandemic:
- Learn to relax – this can often be achieved by meditation
- Enjoy yourself – make time to do things that you find fun or interesting, particularly with nature
- Laugh – turn off the news and switch to comedies or bad jokes!
- Be kind – kindness is not a weakness, and being kind to others increases self-esteem and improves mood
Be in the know – know that, while the Covid-19 advertising campaign often contains good advice, it was agreed by SAGE that fear would be needed to encourage the population to conform, and that this psychological tactic was intentionally put in place
We should all remember the chronic stress and anxiety we have been under for some time and recognise this has the potential to affect our judgements and actions. Reflecting on our behaviour and comparing it with our pre-pandemic behaviour is a good way to ensure balanced thoughts and reduce stress. We may want to ask ourselves:
Before the Pandemic….
- …would I have thought that?
- …would I have said those things?
- …would I have agreed with that?
Whatever the answer is, was it driven by rational and informed thought or was it driven by chronic fear and anxiety? Give it some thought and you will know.