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HEALTH | 18.03.2020

Coronavirus and your emotional health

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In many countries, people are currently required to stay at home to combat and minimize the spread of coronavirus. Taking care of our physical health by following the recommendations of the health authorities is very important, but so is looking after our emotional health.

Isolation can cause a range of negative emotions, like feeling anxious or agitated, fixating on the disease, being fearful of catching it and so on. All of this affects our concentration, our work and our ability to perform daily tasks.

Advice provided by the Official College of Psychologists in Madrid can help us cope with this situation and take care of our emotional health and well-being. Here is a sample:

  • Identify thoughts causing you discomfort and try to eliminate them. Thinking constantly about the disease can create symptoms that exacerbate your emotional distress. Rationalize and manage your thoughts calmly.
  • If you need to, share your situation with those closest to you. They can help and support you through this time, but make sure you aren’t talking about it all the time.
  • If you have the disease, don’t be pessimistic. Don’t get caught up in the worst-case scenario. The reality is that most people are recovering. If you’re afraid, think about your past experiences. How many illnesses have you recovered from before? Quite a few, no doubt. Positive thoughts.
  • If you are advised to self-isolate, it can be difficult but it’s only a matter of time. The isolation and protection will end and everything will return to normal. Every day that passes is one less day to wait for normality to return. Think about that. Try to adapt to this change. Embrace it.
  • You can help, too. Help your family and friends stay calm and adapt their thinking to each situation.
  • Be realistic with your loved ones about the current situation. Be honest. Explain the reality clearly and concisely. Talking to an elderly person is different than talking to a child, but both will understand you if you adapt your language to their level of understanding.
  • Build trust and get organized with those you live with using routines and schedules. Now there is time for everything: for working, playing, reading, etc. But you have to be flexible, particularly with children and the elderly, who need attention in times like these.
  • Only listen to trusted sources. Don’t spread rumors and fake news. This feeds your fears and those of others.
  • Don’t forget to follow the hygiene and prevention habits recommended by the health authorities. This stops the virus from spreading.

Keeping yourself busy will help you deal with the situation and help those close to you. It’s important to create a daily routine and use this time to do the things you like and that you usually don’t have time for. How many books have you left unread for lack of time? What about that movie you wanted to watch? Didn’t you say you’d like to take up drawing? Well, now you can and much more.

Take care of your emotional health. It’s important.