The four pillars of self-care in times of Covid 19

self care

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Rariane Bernardino Marani and Ana Flávia Cury Ivantes, two fourth-year medical students at a private university in southern 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.


The World Health Organization (WHO) defined the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic in March 2020. The first case recorded was in December 2019 in China, which quickly spread to other countries and continents, taking them to adopt measures to treat complications, epidemiological control and social isolation.1

With the new scenario established, there were changes in the lifestyle and routine of thousands of people, reflecting on their health. With regard to mental health, this reflection is seen in the main current Google searches, in which between April 12 and April 19 the main searches were: ”What should I do in quarantine? ” and ”Shortness of breath, what should I do?”2. In addition, between the months of May and April 2020 there was a sudden increase in consultations such as: ”anxiety causes shortness of breath?”, ”Anxiety in quarantine” ”guided meditation for anxiety” ”How is the shortness of breath of anxiety and COVID-19”, demonstrating a greater concern both in how to keep the time occupied during social isolation, and searches related to anxiety and symptoms that are associated with both it and COVID-193.

To keep mental health, self-care is important and for this there are four fundamental pillars: physical (maintenance of restful sleep, physical activity, adequate nutrition and rest), emotional (stress management, building self-esteem, psychotherapy), social (setting limits, support networks and fair weather) and existential (spirituality, meditation, prayer, philosophy and nature).

When thinking about physical care, it is important to maintain sleep between six to eight hours a day at night, respecting the night time to preserve the sleep-wake cycle essential for hormonal maintenance and reduction of anxiety levels; the practice of physical activity, ranging from walking around the house, to dancing; food, in which keeping it balanced and regulated helps to maintain the immune and gastrointestinal systems; and rest, since home work can be intensified.

On the emotional side, the management of stress includes practices such as taking a specific time dedicated only to concerns and, after this time, dedicating to other things activities, avoiding emotional exhaustion; It is also important to build self-esteem and psychotherapy.

In the social sphere, it is important to set limits for both work and leisure moments, in order to hold a healthy routine, support networks and fair time, as there is a tendency to maximize time at home and subsequently there is a frustration for not carrying out all the tasks set up.

In the existential pillar, spirituality, meditation, prayer, philosophy and nature, are practices that seek to regulate body and mind, improve sleep quality, increase concentration, among others. They are the basis of our emotions, decisions and thoughts. That is, our ways of seeing, feeling, thinking and acting within social isolation, with its countless challenges, anxieties and fears.

Therefore, in order to reduce complaints related to mental health during a period of Pandemic, it is important to institute the measures mentioned above, contributing to a healthier quality of life and a successful coping with illness.

References

  1. Portal PubMed [https://pebmed.com.br/]. Coronavírus: tudo o que você precisa saber sobre a nova pandemia [accessed on 19 april 2020]. Available in: https://pebmed.com.br/coronavirus-tudo-o-que-voce-precisa-saber-sobre-a-nova-pandemia/
  2. Google Trends [https://trends.google.com.br/trends/?geo=BR] Coronavírus [accessed on 19 april 2020]. Available in: https://trends.google.com.br/trends/story/US_cu_4Rjdh3ABAABMHM_en_pt-BR
  3. Google Trends [https://trends.google.com.br/trends/?geo=BR] Ansiedade [accessed on 19 april 2020]. Available in: https://trends.google.com.br/trends/explore?date=today%201-m&geo=BR&q=ansiedade%5D

About the author

Rariane Bernardino Marani and Ana Flávia Cury Ivantes are fourth-year medical students at a private university in southern Brazil. Ana is a member of the academic leagues in Gastroenterology, Maternal and Child Health and the Oncology and Hematology League, while Rariane is part of the Maternal and Child Health Academic League and the Oncology and Hematology League. Both academics believe that the primary principle for the training of a good doctor is the development of scientific research since graduation, which promotes new discoveries for health and minimizes its challenges.

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

Refugees in Greece: MEPs demand solidarity, warn about impact of health crisis

European Youth, quo vadis?

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

Ending use of chemical weapons in Syria: ‘still work to be done’, says UN disarmament chief

An introduction to ‘Eco-Medical Literacy’ and its importance in shaping expert medical professionals

UK economy in dire straits: leading banks now officially plan to Brexit too

Youth employment crisis easing but far from over

These 4 leaders are working to improve integration in Southeast Asia

As Libya talks resume in Geneva, UN negotiator seeks to overcome sticking points

Public Policies for LGBT in Brazil

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

‘Reef cubes’: could these plastic-free blocks help save the ocean?

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

To rebuild trust in the media, we must empower its consumers

Italy and Greece zeroed their fiscal deficits, expect Germany’s response

Sherpa climbers carried out the highest-ever spring clean. This is what they found

What companies gain by including persons with disabilities

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

The green hydrogen revolution has started, and it won’t be stopped

The EU resumes budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova

The US repelled EU proposals on common rules for banks

This Kenyan company makes fuel from human poo

Erdogan vies to become Middle East Sultan over Khashoggi’s killing

Cities are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. These organizations are leading the urban response.

World Wildlife Day: UN chief urges ‘more caring’ relationship with nature

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

6 ways to ensure AI and new tech works for – not against – humanity

Budget MEPs back €1.6 million to help 400 former workers of Carrefour Belgium

Art, mental health and suicide: different strategies for increasing access to health services

Who may profit from the rise of the extreme right in the West?

Everything you need to know about the coronavirus

Thought AIs could never replace human imagination? Think again

Coronavirus: the truth against the myths

The scheming of Boris: win an election after a no-deal Brexit

The European Sting writes down the history LIVE from G20 Leaders’ Summit in Turkey

With 5 billion set to miss out on health care, UN holds landmark summit to boost coverage

How our food system is eating away at nature, and our future

UN court increases sentence of former Bosnian-Serb leader to life imprisonment

Harmonised Unemployment Rates (HURs), OECD – Updated: February 2020

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

Meet the robot fighting back against coral reef destruction

Reimagining the future for skills: What we learned from young people

Brexit talks: Today the world to hear of a predictable failure

Climate Change and Human Health: Two Faces of The Same Coin

This team of Saudi women designed an award-winning app to make the Hajj safer

Leaders need hard data to make the hard decisions about sustainability

UN chief welcomes announcement by Emir of Qatar to allocate $50 million to support Syrian refugees, displaced persons

Brexiteer May gets lip-service from Trump and Turkish promises from Erdogan

Health privatisation: reviving Alma-Ata

‘Make healthy choices’ urges UN agency, to prevent and manage chronic diabetes

Digital distrust: We’re losing faith in technology to solve the world’s problems

Commission notifies the Republic of Panama over the need to step up action to fight against illegal fishing

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

Successful carbon removal depends on these 3 conditions

Here are 5 new green laws coming into force in 2020

Top UN Syria envoy hails ‘impressive’ start to historic talks in Geneva

Inaction on obesity stands in the way of sustainable development

Coronavirus: First case confirmed in Gulf region, more than 6,000 worldwide

Commission caps charges on card and Internet payments and enforces competition

Tech companies could achieve much more by serving the common good. Here’s 3 steps they should take

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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