Since the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the new Coronavirus a pandemic, millions of people worldwide have had to deal with challenging feelings such as anguish, fear and uncertainty. Let’s start reading!
With the social isolation recommended to contain the spread of the virus, this whirlwind of emotions ends up intensifying.
Today, many people live as temporary inmates, even working remotely. They have been confined to their homes for days, order food and other delivery services, keep in touch with family and friends at a distance and even exercise indoors.
And it is precisely this change in routine, combined with the uncertainty of the current scenario and confinement, that can disrupt mental health, giving rise to stress, anxiety and insomnia.
It is clear that these issues that affect mental health and that worsen in times of crisis, do not come from today. According to a survey, nine out of ten individuals show symptoms of anxiety at work, with 47% of them suffering from some level of depression, which is one of the main causes.
In addition, according to the ISMA – International Stress Management Association, 72% of individuals have some burnout sequel, whether at a light, intermediate or high level.
It is not surprising, then, that before Covid19 these feelings are even more latent. A situation like this of uncertainty and loss of freedom can be an additional factor in the development of these feelings.
To avoid this, it is always important to be in contact with people with whom you can share your concerns and discomforts, and keep those activities that you know are good for you and keep you in balance.
Finding ways to contain anxiety can not only help to maintain mental health, but also allows you to be able to act with focus, discernment and creativity in the daily life of the home office.
The most important guidance is to observe and notice any change in your functioning that is leaving you with predominantly negative thoughts, causing changes in sleep, food, relationships, and paralyzing activities.
More than ever, we need to focus on what is within our control. Although the future looks more uncertain now, it has, in fact, always been uncertain. And the exercise of the here and now has never been more essential.
Here we have brought some practical and simple tips to stimulate the development of important behavioral skills in this moment of tension and uncertainty.
1. Maintain A Routine
It may seem simple, but routine is a way for you to protect your mental organization. Therefore, establish work schedules, breaks, meals and do not forget to create moments of leisure and rest, making the brain understand that, despite the isolation, you have tasks to complete.
Each one responds in a very particular and individual way in these situations, so it is important for us to observe ourselves and see what is valid for our reality, for our family and for our team.
It is clear that, in the case of employees who have children and adolescents at home, adaptations and flexibility are necessary for eventual changes in the schedule.
Still, you can focus on simple things, like dressing up, having a place in the house for work and organizing the daily tasks so you can prepare for that workday.
2. Produce, But Know When To Stop
The work from home scenario requires dedication from professionals, as it is often a new dynamic and requires certain adaptations.
Be careful, however, not to exceed your limits when working from home, which also increases tiredness and can cause you to enter a state of stress.
That is why, in fact, it is so important to reserve moments for leisure or to study. Several colleges and educational institutions opened free courses to the public during the quarantine period, as is the case.
In the first, there are career improvement courses, while the second and third focus more on classes to develop varied talents and expand knowledge.
3. Beware Of Excess Information
In times of pandemic it is normal for you to be bombarded by news about the direction of the disease’s progress, but be careful, as rumors and speculation can fuel anxiety.
Having access to quality and credible information is essential at this time, even making your workflow better, as it helps you feel more in control.
Excessive news and information can also be a trigger for anxiety, so choose only one or two times a day to get information and only through secure sources.
Go straight through the shares on WhatsApp, silence groups, close news tabs and turn off the television if necessary.
4. Don’t Isolate Yourself Emotionally
Although you are far from everything and everyone, it is important to maintain social relationships in some way. Remember that the human being is a social creature, so being lonely can aggravate anxiety and stress.
Whenever you can, schedule virtual meetings with your co-workers or clients, as well as meetings with friends and family at leisure.
In cases of mild anxiety, a good conversation with the one you love is already helpful. However, if you find that the feelings of fear, shortness of breath, insomnia, thoughts of constant tension and irritability do not pass, do not hesitate to seek psychotherapeutic support.
You can also call your doctor when stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
4. Be Careful With Your Body
Take a deep breath, meditate, eat healthy and balanced meals, exercise regularly inside your home, of course, and sleep well. These are some of the points that you should be aware of in order to relax and avoid anxiety, loss of energy and sadness.
Doing physical exercises throughout the day is very beneficial. There are even gyms offering online classes that can be a way to increase interaction with other people and exercise your body.
Meditation can be another very positive care for the body and mind at this time, as it helps with emotional balance and soothes.
In this sense, it is worth creating a menu of personal self-care activitie0s. With weeks or months of a coronavirus pandemic ahead of you, it is important to have time to relax and get organized.
Try to adapt what was done to occupy the mind before the pandemic: bringing exercise into the home, reading books on subjects other than work, scheduling social programs online, taking care of food, playing with children and everything else that helps to work the mind.
When composing this “menu”, it is worth keeping an eye on the balance between leisure time on and offline. More than ever, it is important to take care of the digital detox, ensuring that you do some activities that do not depend on digital resources to happen.