How to keep a healthy mind in times of social isolation

depressed denmark

(Krists Luhaers

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Heloisa Picolotto Oliveira, 21 and Stephany Paola de Souza, 24, two fourth-year medical student at Unicesumar, Paraná, Brazil. 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.

In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a new Coronavirus – COVID-19, which emerged in Wuhan, China and spread quickly to others cities and countries.  In March 2020, WHO assessed the COVID-19 characterizing it as a pandemic as the spread affected more than 200 countries around the world.

Along with the quickly spread of the disease, the insecurity and concern about the unknown exacerbated other feelings such as fear, worry and anxiety in the general population, especially in certain risk groups, such as older adults and people with underlying health condition.

At the beginning, the main psychological impact comprised of high rates of stress and anxiety. However, with social isolation, many habitual activities and routines were affected, increasing levels of loneliness, depression, insomnia, disability and unproductivity. Harmful conditions as alcohol and drug use, self-harm and suicidal behavior are also expected to increase. Along with that, people are daily bubbled by utopian incentives to produce and be mentally and physically active all the time, which can also be a problem. As we know, every individual is unique, with personal faults and qualities, so that each one must evaluate and develop yourself according to your limitations.

Therefore, to minimize mental injury, avoid reading or listening to news about COVID-19 that can make you feel anxious or distresses, and seek information  from trusted sources to protect yourself and your family. The stream of fake news about an outbreak can lead to excessive worry and anxiety. Avoid spreading fear and misinformation.

At this moment of uncertainty, we must take care of our well-being and those around us. That said, share positive and hopeful news, assist neighbors and older adults who may need some extra assistance with supermarket. Try to be supportive other people who are going through a time of need. Help people with financial problems, with basic baskets for example, and listen to a friend who needs to talk and give words of comfort and hope. Keep regular sleep and routines whit physical activities, meditation and yoga. Eat healthy food and stay connected with friends and family, in video calls, social media and cellphone. And especially, it’s very important to relax and practice activities that you enjoy.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO): “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” So, keeping mental health is as important as physical health, as both are connected. In conclusion, the human body is a large machine, made by several gears and one of them is mental health, therefore, all components must be functioning in order to developing individual.

About the authors

Heloisa Picolotto Oliveira, 21, fourth-year medical student at Unicesumar, Paraná, Brazil. Affiliated, local marketing director (LCM-D) and local coordinator at the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA).

Stephany Paola de Souza, 24, fourth-year medical student at Unicesumar, Paraná Brazil. Member of the Gynecology-Obstetrics and Vascular Surgery and Angiology academic leagues.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Telemedicine can be a COVID-19 game-changer. Here’s how

EU Commission challenges Berlin by proposing breakthrough legislation on banks

Stop violence against women: Statement by the European Commission and the High Representative

US migrant children policy reversal, still ‘fails’ thousands of detained youngsters: UN rights experts

From drought to floods in Somalia; displacement and hunger worsen, says UN

Take care of your borders and then expand them

Brexit effect: Public opinion survey shows that EU is more appreciated than ever

Medical education during COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19: Commission provides guidance on EU passenger rights

This is how rice is hurting the planet

Is the world up to the challenge of mass COVID-19 vaccination?

How private investment can boost education access and quality in the digital economy

Global Citizen – Volunteer Internships

A 3-step path to securing critical infrastructure

Global economy to see ‘steady’ growth of three per cent in 2019 despite risks, says UN

Commission paralysed before the banking leviathan

“I believe that startups are for grown-up men, those, who have already achieved something “

Climate change is speeding up. Our response needs to be even faster

‘Alarmingly high’ number of children malnourished worldwide: UNICEF report

‘Severe’ new US asylum restrictions will put vulnerable families at risk, UN refugee agency says

EU Council: Private web data to be protected by…abusers

Nuclear non-proliferation treaty an ‘essential pillar’ of international peace, says UN chief

For how long will terror and economic stagnation be clouding the European skies?

The UN has a 17-point plan to save the world. So how’s it doing?

EU budget talks: Council rejects Parliament’s breakthrough proposal

‘Think beyond farm jobs’ to reach sustainable development, UN agriculture chief advises African youth

China greenlights first underwater high-speed railway

Indoor air pollution is deadly. Here’s an unconventional solution

UN human rights office urges Egypt to immediately release detained protestors

Closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights: the role of medical students

Here’s how retailers can encourage more sustainable behaviour

Commission statement on the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism

The price of centralization of human resources for health

From the boardroom to the consulting room: pharma’s role in curing gender bias

Central African Republic: UNICEF outlines key actions so fresh peace deal can make real difference for children

Draghi indirectly accuses Germany of using double standards in financial issues

UN chief welcomes ‘first concrete step’ in normalizing Eritrea-Ethiopia relationship

Syria: A bloody tracer of Trump – Putin rapprochement

3 charts that show the economics of European football

Is China about to launch its own cryptocurrency?

Disaster Medicine in Medical Education: the investment you just can´t afford to ignore

How Kolkata is tackling its air pollution with public transportation

ECB intervenes to clean May’s and Schäuble’s mess

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: violence surges in Nigeria, anti-Semitism on the march, taxing pollution to tackle climate crisis, and more

Link between conflict and hunger worldwide, ‘all too persistent and deadly’, says new UN report

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

ECB to people: Not responsible if you lose money on Bitcoin, your governments are

Gynecologic care in the 21st century

The eighth round of TTIP negotiations concludes in Brussels amid scepticism and new fears

This US city sends mental health workers instead of police to non-criminal emergency calls

Advocate General ‘outlaws’ Data Retention Directive

EU budget: Making the EU fit for its role as strong global actor

Climate Change Revolution: by-laws for the world

Fair completion rules and the law of gravity don’t apply to banks

UN envoy says he ‘is ready to go to Idlib’ to help ensure civilian safety amid rising fears of government offensive

Longer hours, more emails and shorter meetings – working from home in the time of COVID

As north-west Syria violence reaches ‘horrifying’ new level, UN relief chief says ceasefire is only option

Food for millions in Yemen at risk of rotting in key Red Sea port, warns UN

The fatal consequences of troika’s blind austerity policy

Mandatory Transparency Register: political meeting to restart negotiations

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s