The Coronavirus pandemic represents a physical/medical health threat for everyone, but it is the mental health effect that will become the greatest challenge for most of us because our emotional reactions can have an impact that lasts far longer than the pandemic itself.
We are dealing with two issues – the virus itself and the emotions it generates. Currently most of our attention is on the virus itself and we are not paying nearly enough attention to the emotional impact of the pandemic, which is extremely concerning as EVERYONE is having some emotional reaction to the pandemic. Fear, anxiety, stress, anger, irritability, emotional exhaustion and sadness are just some of the reactions which are to be expected because the threat is real and we are having to make significant lifestyle changes.
Although the emotions are valid, the reality is that if we do not manage these emotional reactions we can end up with severe mental illness. Already we are seeing higher rates of depression, anxiety, insomnia and complicated grief. More and more people are complaining that they cannot focus, concentrate, problem-solve and/or make decisions. There is long-term risk for alcohol abuse, self-medication and long-lasting ‘avoidance’ behaviour. Domestic abuse is on the increase, there is loss of productivity, more burnout and alarmingly the suicide numbers are escalating. Mental health professionals are expecting all of these negative effects to get worse.
The good news, however, is that we can manage emotional reactions in ourselves and in others. We can protect our mental health and we can reduce mental illness. It’s all about education, awareness and implementing effective strategies and techniques. This needs to happen at home and in the workplace, at both an individual and at an organizational level. There are 7 key elements to consider and I have the resources here on my website to get you started:
7 Key Elements to Consider
Free resources for you to read and download: Articles Posters & Worksheets
Products and services for your organisation (contact me for details): Talks Courses & Workshops Online Assessments
My talk, Beating C-19 like a Champion, introduces the 7 elements and how to work effectively with the resources listed below. Find out more
1. Recognise the Emotional Impact
The emotional impact of Coronavirus is huge. It’s important to be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental illness in yourself and others and know what to do and not to do about it.
Depression: Defeating Depression Managing Depression
Grief and Bereavement: Survive Your Sorrow Grief & Bereavement - Help for the Helpers
Suicide: Suicide Sensitivity Suicide and Depression
Anger: Anger Management: Taming the Tiger! Taming the Tiger Temper Your Temper: Reducing Anger in the Workplace Iceberg model Getting to Know your Anger
Stress: Stressed To Kill Stress Diagnostic Graph Stress Management Alcohol use
2. Manage the Change
The Coronavirus has brought about so much change that it is important for us to understand the psychological process we go through if we want to be able to adapt to it rather than resist it.
3. Build Resilience
Knowing how to build our resilience in this Coronavirus era, is probably more important than it has ever been.
4. Practice Self-Care
Understanding why and how we need to care for ourselves is vital if we are going to thrive in the Coronavirus era.
Self-care Scale Spurn The Burn The Wellbeing Wheel Stop Sabotaging Your Dreams Invest In Yourself Love to Laugh, Laugh to Live The Wood Cutter Stories Mastering the Balancing Act The Value of Vision Boards Prepped for Play The ‘Rocks, Pebbles and Sand’ Story The Wellbeing Wheel You-Q
5. Deal With Personality Differences
Different personalities are dealing with the Coronavirus era in different ways. Understanding yourself and others will go a long way to help us cope more effectively.
MBTI Online MBTI Raising an Introverted Child Understanding Extraverts and Introverts I'm not Crazy, I Just Don't think Like You!... MBTI MTQ (Mental Toughness Questionnaire) Online MTQ Getting Around To It – The Perversity of Procrastination
6. Improve Communication
Being able to communicate well goes a long way towards building relationships and increasing productivity. Good communication also helps to prevent mental illness, tension and violence.
Coping with Conflict:
Coping With Conflict Creating Cooperation From Conflict
Constructive Criticism (Feedback):
Face up to Feedback (Giving and Receiving Constructive Criticism) Prepare to face up to Feedback
Counselling Skills (peer counselling / teachers/ HR):
Basic Counselling Skills Trauma Counselling Skills
The Art of Conversation The Practice Art of Making Conversation Mastering the Art of Conversation Seven Common Conversation Errors… and How to Remedy Them Time to Accept a Compliment Phone Finesse – It’s Your Call Phone Finesse Body Language for Confidence The Power of Listening Vocal Impact Using Body Language for Confidence
7. Handle Loss
In the Coronavirus era, loss includes the loss of loved ones, as well as the loss of health, lifestyle, finances, work and business. Understanding the process of loss and how to help yourself and others is critically important in preventing mental illness.
Retrenchment: How to Survive it and come out on top