Covid-19 & Mental Health: What should I do?
COVID-19 has brought on a multitude of challenges that have swept across the world. Ranging from complete lockdown to unemployment, the problems continue rise. It seems impossible to hope for an end without a vaccine in sight. With increasing uncertainty, restrictions on daily life can have an effect on the mental well-being of those in isolation. As a sequel to the former article detailing the challenges individuals and the mental health care system face, the current will address recommendations individuals can attempt to relieve any stress they experience.
As a compilation of two interviews from clinical psychologists located in Spain and Sweden, both have consensus on the recommended techniques.
What are the techniques?
Techniques to improve mental health can appear simple, but without consistency and discipline, will fail. It was best recommended to attempt reinforcement techniques, both internal and external. Reinforcement techniques can strengthen future behavior by conditioning certain actions with positive reward. External reinforcement can be done through praise from others or rewarding productivity within intervals through breaks, snacks, etc. Internal reinforcement can be the same, but rather self-praise and a reminder of the values you want to uphold.
Scheduling a routine can also maintain a sense of stability. Planned waking, eating, sleeping, exercising can promote structure and increase determination to maintain this structure. It does not allow for an open and endless day without activities to pursue. When scheduling routines, it is worthy to balance the schedule with pleasure activities and breathing space.
Keeping in contact with family, friends, and other loved ones can also enhance well-being. Being in a period of physical distancing, it means being separated from a support system. Through social media and calling, one can still remain in contact with these people and feel loved and cared for. It can also help to remind yourself of the fact that everyone is experiencing the same adversities.
The challenges we face are difficult to overcome without the right mentality and support system. Persistence and discipline are required for these techniques to be successful. Seek help if needed but remind yourself that you are not alone, we are in this together.
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