Tips for not falling into despair with the pandemic

Every major crisis produces both a material and psychological impact on the population, and the coronavirus pandemic is no exception.

In this sense, many people notice that the situation is beyond them, and emotional imbalances related to feelings of hopelessness and anxiety appear.

Of course, feeling anxious and stressed out in such a context is not a bad thing or necessarily problematic, but a natural reaction to what happens when many things we took for granted cease to be so. But often this psychological state is part of the problem because it keeps us in a state of hopelessness that paralyzes us and prevents us from finding and implementing solutions. In this article, we will see what to do in these cases.

    How do the problems of despair in the face of the pandemic arise?

    The sources of stress and anxiety during coronavirus are numerous, but the following stand out:

    • Fear of losing a job or income • Fear of contagion • Fear of losing health or losing loved ones • Uncertainty about the social, political and economic transformation of a country • Discomfort with the mandatory measures applied to avoid contagion • Social isolation

    Among all these elements, the fact of not knowing what will happen (because the lack of information on the relevant issues related to crises is often interpreted from a pessimistic point of view), the stress of having to adapt to a more unfavorable economic reality and experiences of fear or loss generated by the effect of the virus itself. These are problems that no one had had a few months ago, and which force us to “position ourselves” both in our personal and in our professional life, making efforts to adapt to a very new reality. complex.

    Faced with the idea that in situations like these mistakes can be costly, it is easy for psychological rumination to appear, Which is the tendency to think of the same thing over and over again, even if it causes us discomfort. This phenomenon goes hand in hand with anxiety, which keeps us in an almost constant state of alert even though it doesn’t necessarily make us more effective at tackling our problems (in fact, it usually has the opposite effect, paralyzing us). . Indecision).

    What to do?

    The most effective and efficient way to deal with negative emotions resulting from the COVID-19 crisis is to go to the psychologistThis is possible even with mobility restrictions thanks to the online video call therapy format. However, beyond psychotherapy, there are also a number of habits and little routines that you can incorporate into your daily routine to prevent or alleviate anxiety issues associated with the pandemic. These are the most important.

    1. Set up a calendar and print it

    Have a schedule that includes the main blocks of activities for each day of the week it is very important to structure your habits and to make good time management.

    In addition, it is recommended that you do not just keep it on a computer, but print it one or more times so that it can be placed in visible places in your home or workplace. This will remind you of what to do and also help you keep your short and medium term goals in mind, so that you will focus more on them.

      2. Establish a separation between work and private life

      Knowing how to clearly define the times and places to devote to work and those composed of free time and domestic and family responsibilities is essential to maintain a good emotional balance.

      The key idea from the previous section, having a timeline, helps a lot with this, but it is not enough. We need to be actively involved to prevent professional dynamics from “creeping” into the hours of the day that we should be devoting to other things. Otherwise, you will be more exposed to obsessive thoughts related to your job.

      3. Practice mindfulness

      Mindfulness exercises help ward off anxiety and intrusive thoughts and are very easy to learn. You can incorporate these practices into your daily life both as a break from your work day and before going to bed.For example, getting yourself into calm, goal-oriented states at times of the day when staying in a state of paralysis and looping thinking might give you more trouble.

      4. Exercise at moderate intensity to disconnect

      Regular exercise sessions will not only help you stay in shape, but will also make you more resistant to anxiety and help release tension. It is best to schedule at least two aerobic exercise sessions per week, between 40 and 60 minutes.

      5. Practice relaxation techniques before going to bed.

      these techniques they will help you reach the mantle by being disconnected from any recurring thoughts that often lead you to a state of anxiety or worry. For example, you can spend about 5-10 minutes in controlled diaphragmatic breathing or progressive Jacobson muscle relaxation.

      6. Establish bedtime rituals

      It is very important to sleep well and to spend enough hoursAnd that is why it is best to adopt habits that do not expose us to the temptation of states “a few more minutes” doing something else when it comes to going to bed and turning off the lights.

      Therefore, keep in mind that before this part of your day you should have about 20 or 30 minutes of preparation in which you will perform actions with a single goal to get you to bed with everything. done: brush your teeth, change the sheets. , turn off the computer, close the patio door, etc. Of course, it is recommended that these activities do not include those associated with your working life, because if you don’t, you will probably start thinking about work at the least suitable time for it.

      7. Keep your calendar up to date

      It is important that you write down in your diary all those tasks which, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, are part of your responsibilities.

      From now on, you will always be clear on your goals for the next few hours. Keep in mind that thinking mainly about what you can and / or need to do in the short term will help you not to fall into the despair of only thinking about the big tasks to be accomplished in the medium and long term, which can help you cripple because of the intimidating power of these responsibilities taken as a whole. You have to try to “break” them into small objects to get there without haste but without pause.

      Would you like to benefit from professional psychological assistance?

      If you are going through difficult times and find it difficult to maintain a good emotional balance, contact our team of psychotherapy professionals.

      Fr Psychology of Cribecca we work with people of all ages through both individual patient psychotherapy and couples and family therapy, as well as neuropsychology. You can get our help in our psychology center located in Seville or through our online therapy service.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Dickson, K .; Ciesla, JA; Reilly, LC (2011). “Rumination, Worry, Cognitive Avoidance, and Behavior Avoidance: A Review of Temporal Effects.” Behavioral therapy. 43 (3): 937-959.
      • Kasper, S .; Boer, JA and Sitsen, JMA (2003). Handbook of Depression and Anxiety (2nd ed.). New York: M. Dekker.
      • Kendler, KS (2004). Major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. TO CONCENTRATE. 2 (3): pages 416-425.
      • Papageorgiou, C .; Wells, A. (2001). Metacognitive beliefs about rumination in recurrent major depressions. Cognitive and behavioral practice, 8 (2): p. 160-164.
      • Persson, PB and Zakrisson, A. (2016). Stress. Acta Physiologica, 216 (2): p. 149 – 152.
      • Settipani, California; Kendall, PC (2013). Social Functioning in Youth with Anxiety Disorders: Association with Severity of Anxiety and Outcomes of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Child psychiatry and human development, 44 (1): pages 1-18.
      • Sylvers, P .; Lilienfeld, SO; LaPrairie, JL (2011). Differences between fear and anxiety about traits: implications for psychopathology. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 31 (1): pp. 122-137.

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