Covid-19 and Our Psychology
We are faced with an unexpected situation that affects our lives, which does not exist in our vocabulary except for history pages and movies. The reality of the epidemic suddenly became the center of our lives, and it affected many areas such as our lifestyle, relationships, and economy, as well as our psychology.
It must affect our psychology, so why does it matter? First of all, in this period, our psychology is worried, distressed, restless, anxious, fearful, sleep problems, feeling depressed and helpless, being indifferent, feeling overwhelmed with anxiety intensity, decreased energy level, intolerance, anger outbursts, an increase or decrease in appetite. It can lead to effects such as a lack of enjoyment of pleasurable things, crying, palpitations, headache, increase in other body aches, increase in alcohol-substance use, discomfort from voices, startle, repetitive intense thinking about viruses, and related issues, and quick crying. Experiencing them already puts a person’s life in trouble.
Another important point is; The deterioration of our psychology also impairs our immune (immune) system. The relationship between the immune system and psychiatric diseases has been investigated a lot recently and many findings showing the connection between them are found. In studies comparing depressed patients with healthy individuals, it has been observed that there is a problem in the immune markers of depressed patients. In other words, it has been found that people with depression have weaker immune systems than healthy people, and a good immune system is associated with psychological well-being. We know that a strong immune system is required to fight the virus. For this reason, it is valuable to manage our anxiety in this period well in this sense.
Fear, anxiety is the most natural human reaction to a life-threatening situation. A certain level of anxiety is constructive and it is desired to be. It allows us to take precautions in life. As the anxiety intensifies, it shifts from constructive anxiety to destructive anxiety. Panic has taken over the situation now, and panic often prevents us from thinking and acting healthily. Studies have shown that virus-related anxiety and fear rates are very high in the world, and as a result, a concept called ‘Coronaphobia’ was introduced. Then the part of how we can keep our anxiety away from panic and phobia at normal levels becomes important.
While uncertainty and ignorance may increase anxiety, information pollution also increases anxiety. Therefore, it is important to obtain information from the right sources of information. It is necessary to stay away from information pollution, disaster news, and to rely on science. You should not be exposed to news and social media all day.
We must remind ourselves that we are not alone while going through this process. What will happen to our health? what will happen economically? What will happen to the people we love? Many questions like, are on the minds of all people right now. Also, we are creatures that need social bonds and often feed on emotionally. Even though we don’t have physical contact with the people we love, it’s important to maintain our emotional contact. If possible, call your loved ones every day, listen, tell, share, recall memories. Communication with children is very valuable at this point, they give us life energy and strength, but how will we tell them about this period, how will we treat them in this period? Listen to them well. Help them express their feelings through activities such as painting, games, songs, etc. Listen to them, accept their feelings, approach them with compassion and care, and convey that it is normal for them to feel that way. It is important to allow them to ask questions about the subject, to explain the situation with clear sentences without causing disaster or worry, and to talk about what to do together to protect.
Nietzsche’s phrase “Pain that does not kill me strengthens me.” Is very valuable. Fighting or fleeing in the face of a disaster are human responses. Which of these two we choose actually determines our life. In other words, we can get out of this situation by getting stronger, by drawing lessons, by collecting our energy for the future, and we can come out in a depleted state. It should not be forgotten that every birth is painful. One should not forget the possibility of transforming the painful process we are already experiencing into birth.
The world has survived so many epidemics, wars, and disasters. These processes will surely pass and the darkness will come to light and we should keep them in mind and manage this intermediate process well.
Emptiness always increases anxiety, while productivity always decreases anxiety. For this reason, it becomes important to look for ways to realize this within the existing conditions, to set a goal, and to attempt, not to be idle, to adapt and continue what we have done with pleasure and passion to the current living conditions. It is worthwhile to set daily, weekly plans and written targets for the post-epidemic, to be excited and strive for them. For example, to get up at this time today, then open the window and do a little breathing exercise, read a book that is very desirable to read beforehand, watch the movie, share them with your loved ones, research for a new recipe, discover a new game with your child, learn a new language. To start is like determining a place to visit after the epidemic and embarking on research for it.
In this process, one should try not to break from the daily routine as much as possible. It is important to keep our previous sleep and meal times regularly. It is healthy to go to bed in the evening, get up in the morning, and continue the meal times in the same order every day. During such periods, the cycle of sleep and wakefulness tends to vary. In other words, the tendency to stay awake at night and sleep during the day is intense. Night sleep is a healthy and quality sleep in which the melatonin is secreted, while daytime sleep is unhealthy. For this reason, daytime sleep is something that is predisposed on days at home but we do not recommend it outside the small 15-30 minute interval. If there is a possibility to get sunlight under the conditions, it should be evaluated, heavy meals, long hunger, unhealthy diet, too much caffeine, alcohol, and substance use should be avoided as they affect the process negatively.
It is known that exercise increases cerebral blood flow, has positive effects on neurotrophic factors, neurotransmitters, cytokine releases, and creates positive effects for psychological well-being. It is important to try to implement the exercises that can be done in home conditions. Healthy breathing, breathing, and relaxation exercises are also good. If you have previously used medicines regularly, it is also important to continue without disturbing them.
Actually, this period may be an opportunity to realize many things that we miss in the intensity of life. Are we bored at home? You can turn this into an opportunity to discover something new or expand your interests, without forgetting that you are one of the lucky groups who can be at home.
Solidarity and solidarity have healing power. Reaching strangers, loved ones, and stray animals where your heart desires gives both them and our strength.
The page content is for informational purposes only. Items containing information about therapeutic health services are not included in the content of the page. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment.