The mental domain in times of a pandemic

sunset bench

(Jude Beck, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Brendon de Almeida Nunes and Giovana Lisboa Campos, students of the third yeat of medicine school at Unicesumar. They are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The scenario is drastic. Every day there is an increasing need for treatments for mental disorders and a profound deficiency in the mental health situation around the world. Although, the data show an inversely proportional involvement to the purchasing power, all classes are at risk of experiencing periods of depression in their mental health. Such conditionsoccur as a result of people’s quality of life, and social isolation acts as a important factor for this predisposition and evolution of psychiatric conditions.

The mental health according to WHO is “a state of well-being which an individual perceives his skills, can deal with everyday stresses, can work productively and is able to contribute to his community”. In this way, we understand that the links with others contribute a lot to our mental health.

There is no magic recipe or solution to improve our mental health, and each individual responds differently to isolation experiences. However, there are many ways to relieve tension and seek to maintain good living habits during this period.

Starting with the family nucleus, which is the main cause of disagreements. At this period we spend most of the time with our family members. The creation of a routine is essential for we do not lose track of time, having times to wake up, eat and sleep mainly. After that, we can establish group activities, on specific days of the week, such as board games or mime, family cooking and other similar activities. The process of cleaning the house usually causes a lot of inconvenience and the tasks must be evenly distributed to avoid fighting. We can also adopt family cleaning, gardens, the house and the yard, for example.

Regardless of how harmonious your family relationship is, as the days goes by these bonds become weak, and habits that were previously unnoticed, become auncomfortable. That way, we can use features like video calls, to talk to friends and distant family members. Here creating a routine is also important, as the days goes by and we ended up forgetting many tension relief points.

Physical exercise is a fantastic escape valve at this point, and the recommendations exist in every corner. They have advantages in decreasing cortisol levels and also gives us endorphin. Exercises can be the most varied, and dance is one of the main models to use in a group, and can become a lot of fun with the family.

Some families are made up of few members, or even individuals alone. In these cases, we have several forms of communication to talk to. Alternatives from each country have its “solidarity call”, in which people offer them selves free to talk in this quarantine.

In short, I see a greater outcry for mental health in recent years, and the current situation compared to COVID-19 only exacerbates an existing problem. It is up to each of us to seek to relieve stress points, be more communicative and patient, helping both us and those are around us.

About the authors

Brendon de Almeida Nunes and Giovana Lisboa Campos are students of the third yeat of medicine school at Unicesumar. Brendon is Local Officer on Natiotal Exchange – Director at IFMSA Brazil Unicesumar and Local Coordinator at IFMSA Brazil. He is part of the university's oncology and hematology league and works in campaigns, lectures, workshops, courses and other actions of the local committee. Giovana is an aspiring local coordinator and is part of the local exchange team. Both intend to grow a lot in the development of research that involves several themes

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  1. tanaka_tkzy says:

    Keep It Up Brendon and Giovana. Well articulated and informative piece right there. I realised my family is doing a great job. We are doing quite a lot together from chores to leisure. We dance a lot in laughter. Doing funny routines. We are happier and mentally well i presume. Thanks for sharing. You are representing Brasil Well!💚✔🔥

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